A new application from Microsoft and health care large UnitedHealth Group will question workers a series of queries to decide their probable exposure to COVID-19, possibly clearing them for function or directing them into a tests procedure that will notify each them and their employer of the final results.

The application, called ProtectWell, is newest in a wave of new technologies designed to aid attempts to provide persons again to function safely as the pandemic subsides. The providers say they will present the application free of charge of charge to U.S. employers.

“As businesses start off to reopen, employers will want to monitor and manage their workforce for COVID-19 symptoms to support make certain those people at threat of spreading the virus stay residence till cleared by health-related vendors,” mentioned Judson Althoff, vice president of Microsoft’s Worldwide Industrial Business, in a information launch.

Judson Althoff, vice president of Microsoft’s Worldwide Industrial Business. (GeekWire File Picture / Kevin Lisota)

UnitedHealth Group, the Minnesota-primarily based health insurance policies and technologies corporation, with a market place value of more than $280 billion, is previously providing the application to its frontline health care workers.

Microsoft also says it will deploy ProtectWell for its personnel in the US as section of its return-to-function approach. The corporation employs more than 92,000 persons in the place, which includes more than 55,000 in the Seattle region. Microsoft has supplied personnel the alternative to function from residence through at the very least October.

United Wellbeing and Microsoft sign up for a increasing number of tech and health care providers creating COVID-19 screening and tracking technologies for by themselves and others, which includes Appian, Collective Wellbeing, PwC and tech giants Apple and Google.

Unlike some other apps, ProtectWell does not aid make contact with-tracing. But like others launching services in this space, UnitedHealth and Microsoft are going for walks a tightrope of privacy and public health in deploying the technologies, which includes regulatory prerequisites to maintain staff health-related and staff information separate from each individual other.

“UnitedHealth Group will preserve handle around guarded health treatment information and will manage decide-in and consent prerequisites essential from application buyers,” the providers say. “Microsoft will not have access to identifiable data shared by way of the ProtectWell application. De-discovered workforce health traits and analytics data will support employers and policymakers make knowledgeable occupational and public health decisions.”

It’s the newest implementation of Microsoft’s Healthcare Bot service to handle COVID-19. The US Centers for Disorder Control is amongst other companies working with the Microsoft technologies.  The ProtectWell application runs on Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform, and the providers say it will take advantage of Azure’s protection and privacy protections.