E-Bird Newsletter

Fairfax County companies launch ‘back-to-work’ technologies

With the state’s Forward Virginia re-opening process well underway (Phase 3 started yesterday), companies are considering transitioning some or all of their employees from working virtually to returning to the office. Careful planning is needed for employee safety and for compliance with local, state and federal regulations. Many tech companies are developing back-to-work technologies to ensure employee health and customer safety. Here’s a round-up of some of the apps and initiatives developed by Fairfax County-headquartered companies to help businesses bring employees back to work on-site safely and securely.


Absolutely riveting: Reston-based IT consulting firm 1Rivet, which builds apps for its clients, developed a platform to help other businesses transition back to work. MyHealthyWork is a web and mobile application that safely monitors and records employees’ health markers as recommended by the CDC, identifying those who may be sick and traces the people they had contact with at work.


Data solutions times two: AEEC, a Reston-based technology company, in collaboration with Google Cloud, developed an Environmental Surface Sampling technology to assess and determine the extent of surface contamination and provides an assurance for effective cleaning to eliminate presence of any COVID-19 at work locations or public areas. The company also developed a web application that conveys information to the public, health professionals, and policymakers to enhance case detection, enabling digital contact tracing, and acting as a data capture portal for critical health data associated with COVID-19 and analyzed within the Google Cloud Platform.


Ready, set…: Appian, a Tysons-based, low-code automation company, released a Workforce Safety and Readiness App. The app features a command center where employers can keep track of employee health and plan a phased or rotating back-to-work approach. Employees are encouraged to take surveys and answer questions about their health so that the app can issue them a “return-to-work certification” based on government guidelines and their employer’s customized settings. A peer-to-peer support option also allows employees to aid home-bound co-workers.


Go (recon)figure: Architecture, Inc. reconfigured its office in Reston to implement social distancing measures as employees return to work. Its new office layout includes one-way pathways with markers 6-feet apart, sanitation of high-traffic areas, more breakout spaces for smaller meeting groups, and more space between furniture in conference rooms and common areas. Architecture Inc. is also capitalizing on its outdoor patio space by opening its doors to encourage more distancing, and it installed privacy screens and knee walls to mark 6-feet between chairs and desks. It showed off its new configuration in a video that offers strategies for other companies to return to work safely.


Clean sweep: GermSweep, a bacterial testing and sanitizing company that serves Northern Virginia, is using electrostatic disinfecting technology for residential and commercial buildings. When cleaning spaces, GermSweep uses a disinfectant sprayer to disperse electrostatically charged droplets. The negatively charged droplets magnetically attach and “wrap around” positively charged surfaces, ensuring up to three times more coverage than traditional cleaning techniques.


Go screen: Go Canvas, a software and app-development company based in Reston, is offering a COVID-19 Employee Screening Solution that enables employers to monitor and track the health of their employees upon their return to work. The software comes pre-downloaded with apps that streamline health screenings, employee waivers, and information about the latest CDC Guidelines. Employers have access to dashboards to easily synthesize this information and will be alerted if any employees demonstrate high fever or symptoms. (We are proud to note that GoCanvas CEO and Founder James Quigley is vice chairman of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority Commission.)


Keeping the Kastle safe: Kastle Systems, a Falls Church-area building security technology company, developed a technology to help buildings navigate the reopening process once employees start returning to work. The new initiative, called KastleSafeSpaces, uses touchless access control, video analytics technology and thermal cameras. It will also incorporate virus-screening and contact tracing processes.


Mobile safety: Centreville-based Parsons, a global corporation in many diversified markets with a focus on security, defense, and infrastructure, developed the contact-less DetectWise system as a public-health tool for venues that are looking for ways to reopen safely in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. DetectWise is a mobile health-screening kiosk that can measure someone’s body temperature, heart rate and respiration to identify those who may be infected with the disease.


Makes Sense: Senseware, a software company located in Tysons, is offering a comprehensive Airborne Threat Monitoring platform for spaces reopening amid/after COVID-19. Senseware’s real-time, continuous bio-sensing will work in tandem with its cleanroom grade indoor air quality and airflow monitoring. The platform will provide environmental data, airborne threat analytics and alerts to continuously verify the safety of reopened spaces.


Global tech firms with a presence in Fairfax County are developing new products and services too.  Google, which as an office in Reston, and Apple teamed up to build software that alerts users if they come into direct contact with someone who has the coronavirus. The software will allow iPhones and Android phones to exchange information via Bluetooth, alerting users if they have been in close physical proximity with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.

Microsoft, which has a large Reston operation, and United Health collaborated to offer companies a coronavirus screening app called ProtectWell that provides a daily symptom screener to help clear employees to go to work or direct them to be tested if they are at risk for infection.

Salesforce, which has a Herndon corporate office, launched work.com to help businesses reopen the workplace as quickly as possible, while helping to keep employees and customers safe. Work.com functions include employee wellness assessment, shift management, contact tracing, emergency response management, and grants and volunteer management.

Has your companies developed apps or initiatives in response to the pandemic? Tell us! Please contact the FCEDA communications division at info@fceda.org with relevant information that we might share with our readers.