Finding solutions to business problems can be hard, but the Covid-19 pandemic has taken the challenges that businesses face to a whole new level.
Just consider all the things that businesses must contend with as they work to welcome back customers and employees to their premises in a safe manner. Many people are really scared about their health and safety, yet there are some places people can’t avoid. If you’re running an airport, for example, you need a plan to operate safely. Office environments and universities must do the same for their workers, students and other visitors.
If you are in the business of running cruise ships or theme parks, you aren’t going to make any money if nobody comes. So, if the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention allows you to run your cruise ship or theme park, you need to decide how to let people come back safely.
Identifying, combining and implementing all the technology you need to make that happen may seem overwhelming. But it is possible to integrate and intersect multiple solutions, which can help you move things forward safely.
For example, my organization worked with Inspire Health Alliance to enable real-time Covid-19 registration, testing and access control. This solution was designed for use by licensed healthcare administrators at schools preparing to reintroduce students and teachers to campuses and classrooms, organizations working to bring employees back to their offices as well as manufacturing sites and transportation hubs wanting to safely reintroduce people to their locations.
As you work to find solutions to solve hard problems, keep these best practices in mind.
Secure data for compliance and privacy.
Medical information is sensitive data. To comply with HIPAA, you need to secure such data. For our work with Inspire, this entailed securing the point-of-care testing machines.
These portable machines are just one example of endpoints that touch patient data. According to Fierce Healthcare, U.S. hospitals have 10 million to 15 million medical devices, and they cited a recent survey by Irdeto which indicates that 82% of healthcare organizations have experienced an IoT-focused cyberattack.
Whatever endpoints you have, secure them by leveraging micro-segmentation software. Micro-segmentation isolates endpoints and users quickly at the first sign of potential compromise. Encrypt communications between your assets to reduce your enterprise IT attack surface. And employ cloaking so your endpoints are invisible to — and thus, undiscoverable by — bad actors.
Do this whether the sensitive data you’re working with is medical or other information.
Confirm personal identity to use resources as intended.
When working with large populations, you need to confirm that individuals are who they say they are. That way, you can be sure the right people get access to the right resources. In the case of Covid-19 testing, for example, this also ensures the test results track to the right individuals.
Say you sent someone an email saying they’re scheduled for a test and providing them a code to get that test. When the person arrives for the test, you want to confirm this is actually the person to whom you emailed that code. In situations in which you need to quickly process large numbers of people, biometrics is a great means of validation. Biometrics also make the process of validation touchless, which is important now, in the pandemic age of social distancing.
The need to confirm identity goes beyond just Covid-19 testing. You can also use it for disaster relief distribution. Some government agencies use biometrics to make sure the correct people get unemployment benefits. This is another important use case considering that, as NBC News recently reported, “widespread fraud is plaguing unemployment systems nationwide.”
Integrate technologies to add value.
The Covid-19 solution that I mentioned earlier combines the power of artificial intelligence and biometrics to validate identity with cybersecurity to safeguard personal data.
Organizations that use this solution also can integrate the biometric identity and negative test results into their building management systems. That allows these businesses to grant physical access to their facilities only to those individuals who test negative for the coronavirus.
You could also benefit from integration by using sensors and biometric thermal cameras to detect if somebody has an elevated temperature in a high-traffic area. That way, you can isolate people who represent a higher risk so if they are infected, they don’t spread the virus. This could be useful whether the facility you’re running is an airport or train station, a cruise ship or theme park, or a business or university building.
Integrating sensors that track pressure and temperature with geo-fencing and blockchain technology is also useful. You can use solutions that integrate these various technologies to validate that goods are coming from the intended source and are safe and effective. As organizations around the world work to get vaccines to the masses, the value here is clear.
The world is facing unprecedented challenges. The intersection and integration of the right technologies can allow you to solve even what appear to be insurmountable problems.