Enterprise Contact Tracing: POM Tracer vs. Apps

The enterprise contact tracing market is full of solutions, but how do you know which one fits your organization best? Through our conversations with companies of all sizes, we learned that two of their main priorities are maintaining employee privacy and reducing the risk of a full office closure. 

While Google and Apple have built APIs that power contact tracing apps, they still can intrude on employee privacy. For these apps to work, employees need to download them (potentially on their personal phones) and enable location sharing or bluetooth. As an employer, do you really want to invade your employees’ privacy and increase the risk of personally identifiable information being unintentionally shared? 

Instead of an app, POM Tracer uses physical devices with bluetooth capabilities to provide a powerful contact tracing alternative. Our small wearable devices can be carried many ways—like on a lanyard, wristband form factor or keychain, in an employee’s pocket or in a bag. Bluetooth 5 technology allows POM Tracer to implement proximity contact tracing. This means our system only collects data when two employees carrying devices come within six feet of each other. 

All enterprise contact tracing solutions will help you reduce the risk of a full office closure, but not all enable you to maintain employee privacy, too. With POM Tracer, you don’t have to compromise. We also understand that your priorities aren’t limited to these two. Here are some other areas the POM Tracer differentiates itself from contact tracing apps. 

Employee Privacy

People are more concerned about the personal data they share through apps, and your employees are no different. Requiring them to download an app onto their phone and enable GPS or bluetooth that allows you to track their location and potentially their time is intrusive. Additionally, there are many pitfalls, but more on that later. 

POM Tracer devices are designed to keep employee privacy intact. Proximity tracing doesn’t track location or time in office. It only records data when two devices come within six feet of each other and logs the cumulative time of the close contact. 

Our devices provide employees (or visitors) with the flexibility to choose how they carry them (visitors can simply return them when they leave your office). The power of choice can help reduce the concern employees have about carrying a device around with them at work. At the end of the day, POM Tracer provides employee privacy protection that apps cannot offer. 

Reliability

You need a contact tracing system that works exactly when you need it to. Apps require employees to adjust their behavior to ensure their phones are charged, their operating systems and app are always up to date, that they’re not closing out the app, and that they’re not turning off location sharing or bluetooth or deleting the app off their phones. Do you really have time to monitor all this? 

POM Tracer eliminates most of that headache. Our plug-and-play system works exactly when you need it and integrates into your current check-in protocols. Our system typically requires one gateway placed at the entrance along with our bluetooth devices. The gateway captures and stores the data when two devices come in close contact with each other.  

During check-in, all you have to do is scan a POM device to associate it with a specific employee. This simple integration is especially important if you have consistent visitors or contractors (more on that in the next section). Our devices also have a replaceable battery that lasts for six months, are waterproof, and are easily sanitized. In the case of a positive test, with a few clicks our system will work exactly how you need it by generating an instant contact tracing report.

Flexibility

Does your office host visitors, clients or contractors consistently? With apps, employers cannot require visitors or contractors to download them onto their personal devices in order to enter the premises. For everyone’s safety, you need a flexible contact tracing solution that makes it easy for visitors and contractors to opt in. 

Because POM Tracer integrates seamlessly with your current check-in protocols, you can quickly add any visitor or contractor to it. Just like giving out a guest ID badge, you can simply create a profile for your visitor and scan a POM Tracer device to associate it with them and ask that they carry it while on site. Once they leave, the device is returned to you, sanitized and ready for use the next day. Simple, right? 

This easy process applies to your employees, too. When an employee leaves your worksite, you can collect, sanitize, and reassign the POM Tracer device to someone else the next day. This can effectively reduce the risk of an employee forgetting the device at home or losing it. In addition, this creates a more cost effective solution for hybrid work models. Instead of purchasing devices for every employee, you can buy enough devices for the amount of employees allowed on your worksite for any given day. 

Own the System

As you read in the reliability section, apps require some maintenance and monitoring. There’s also many human factors that you can never fully control or account for. Apps don’t give you full control over the system to ensure it works exactly when you need it to. 

Instead, POM Tracer allows you to eliminate the reliance on personal phones and potential privacy violations. You can set and forget the POM Tracer system until you absolutely need it. This is how you own the entire contact tracing system. 

Affordability

How much would it cost to purchase smartphones or smartwatches for your employees? Many of your employees may not be able to access or afford a smartphone. Adding that cost onto paying a monthly subscription fee for the app may not be cost effective. 

POM Tracer hardware is a more cost effective solution than purchasing smartphones for your employees. Our gateways and devices don’t need all the bells and whistles included in the price of a smartphone. Instead, you purchase a system that is designed specifically to reduce your risk of a full office closure and eliminates privacy violations. 

Cumulative Close Contact Tracing

The CDC recently updated the definition of a “close contact” from someone who spent at least 15 consecutive minutes within six feet of a confirmed coronavirus case to someone who was within six feet of an infected individual for a total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period. 

Many apps were designed for the previous definition of 15 consecutive minutes. With POM Tracer, our solution is compliant with the latest CDC update and collects cumulative minutes over a 24-hour period. 

Multiple Level Contact Tracing 

In the case of a positive test, you need to prioritize alerting employees who are in the highest risk level. In order to keep your office open during a positive case, you’d want to know which employees were in close contact and the risk level they face. 

With POM Tracer, our system uses multiple level contact tracing so you can instantly see three levels of risk. Employees that came into close contact are the highest level, while employees who had some close contact are the second tier and the employees that had little to no contact are in the third. This type of contact tracing empowers you to keep your facilities open and make informed decisions about the employees who can return onsite. 

Proximity Alerts

How great would it be if you could gently alert your employees of your social distancing protocols? What if you could measure how well your new protocols were working? With POM Tracer this is possible. You can program custom proximity alerts to remind employees about your social distancing protocols. 

Another thing we learned from our customers is that they use the proximity data POM Tracer collects to measure how effective their social distancing protocols are. This equips them with the data to make decisions and implement the most effective protocols to protect their employees and reduce their risk of a full office shutdown. 

Bottom Line

These are the reasons why POM Tracer was featured in Forbes and Entrepreneur. Our affordable and scalable contact tracing solution allows you to effectively bring your employees back to work without apps, location tracking, or employee privacy invasions. If you’re ready to reduce your risk of a full office shutdown while maintaining employee privacy, schedule a call with our contact tracing experts to see how POM Tracer can work for you. 

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