Using Data to Get Americans Back to Work Safely

As cities across the US start to reopen, employers and governments are grappling with if and when they can bring people safely back to the office. Unemployment is still at 11%, the highest since the Great Recession, even as the market begins to recover. Without work, people are struggling to make ends meet and relying on federal relief as their only source of income. People are eager to bring businesses back into operation, but COVID-19 health risks are still very real. A “new normal” will likely take us through at least 2021, and additional health measures will need to be in place for workplaces to be safe.

The CDC and local governments (e.g. New York City) have published guidelines to support a return to work, but the final decision to open and operational details are left up to employers. With very little data available for employers to assess the risks and benefits of resuming business operations, decisions are more qualitative and variable even within industries. Take air travel, for instance—the CEO of American Airlines has taken an aggressive approach, stating in a recent interview, “Let’s go fly, for God’s sake. If it doesn’t work, we’ll pull it back.” Delta’s CEO, on the other hand, has said the airline will take “the industry’s most conservative approach to capacity”. Tech and financial companies are now realizing remote work isn’t so great after all as early productivity gains haven’t held.

In today’s digital age, data underpins smart decision making. Governments are tracking COVID symptoms and new cases in populations over time to understand when and how to reopen cities. Managing the reopening of a business should be no different. The well-being of workforces should be a priority and it starts with understanding symptoms and cases over time. Left with limited resources and sometimes confusing information, many organizations lack sufficient data to make informed decisions.

COVID-19 Map - Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center
COVID-19 Map - Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center

I started Radish Health to provide businesses the same type of data that governments have on COVID-19 cases in their employee populations, and enable them to offer employees COVID-19 testing at a low cost with one of the fastest turnaround times on the market—within 24 hours. As an ER doctor who volunteered at Bellevue hospital during the peak of the pandemic in New York, I saw firsthand how the lack of data and lag in information sharing can lead to less informed decisions and overwhelm a community. I want to ensure these mistakes are not repeated in the private sector as we restart the economy.

As businesses attempt to find their "new normal" Radish Health is moving quickly to address the urgent needs of people and businesses as cities across the US start to reopen. Radish provides businesses the same data governments have on COVID cases over time and offers employees COVID testing. This enables businesses to make fast data-driven decisions about when / how to reopen, and continue to operate in a safe and productive way.

COVID Dashboard © 2020 Radish Health Inc.
COVID Dashboard © 2020 Radish Health Inc.

This is just the beginning of our journey toward helping everyone feel safe and productive in the workplace. With COVID-19 continuing to run rampant through communities, we are moving quickly to address the urgent needs of people and businesses. Once we are able to look past the pandemic, our vision is to create a holistic healthcare monitoring system to care for the overall well-being of workforces, from preventative care, mental health to chronic disease management.


For those interested in learning more about how to manage workforce health during the pandemic or about how Radish Health can help, please feel free to reach out to me directly. I am available at viral@radish.health or you can start a conversation via our interest form.

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