Technology companies ranging from major professional services firms to scrappy startups are building apps and wearables for businesses to track and stop the spread of coronavirus among employees in the workplace.
The technology is called digital contact tracing, and although few big organizations have publicly committed to using the tools so far, technology companies see the new category as a major opportunity as offices reopen, and are often repurposing existing technology to focus on Covid-19 tracking.
Digital contact tracing for the enterprise is a new field, said Laura Becker, an analyst covering employee experience and benefits for IDC. But digital contact tracing for companies could be worth billions, she estimates, as companies re-open offices and look for ways to assure employees it’s safe.
“Looking at larger organizations that would probably be more apt to institute something like this, like organizations that employ over 1000 people, and if I take a percentage of those that don’t opt in, even with all of those assumptions, I’m still looking at like a $4.3 billion potential market for this,” Becker said.
Apple and Google, among nonprofit groups, are creating software for contact tracing, too, but their system is targeted at the public and will be used by public health officials in Europe to make free contact tracing apps that work on a national scale. Apple and Google’s software isn’t going to be bought and sold, making enterprise tracing apps the likely market where people will make money off of this technology.