Accessible Employee Testing Can Save Businesses

Featured Future of Work Health Tech

The biggest challenge with getting people back to work is understanding how to do it safely.  There are countless solutions for monitoring distancing and tracking surface cleaning, not to mention myriad self-assessment apps.  But the best way to make sure a workplace is safe is through testing.  It’s the only way to know for certain you aren’t aiding the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

The challenge, of course, is getting it done quickly and consistently.  Most businesses don’t have labs to do their own testing – unless you happen to play for an NFL team, which have labs on-site at their facilities help contain the virus. 

BRIO Systems has built a platform that help employers better manage workplace safety through COVID-19 testing through partnerships with a network of CLIA-accredited labs.  While individual testing can as long as a week in some cases, BRIO says its test results take three days or less, depending on which labs it uses for each customer.  The key is a system that  matches customers’ testing needs with the lab is that is best able to meet capacity demands to facilitate faster results.  The fastest results may not always come from the closest lab, yet individuals who seek testing on their own are typically limited to local facilities.

“BRIO quickly adapted at the start of the pandemic to combine their laboratory relationships and passion for improving care to create an offering that uniquely addresses the challenges employers are facing due to COVID-19 outbreaks.  We are impressed with how they’ve continually stayed ahead of the testing curve, despite the challenges the system faces at large.”

Semyon Dukach, Managing Partner, One Way Ventures

That ability to successfully enable businesses to rapidly respond to confirmed infections, potential outbreaks, and generally maintain safe workplaces is among the reasons One Way Ventures leads a group of investors that have collectively given BRIO $1.9 million in seed funding to expand its platform.  Other investors include Techstars Ventures, Nimble Ventures, Castor Ventures (AVG), and individual angels like John Capodilupo (CTO of Whoop).

BRIO’s platform allows employers to test for both active COVID-19 infections through FDA Emergency Use Authorization diagnostic testing, and serology testing for antibodies that indicate previous exposure.

Test results are communicated directly from the labs BRIO works with to the individuals being tested using a secure, HIPAA-compliant online dashboard.  Employers gain access to team level and individual data  with consent.  

“We realized that with technology, we could eliminate the natural frictions and inefficiencies that occur in laboratory testing of individuals outside of the hospital setting.  We could connect labs and patients that would never otherwise be able to interact and enable access to testing.”

Boris Lipchin, CEO, BRIO

There are many scenarios for testing in the workplace.  Some companies may require testing before allowing workers back.  Others may use the service to contain outbreaks and prevent spreading, and to make sure once an infection has been confirmed, all infected employees can be identified for their own well-being and the safety of others. 

In addition to facilitating the best labs for each customer, BRIO also provides everything each company need to collect samples and send them safely to the labs, so there’s no need to deal with additional suppliers to complicate the process.

For many companies, like ACME Finishing in Chicago, the ability to test employees was the difference between being able to remain open and closing the business for good, even though it had taken what it felt were appropriate steps to provide a safe workplace – until a few employees contracted the virus.

“We thought we had planned for everything and had taken all the precautionary steps.  With the potential for an outbreak, our team was asking whether we could morally and ethically justify staying open.  But, if we didn’t there was a decent chance it could have been the end of our business.”

G.R. Kearney, President, ACME Finishing.

By working with BRIO, ACME was able to keep its business open after finding out the outbreak was limited to a few people who had been quarantined and the rest of the workforce was no longer at risk.

With the seed funding, BRIO is working to enhance its platform with advanced dynamical models that harness statistical inference to help employers predict risk levels and the volume and frequency of testing required to limit their chances of a workplace outbreak.