Irish-developed app helps firms keep Covid compliant

CountMe.ie helps manage sanitisation and contact tracing and is GDPR compliant

The app is aimed at smaller scale businesses, such as  hairdressers, barbers and salons. Photograph: iStock

The app is aimed at smaller scale businesses, such as hairdressers, barbers and salons. Photograph: iStock

 

An Irish-developed mobile application is aiming to take the stress out of managing Covid compliance for business, as companies prepare to reopen with the relaxation of the Level 5 restrictions throughout the State.

TB Smart Solutions has developed the CountMe.ie mobile app to be compliant with both Covid health and safety requirements and GDPR rules, while also making it easier for companies to keep track of customer and staff movements.

The system helps businesses manage sanitisation, contact tracing, staff accountability, reporting, data storage and management to help keep the business environment safe for its staff and customers.

As people enter the business, their contact details are taken and securely stored in line with GDPR requirements. As they move through the building, their locations are monitored using the provided QR codes where necessary. The system also enables the tracking of the sanitisation of areas, such as desks or work stations, again through QR codes.

Contact details can be accessed only on request by the relevant authorities for tracing purposes and details, and are automatically deleted after the recommended 28 days.

The app was tested with businesses in Kerry, and more than 100,000 user interactions were tracked over the testing period.

The system was also used to trace contacts of a confirmed case that proved the efficacy of the system, after a staff member at one of the eight beta sites contracted the illness from outside the workplace.

More contacts

Using the CountMe system yielded 40 per cent more contacts than simply relying on the booking system alone, managing director Peter Dunlea said. The infection was ultimately contained, with no member of staff or the public testing positive for Covid-19 as a result of being a close contact.

“The reality check of these things is that this is serious and we all need to do our bit as best we can for it,” he said. “From our point of view, it’s going to be industry led.”

The product is being targeted at smaller scale businesses – hairdressers, barbers and salons around the country – along with offices . “The product is being offered at a value that’s very affordable for them,” Mr Dunlea said.

According to Mr Dunlea, he sees an ongoing market for an application such as CountMe.ie, as the system could be used from a hygiene management point of view, or used as a workflow tool to see who is carrying out different tasks and if there is something that needs to be addressed.

“We can see going forward it being a huge management tool,” he said. “Covid is getting the system in the door and providing something that is required at the moment. In current times everyone has a mobile phone or smartphone and knows how to use it, regardless of age. We’re just giving them a tool to enable them to run their businesses better.”