Procuro launches Covid-19 health check app to support employees

Stephen Osman, head of client solutions EMEA at Procuro, talks to ThinkBusiness about the company’s new Covid-19 health check app. 

Tell me about Procuro and the management team

Our EMEA HQ is in Rosemount Business Park, D11 where we look after our large customer base in Ireland, UK and mainland Europe. Some of our clients are Kepak, Burger King, AGRO Foods, Meyer Logistics Germany and Moy Park Foods. Our CEO Vincent Gordon co-founded Procuro in 2001. Prior to starting Procuro, Mr Gordon held the position of senior vice president, Corporate Operations for SkyDesk, Inc. He has over 36 years’ experience in the information systems, telecommunications industry, start-up and early stage companies.

Mr Gordon joined the IBM Corp. (1978 – 1990) where he held various management positions in IS and telecom marketing working closely with IBM/ROLM, MCI Communications and some of IBM’s largest telecommunications customers.

Conor Cleary is our EMEA MD and I am head of client solutions EMEA, and between us we promote our Procuro cold chain management software and the Procuro software modules under the brand name PIMM. Paddy Roche, Finbarr Kennelly and Sharon Yan support our EMEA clients.

What is the problem you are trying to solve and the size of the market you are addressing?

Procuros’ health check app came about when Vincent Gordon wanted a process that would allow Procuro staff to return to working at our offices safely. We saw huge potential for this as a standalone app for offices, shops, airports, hairdressers, etc. to help give people confidence in moving freely and also as an add-on module for our existing clients.

Our developers started the build in May 2020 and a rigorous testing procedure, to ensure it was easy to use, gave confidence to visitors and staff that there was a quality test procedure for Covid-19 in place. People’s confidence in travelling and working in offices has been damaged, we are trying to solve this problem and also prevent the spread of Covid-19. The market for our health check app is large and we have put some conservative targets together for 2021.

Ireland: Hotels; 820, Hospitals; 86, Airports; 5, Universities; 8

UK: Hotels; 9,900, Hospital; 1257, Airports; 40, Universities; 130

Germany: Hotels; 12,876, Hospitals; 2000, Airports; 36, Universities; 380

Netherlands: Hotels; 5,300, Hospitals; 549, Airports; 5, Universities; 54

“We saw huge potential for this as a standalone app for offices, shops, airports, hairdressers, etc. to help give people confidence in moving freely and also as an add-on module for our existing clients”

How does the app work?

Our core product is management software and verification for the food industry such as third-party logistics providers, food producers, fast food outlet’s, etc.

How the PIMM health check app works:

  • Employees details are pre-loaded into the application, visitors are added by staff or themselves
  • Employee or visitor arrives on site and signs in
  • They receive a temperate check via Bluetooth temperature probe
  • They then receive a blood oxygen level check and heart rate check
  • All details for the individual are then stored on the software
  • Reports and dashboard tools show immediately if any employees are displaying results that indicate they could be in the very early stages of Covid-19

What is an oximeter?

An oximeter transmits light from sensors on one side of the device through the index finger to sensors on the other side. In about five seconds, it calculates how much oxygen is being transported through the person’s bloodstream and displays the results as a percentage (abbreviated SpO₂).

A reading of 95 per cent or lower means the body is fighting a respiratory illness, such as Covid-19. The individual should then be isolated and medical attention sought for them

Oximeters & Covid-19

Pulse oximeters are usually purchased for home use by people who want or need to monitor their oxygen supply, including patients with chronic lung conditions such as COPD, performance athletes or people living at high altitude.

However, this technology can be used by any individuals to detect the early stages of Covid-19, by daily monitoring of their blood oxygen levels (Sp02). Our PIMM health check app and hardware enables businesses to monitor their staff readings, and produce live reporting tools that instantly detect if an employee could have Covid-19.

“A reading of 95 per cent or lower means the body is fighting a respiratory illness, such as Covid-19”

What has it been like launching this during lockdown?

We have found this period tough as we lost one of our key clients and another has stopped using one of our products. Luckily, we have gained two new clients and have a number of trials out with potential clients. The Government supports have been brilliant and allowed us to keep all of our staff members.

What are your growth plans?

We are set to grow our UK, Spanish and Portuguese customer base by 50 per cent due to some recent and upcoming product launches.

These are:

  • Health check app for Covid-19 symptom scanning and reporting, launched in first week of October 2020
  • PIMM Tag which is our new budget data logger for temperature and location tracking running on our PIMM reporting system
  • PIMM TMS, this is our transport management system 4.0 with the launch due in December 2020
  • Our existing clients are continuing to embrace technology as this provides an advantage over their competitors when pitching for large contracts.

Were there any mistakes made in building/launching the app?

Our development team needed additional time to add features that other Covid-19 symptom scanning devices did not have, this resulted in a delay in its launch. A number of businesses have already implemented various temperature scanning devices so are reluctant to upgrade to our solution. This delay was needed to ensure our health check app had features others don’t and has the ability to scan for future viruses.

“Our PIMM health check app and hardware enables businesses to monitor their staff readings, and produce live reporting tools that instantly detect if an employee could have Covid-19”

Is there anything you’d do differently?

Not really – maybe we should have launched a basic health check app and launched the update when that was complete. This would have allowed us to help businesses from April 2020 on, but our development team believed the best option was to launch the app in October 2020 with all features included.

What advice do you have for fellow founders?

I would say build great relationships with your customers and help them in any way possible to solve problems with their business operations, utilise your team members individual strengths, and finally, customers are the most important relationships we have so ensure they are made aware of that through the service you provide.

Interview by Stephen Larkin

Published: 28 October, 2020