As featured in NZ Business, Wednesday 11th May 2022.
New software developed in Australia aims to give New Zealand businesses confidence that their Covid-19 testing programmes are keeping employees safe while reducing the risks of disruption.
“The rampant spread of Omicron, and risk of further variants is putting pressure on businesses to strengthen surveillance testing of their workforce,” says Graham Gordon, CEO of medical technology company Gardian.(link is external)
“The Gardian Test Tracker solution and Self Check app provide a business peace of mind that they are staying on top of the problem and can keep operating.
“We’ve seen this in Australia, and now in New Zealand – as Omicron spreads, the threats to businesses and staff are growing significantly,” says Gordon. “It’s why ABC was an early adopter of our solution - helping to keep multiple studios, film crews, news and camera teams operational and safe during the pandemic.
“Good businesses do all they can to look after the health and wellbeing of their employees and the Test Tracker solution gives them the confidence that they are not only regularly checking the COVID status of staff, but also ensuring they don’t come to work with the virus,” he explains.
“The last thing a business needs is to be forced by employee shortages to close all or part of the operation, disrupting deliveries and services to customers and damaging relationships – which is why implementing the right surveillance testing programme is critical from a business continuity point-of-view.
“We know a lot of businesses in New Zealand are testing workers on arrival, which carries with it a significant risk of the virus entering the workplace. And relying on workers to use rapid antigen tests regularly at home is not robust enough given the risks around reporting,” says Gordon.
“Repeatable, self-managed Covid-19 testing and reporting via the secure software we have developed is a proven, effective way of monitoring the health of workers and keeping the virus at bay.”
How Gardian Test Tracker works
The Gardian Self Check app and Test Tracker management software allows staff to test at home, record that result and share the data with their manager before going into work.
Users take a rapid antigen test and then record the result via the Self Check app which operates on a cloud-based platform. The app provides step-by-step instructions to ensure the test is done correctly and that the result is recorded securely.
This generates a digital test result certificate, which can also display the unique batch number of the test. The test result may then be shared with the employer or even their doctor, or a public venue.
For an employer, the data is uploaded via Gardian’s secure Test Tracker software allowing a business to build a consistent set of data tracking the Covid status of all employees.
“It is the only way to effectively slow the spread of the virus and maintain a Covid-free work environment,” said Gordon. “The software also ensures the records of employees are secure and remain private to the individual and employer.”
Success in Australia
The solution has proven successful across multiple businesses in Australia where continuity of service is critical. Key clients include national broadcaster ABC, courier company Allied Express, the Victorian International Container Terminal, the Department of Community and Justice in New South Wales, and a host of clients in the aged care and disability sectors.
“We are all moving to a new normal and learning to live with COVID-19 which is going to be with us for some time yet, so businesses should be investing in the technology, which is going to allow them to operate effectively, look after the health and wellbeing of their staff and stay open in a Covid world,” says Gordon.
Gardian(link is external) has also applied for Ministry of Health approval of its T3 saliva rapid antigen test. This is a faster and effective alternative to rapid antigen tests which rely on nasal swabs. Regular use of nasal swabs can result in some people suffering “nasal fatigue” and saliva testing avoids that.