On the podcast: Possibilities and limitations of digital contact tracing

Lee: Our analyst shares that optimistic outlook.

Kaia: Before coronavirus, we didn’t really realize there’s such a big need for contact tracing devices and software. And now it’s a very new segment that’s the less mature than many of the other segments within Health and Wellness. And every time we see a new segment pop up, there’s a lot of investor interest. Everyone’s trying to figure out who’s going to be the next big player. So I do foresee a lot of small series coming our way, especially for contact tracing devices aimed at enterprises and workplace solutions. However, over the mid- to long-term, I do think this contact tracing and return-to-work solutions will struggle once a [COVID-19] vaccine is developed. While these tracing applications can apply to common illnesses such as the flu, it isn’t clear that such precautionary measures are needed and consumer privacy concerns may dwarf enterprise tracking for common diseases. However, we do think certain industries may present more viable long-term markets, such as senior homes or prisons, where frequent contact with high-risk populations is more common. It’s also likely that automated temperature checks will gain popularity over daily self-assessment questionnaires as they are less subject to user judgment and honesty. And for enterprise-focused contact tracing solutions, I think integrating into workplace management is going to be really important. So having contact tracing solutions that may not be integrated into the typical health ecosystem, but instead integrated into workplace automation – that area could see a lot of growth. We also think that even though a substantial market for contact tracing may never fully materialize, we do think enterprises will invest in developing a disease prevention and response infrastructure, because if another pandemic like COVID was ever to occur in the future, they want to have the system in place.

Lee: Many of the current systems in place are fragmented and don’t really work together as well as they could; whether it’s government response and regulation, the health care industry or workplace environment, these areas need to be better bridged in order to help create healthier, safer ways of living. Let’s go back to Matt and Alex at Envoy to understand this a bit better.

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