- A letter from Elliot Okiwelu
One month ago I was introduced to a sales opportunity at a company by a friend and former colleague in my amazing network.
She knew I was open to opportunities and quickly sold me on the company in her excited and persuasive style. My friend had joined a few months prior and explained to me that the company had pivoted to manufacturing and selling an automated temperature screening device that had just hit the U.S. market and was in incredible demand.
(I later learned this was per the FDA’s guidance on telethermographic instruments being deployed for triage during the Covid-19 crisis as fever is a common symptom.)
Several conversations and 36 hours later, I joined the team at Richtech Systems.
For the last month, we have been working non-stop to fill the demand for this device, the Automated AI Temperature Screening System (AATSS).
Devices like this are the future and will become our new normal. The feedback we’re getting from the market on the product has been stellar and I am confident sharing what I’ve learned with my network in an effort to support all of you.
For the last 4 weeks, I have communicated with leaders from cities, counties, governmental agencies, the military, Fortune 500 companies, small, medium and large businesses, schools, hospitals, universities, religious organizations and more.
I’ve had conversations with some of the most amazing professionals across the United States tasked with figuring out how to help our country return to business in this new world where Covid-19 and other viruses are a worrying reality.
These leaders seek to protect their people and organizations and are working tirelessly to figure this out. Imagine knowing little to nothing about thermal imaging or temperature screening and being asked to go out, find answers and implement solutions that will impact everyone.
They are further being called to choose the right solution amidst the complexities of reopening deadlines, compliance regulations, potential liability issues, and opportunists promoting low quality products on the internet. Choosing the right guidance is key.
I’ve heard stories of employees dressed in full PPE taking their fellow employees’ temperatures, workers having temperature guns pointed at their heads, handheld thermometers being used, sanitized, and re-used, nurse practitioners being deployed and much more.
The general consensus from the folks in the field is that these practices are simply not practical, not efficient and definitely not scalable.
Perhaps most worrying is that some of these protocols are simply not reassuring to people who are frankly traumatized by what we’ve experienced as a nation.
If I’m returning to work already on edge and worried about my health, then the last thing I need is anxiety about the process by which my temperature will be taken when I get there.
I would want to know there is a solution in place that makes sense, works, is quick, easy, non-invasive and prevents sick people from spreading illness.
Of course, fever is but one symptom of illness and we know there are some among us who are asymptomatic, but it is a sensible first line of defense to prevent those with fevers from infecting others.
Let’s face it, the days of going to work sick are over - it is no longer socially acceptable.
Not sure why we needed Covid-19 to teach us this but I digress.
When the pandemic started a few months ago, I remember feeling like many others did, wanting to do something, help in some way.
I wasn’t really sure what to do or how to do it, but here I am today, directly engaged in helping my country get back to work sensibly and safely.
If your organization is also trying to figure out temperature screening processes and you’re interested in learning more about the AATSS, please reach out to me. I'd be happy to take a few minutes to connect or send over some resources to guide you.