Unifying Three Technologies in One App – EY’s Webinar Summary Featuring Forkbeard’s back@work App

In case you have missed this exciting webinar from a couple of weeks back, where we joined EY to talk about the comprehensive solution for a safe return to work during the Covid-19 pandemic, here is a glimpse of key discussion points featuring the back@work app, which is equipped with Forkbeard’s contact tracing technology and SAP Qualtrics surveys.

This interactive webinar focused on the back@work app functionalities and discussed the immediate priorities for a safe physical transition of the workforce – Plan, Profile and Protect.


  • Understanding the need for a comprehensive solution for a safe physical return of workforce
  • The significant role of Forkbeard’s contact tracing technology
  • Power of SAP Qualtrics surveys
  • Showcasing how the three technologies work together in one app
  • Privacy and data security at the core of the design
  • The implementation process, pilot customers and cost to the end-user
  • Opportunity to participate in the trial period offering of the App
  • Complimentary 30 min session with the product team for a deeper dive

Why there is a need for another contract tracing technology

There are major limitations and privacy-related challenges associated with currently available contact tracing solutions. There was a need to explore advanced privacy and integration features for the back@work solution without relying on Google/Apple SDK.

Google/Apple also came up with a commendable solution, but it has few limitations-

  • They have a very customer-focused solution that does not provide information to any central authority to check the spread
  • Allows self-declaration by users
  • It does not offer an accurate location while tracing within a building (such as assembly line or elevator or stairs etc.) for cleaning and sanitizing purposes in case of an event

Forkbeard is known for its unique and proprietary ultrasound-based indoor positioning technology which can deliver centimeter-level location accuracy with sub-second latency.

Unlike other solutions, this app works efficiently even when the phone is not in use if the tracing feature is kept on. Forkbeard has also added new ‘Bluetooth tags’ capability to the back@work contact tracing solution, to cover places where phones are not allowed due to security reasons.

Individuals can use Bluetooth tags in addition to or instead of smartphones to accurately log inter-person contacts. These low-cost tags offer more than 30-days of battery life and require no additional infrastructure.

Forkbeard’s solution will help organizations to get their employees back to work, using phone proximity solutions to monitor employees’ health and safety.

How these technologies came together?

Forkbeard’s successful previous experience in contact tracing in the healthcare sector for the APAC region during the Swine Flu epidemic gave relevant insights and background tech for Covid-19 contact tracing.

EY and SAP Qualtrics came together for a strategic collaboration when Covid-19 hit Europe, as there was a lack of infrastructure, and business leaders didn’t have much experience in pandemic management. Together, they rolled out several solutions in 90 countries for six months as a pro bono service.

back@work allows reactive contact tracing but can also be used effectively for proactive contact tracing. The bi-directional exchange of data makes it a powerful tool in the current pandemic situation.

Using analytics, customers can determine event location, time, and nature of an event and can communicate with potentially affected/exposed people.

User privacy and Data Security

The app uses the information to trace the users and does not track them. The solution is created with technology and privacy at the core of the design. It aims to create a safe work environment, offering multiple checkpoints with surveys for relevant insights to monitor the spread of the disease.

Forkbeard CTO, Wilfred Booij explained how the app has been designed using a secure architecture and state of the art encryption technology to keep user-data secure.

Personal identifiers, contact history, and survey results are saved on different cloud solutions to generate randomized IDs for each user which gets updated every half hour.

These IDs are non-traceable and can only be used to connect with a user in case of an event (tested positive for Covid-19). Survey results are stored using SAP Qualtrics solution which has been in the market for over a decade.

“Separating user IDs from the device IDs has been Forkbeard’s approach to the design and implementation process.”

How can users activate the back@work app?

After downloading the app, users can use the organization name or scan the QR code using a phone camera to start the configuration process designed for that specific company. Next steps include –

  • User identification with minimum user information, such as company and employee ID.
  • Surveys gather initial user health information
  • Tracing and analysis

“This solution is also helping to combat the new normal as much to keep the old normal.”

The panellists also answered audience questions regarding the availability of the solution in the market, implementation cost, third-party security testing, pricing model and data security.

The cost of the solution has been kept as low as possible to support organizations and keep individuals safe during Covid-19. Forkbeard, SAP Qualtrics and EY have worked together to make this a priority project and have already made this solution available for their clients.

If you are interested in the pilot back@work app with a trial offering period, connect with us here.

Want to listen to the complete conversation, register for free here.


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