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How this company is helping employers tackle the spread of COVID-19

As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to climb in the U.S., many firms are making great strides in the development of technology used to screen patients and minimize the danger, risk and spread of the virus. Kogniz CEO Daniel Putterman joins The Final Round panel breaks down how his company is making a splash within the space.

Video Transcript

MYLES UDLAND: Well, we're talking here about all the companies that are benefiting from this stay-at-home [INAUDIBLE], but eventually I think many of us hope that we will return to the office, return to public places. And as part of that, as many of us know, there's going to be health screenings. There's going to be a different experience when we do venture out into the world, and one of the companies working to help make this world a safer place is Kogniz.

And Daniel Putterman is the company's CEO, and he joins us now to talk a bit more, Daniel, about what you guys are doing. And just, I guess, my understanding is it's basically this is the infrared fever check that I am expecting to go through when our offices eventually open, and-- and I would imagine this has changed a lot about how-- how your company's ambitions have sort of been-- been charted here over the last couple months.

DANIEL PUTTERMAN: Yeah, thanks for having me. It's-- It's definitely an exciting time to-- to be in this-- this field, both in terms of a fast-growing business and also being able to help people. We've taken a very Silicon Valley approach to what we're doing in that we're applying artificial intelligence to specialized sensors, one of those you mentioned is a camera, to address various issues related to the pandemic.

MYLES UDLAND: And I guess, Danny, when you think about where you were headed maybe seven months ago, how much has that changed, you know, your-- your business's ambitions, your products, your-- kind of how you're thinking about the trajectory of a company that offers what I guess amounts to sort of health surveillance for employers? I mean, this was a growing field, I think, before the pandemic. But obviously, this is a-- a step change that-- that I don't think there's a coming back from.

DANIEL PUTTERMAN: Yeah, I haven't heard the term "health surveillance," but I-- but I think it's really appropriate. And, you know, we-- when we started the business three years ago, we-- we built software to look over video and help to make sense of it to bring proactive information to security personnel. And we're doing that, but now we've added in EHS as well.

So we're bringing in that health data, and that's anything from, you know, a single platform to do real-time continuous temperature screening, contact tracing, social distancing, and other capabilities. It's really a-- a retooling with automation, and it's been-- it's been an incredible time. We've added-- over the last three months, we've added 65 more people to the company. We-- month two of launch, we became profitable and have been growing ever since then. So it's been-- it's been an astonishing time for-- for starting a company like this.

SEANA SMITH: Dan, demand for your business has clearly skyrocketed over the last several months. But when you think about how you're strategizing this and your growth moving forward, how much of this do you think is permanent? Saying-- how much do you think companies will be placing an emphasis on this, say, three to five years down the line?

DANIEL PUTTERMAN: Yeah, well, I guess, you know, the way I think of it is, let-- let's think of office buildings after 9/11. I mean, we put in turnstiles. We put in new-- new degrees of visitor management, and we would never consider taking it out. In most Asian company-- countries after-- after SARS, they began taking temperature. They've never stopped. So a question that I would ask people is, why would we ever stop? Why would we ever start letting sick people into a facility again, whether it's COVID-19, the next flu, or the next pandemic?

MYLES UDLAND: And then, Dan, I-- I guess finally, you know, you're-- you're looking at this on the business side. I mean, you're thinking about how can you help a company kind of put these things in place. But I imagine a lot of employees might feel uncomfortable about having this kind of data out there. And as you think about, you know, data security, is that-- I mean, where does that rank, I guess, in sort of your priorities right now? Because I think there's-- there's a segment of the population that is worried that this is just kind of creeping surveillance and all of a sudden it's going to be "Minority Report," right?

DANIEL PUTTERMAN: That-- that's right. You know, part of the design-- the platform design is a privacy first design, and it lets companies not only adjust protocols, but also communicate those protocols to employees. So the idea is that you walk into a building and you're feeling safer rather than having your-- your data exploited. And we've been extremely careful about that not only in terms of-- of policy, but also just the features that we revealed.

MYLES UDLAND: All right, Daniel Putterman is the CEO of Kogniz. Dan, thanks for joining the program. Really interesting stuff. We'll be in touch.

DANIEL PUTTERMAN: Thank you so much.