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How PathSpot is curbing the spread of COVID with hand scanners

Christine Schindler, PathSpot CEO joins Yahoo Finance Live to break down how PathSpot’s light-based scanners detect contamination on hands and discuss the importance of preventing the spread of COVID-19 by practicing good hygiene.

Video Transcript

AKIKO FUJITA: And we've got a company here that has developed technology that can tell you just how effective it is. Let's bring in Christine Schindler. She's the CEO of PathSpot. Christine, it's good to talk to you today. Let's start with the actual technology here. I know you've teamed up with a number of companies, but what specifically does your technology detect in the context of this pandemic, and what can it do to curb the spread of the virus?

CHRISTINE SCHINDLER: So PathSpot is a system that protects companies from the threat of illnesses by encouraging this hand washing practice with our tool, which is essentially a kiosk-style device that mounts on the wall next to hand washing sinks. And we work with restaurants, schools, airports. And right after an employee washes their hands, they can put them underneath the unit, flip them over, and it uses a technology called visible light fluorescent spectral imaging to auto-fluoresce invisible contamination that you can't see with your human eye, but is the host vector that carries many harmful illnesses into these different forms and establishments.

And then we give a two second result. It pops right up on the screen and tells team members if they're all-clear, or if they need to re-wash and re-scan their hands before returning to work. We take all the data from those scans and we give it to management teams so that they can go online and see who's washing their hands, and when, and how effectively, and really use that information to inform a culture around safety and sanitation across the establishments that use our product.

- Yeah, Christine, I guess, you know, we've learned a lot about COVID-19 here, as Akiko was saying. And really, I guess the fears that it may have been spread by contact came down a bit as we learned more about it being through the air and how people are breathing here. But I assume that kind of this emphasis on cleanliness, whether it's COVID or other diseases out there, would stay pretty high when you think about other ways to measure it like you guys are offering here.

Surprised to see that 1500% increase this year in terms of people using your product here. What are the expectations that once we move past this pandemic, restaurants are still going to care about that when it comes to E. coli or some of these other things that could be spread by contact? Talk to me about that.

CHRISTINE SCHINDLER: So handwashing is the least expensive and most effective tool to stop the spread of illness, COVID-19 or otherwise, as the CDC has stated far prior to this pandemic. You know, this is a really useful way for us across the board to stop the spread of illness. I think what I'm seeing come out of the awareness surrounding this pandemic is people are more educated than ever before on the importance of hand washing and other hygiene and safety protocols and procedures. And I think that's here to stay.

You know, from an employee standpoint and a consumer standpoint, restaurants are telling me that they're looking for indicators of cleanliness across the establishment-- handwashing and beyond. And any tool that can help communicate that commitment to safety and that commitment to sanitation on their behalf is something that I think will be really valuable far beyond this pandemic. And my hope for this technology and other technologies like it that are being utilized during this time where safety is at the forefront of our commitment as a nation is that these will be tools that help prevent illness down the line and help prevent the spread of illnesses far beyond COVID-19.

AKIKO FUJITA: Christine, what are some of the companies that you've been working with? When you talk about some of this growth that you've seen, are there any names that you can put forward? And also, to your point, yes, there's much more awareness about health, but also wellness. And I wonder how you think this space that you're in is likely to grow beyond the pandemic-- not necessarily just your company numbers, but the way in which these companies think about the idea of health and wellness.

CHRISTINE SCHINDLER: So we work with brands across the food service and retail spectrum. And we have requests every single day from other verticals and expansions that are interested in working with us as well. Our primary market is in food, so we work with restaurants, packaging facilities, farms, cafeterias-- you know, really anywhere where food is handled, stored, or served-- and have expanded into airports and schools and office spaces and other avenues where there's also that desire for an increased commitment to handwashing, hygiene, and safety.

And I definitely see, across the board, brands are focused on what can we do to create the most safe environment. You know, you hear so many organizations stepping up and saying, our number one priority is going to be safety. You hear both employees and consumers alike reestablishing their commitment and their desire to work in a place that is utilizing technology to create the safest environment possible. And I've definitely seen, across the board, technologies emerging or continuing to grow and expand in this health and safety category in restaurants and beyond. And I think it's incredibly encouraging to see these brands really take that commitment so seriously and who want this to be something that, with this increased education, increases their commitment to safety far beyond the implementation of the vaccine that we were hearing about earlier, but to create a pathway to stop these illnesses and other illnesses in many years to come.

AKIKO FUJITA: Well, and also, to encourage employees to come back to the office when we are ready to do so, because there's no question-- and it's made a lot of questions-- about what's actually being done in the buildings they operate as they get back to work or hopefully get back to work several months from now. Christine Schindler, the CEO of PathSpot. It's good to talk to you today.