SimplyCast, a Dartmouth-based automated marketing company, has launched a new solution to help businesses offer contact tracing services during the pandemic.

The company issued a statement last week saying the new mobile solution will help small and large businesses, as well as other organizations, register people who visit their premises using their cell phones. It is offering the service free to Canadian businesses for the rest of the year.

The goal is to improve the mission of tracing people who have had contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19. The cumbersome methods now used in contract tracing are one reason the virus can travel so quickly through society.

“Here in Canada, a second wave is happening and here at SimplyCast we’re doing our part to help mitigate the impact of COVID-19 through technology,” said SimplyCast President and CEO Saeed El-Darahali in a statement. “That is why SimplyCast is offering all Canadian organizations, businesses, and SMEs free access to the contactless COVID-19 patron check-in solution for the rest of 2020.”

With COVID-19 affecting communities around the globe, contact tracing has become paramount as public health agencies trace possible exposure risks. However, many organizations struggle to maintain accurate records while relying on manual, pen-and-paper options as there is no universal solution for patron check-ins. This increases the risk of human error as well as poses information security risks.

SimplyCast’s solution allows business to ensure accuracy of patron visits while also reducing workload on staff by automating the process.

Visitors to a business or organization can log their own visits by texting a keyword to a designated shortcode prior to entering the establishment. They then automatically receive a confirmation message.

Submissions are stored in a client relationship management file with the patron’s name, mobile number, and a timestamp of the visit. In the event of an exposure risk, records can be exported and shared with public health agencies as needed.

Earlier this month, SimplyCast said it was aiming to hire 100 interns in 2021 to help post-secondary students thrive during the pandemic.