Last year, as research pointed to smell loss as a primary symptom of early COVID-19 infection, a Dallas-based company started working on a screening tool to help businesses, schools and other organizations reduce their risk.
The SAFER Card™ was the result of a successful collaboration among experts. Entrepreneur and SAFER Diagnostics President and Co-founder Craig Tiritilli teamed up with Dallas physician Dr. Sarah Davis and H&H Graphics to create a high-quality screening test for anosmia or hyposmia: the loss, or impaired ability to smell, which research has shown to be a reliable indicator of COVID-19.
While the world pins its hopes on vaccines, eliminating the risk will take time and it will be critical to instill confidence in employees, students and customers that it is safe to return to the office, the classroom and everywhere else people need to go.
Easy-to-Use Smell Tests Provide Rapid Screening for COVID-19 Symptom
Dr. Davis, a family medicine specialist in private practice, said the idea for the SAFER Card came to her after her daughter contracted COVID-19 while working at a summer camp. She wanted to create a high-quality, low-cost and easy-to-use screening tool for smell loss, a symptom shown to be far more common in early cases of COVID infection than fever. Research suggests that as many as 30 percent of people infected with the virus never get a fever.
Her own daughter, Dr. Davis said, had a low fever for only a few hours. The loss of smell and taste, however, lasted two weeks. And in her own practice, Dr. Davis was noticing how often COVID-19 infection went hand in hand with smell loss. Once the medical parameters had been established, Tiritilli set out to research the best options for having the tests printed.
“I started doing research on printers and scented pieces, and scratch and sniff and eventually I found H&H,” he said. “One of the things that was great about them — there are some companies that want to take your order, fill it and move on. They are not particularly collaborative. (H&H Director) Michael (Thomas) was excellent in working with us (and) presenting options on how to fine tune.”
The card’s final design includes a unique QR code that brings an icon up on the user’s phone. A tap of the icon brings up the answer choices and lets the user know if they have correctly identified the scent. It’s a design that makes the test both easy and fool-proof. Screeners don’t know which scent is correct until the card is scanned.
Users also have the option of entering location data, giving colleges the ability to link potential outbreaks to a specific area of the campus. While regular COVID-19 testing has helped prevent the spread of the virus on many campuses, smell tests provide a low-cost screening tool that provides results in an instant.
High-Quality Scent Printing and Product Development Guidance
At H&H, decades of experience in both high-quality scent printing and product development have made us the partner of choice for projects like this one, where meticulous quality control and prototyping ensures a level of credibility that can be the difference between a product launch and a product fizzle.
So far, feedback for the SAFER card has been good. The cards are being used in schools, hotels and other businesses. Dr. Davis is using them in in her practice where patients seem to like them. “My patients bought cards and shared (the test) with family members,” Davis said. “People are doing their own screening at home.”
The key market however, will continue to be businesses looking for ways to make employees comfortable about returning to the office.
Early feedback from one Fort Worth corporation suggests that is a key driver, said Tiritilli. “They like using it to make their employees feel better,” he said. To learn more about the SAFER Card, visit the SAFER Diagnostics website here.
To learn more about how H&H works with entrepreneurs to help get innovative multisensory products to market, give us a call or click on the link below.