Healthcare IT’s Urgent Response to COVID-19

by Scott Whyte
Advisory Board Member

In the battle against COVID-19, we’ve seen photos of the incredibly heroic nurses and doctors working on the front lines to save lives and stop the spread of the Coronavirus. Our debt of gratitude to them can never be repaid. There is, however, another frontline in this battle that you may not see: Healthcare IT.

This group of dedicated software engineers, architects, chief technology officers, chief information officers, and security and compliance officers and more have rallied to bring innovations to the market in record time to arm our providers, life science organizations, and payers with what they need to serve those affected by this pandemic.

I am going to share three stories of this inspiring healthcare IT work in the fight against COVID-19 – three of many stories in the last sixty days. We are honored to partner with these technologists who are often working around the clock to speed solutions, diagnostics, and communications to a population pummeled by COVID-19.

Payer Seeks Faster Interaction with Members

As COVID-19 made its mark in the U.S., one of our large payer customers reached out with a pressing need to provide their members with telehealth responsive concierge service to educate and address an onslaught of member questions. Their team wanted to respond urgently to member needs with a chat bot that could answer questions such as ‘what is coronavirus,’ ‘what are the symptoms,’ and ‘what do I do if I have symptoms’ as well as be able to quickly and efficiently direct members to nearby clinics and resources, and understand how their plan can address those needs. The chatbot, like all chatbots in healthcare, has to be configured carefully as it would be transmitting PHI (protected health information) and sensitive personal data. Their team reached out to ClearDATA to assist with configuring the services needed to create this chatbot to handle PHI in the Microsoft Azure cloud. Within a week of their request, the organization was able to push the chatbot live, and inform their members of this valuable service the following week.  The chatbot not only provides better service to their members but it also relieves pressure on stressed call centers. The cloud enables this organization to scale rapidly and use cloud native services without putting their organization at risk.

Healthcare IT Scales Coronavirus Testing Efforts

This prominent venture-backed health team recently partnered with ClearDATA to leverage our secure environment to quickly add physician office COVID-19 testing to their consumer home testing. They are working hard to fight COVID-19 and the specific problem of the shortage tests available in the market. Because they work within a secure cloud environment, they are able to scale up their compute power quickly and cost effectively to meet market demand of patient COVID-19 testing in the physician clinic setting.

Fast Cloud Migration to Scale App in Coronavirus Detection

This U.S.-based lab has worked with China and South Korea to provide diagnostic capabilities; however, seeing the rapid spread of the Coronavirus in the first quarter of 2020, they realized their application needed to scale significantly to meet demand for their testing. As the disease began to spread rapidly in the US while testing became more and more scarce, they realized they needed an end-to-end, 100% digital and cloud-based solution to scale to meet capacity projections. They looked to ClearDATA for our healthcare cloud expertise to move their existing diagnostic testing application into the cloud. Together, we succeeded in architecting, building, and standing up their secure cloud environment in one week. Their goal is to provide thousands of test results for COVID-19 in a 24-hour turn around period. And, if a patient tests positive for COVID-19, they want that sample to be assessed for more than two dozen pathogens, plus antibiotic resistant genes, in another 24 hour period. The result will be faster care, the right diagnosis, and better patient outcomes.

These stories of healthcare IT aiding in the fight against COVID-19 inspired me, and I hope they do for you as well. They are just three from many more in the past couple months as our team works alongside customers who are working to combat the spread of this virus. When moving quickly to implement digital technologies or diagnostics, it’s imperative to think from the beginning about privacy, security and compliance. We’re glad we are able to provide that lens and that foundation so these customers could focus 100% on their apps and speeding these solutions to patients and markets in need.

To learn more about how we are helping our customers across Provider, Payer, Pharma, Life Sciences and Healthcare IT address COVID-19 challenges, visit our COVID-19 Resources Center.

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