As the COVID-19 outbreak continues to escalate across the globe, concerns over its impact on humanity and its risk and effect on business is on everybody’s minds. While governments of affected countries are trying to arrest the spread, software development enterprises, both large and small, are providing new solutions by using the biggest weapon in their arsenal – technology.
While a majority of tools currently being developed are focused on tracking the spread of the virus, some have also developed chatbots, data visualisation software, AI-solutions, assistance apps and more to help users, healthcare workers and governments to get through these difficult times.
Among those developers on the frontlines is Innovaccer, a San Francisco-based healthcare technology company that leverages artificial intelligence and analytics to reduce manual overhead and automate routine workflows to facilitate greater patient-centered care. The company has launched a COVID-19 Management System — a robust, multi-platform and HIPAA compliant solution designed to easily manage and screen high volumes of patients.
Using Innovaccer’s solution, remote COVID-19 screening assessments can be easily carried out within minutes, as compared to an average of over 30 minutes. It also automates outreach of helpful guidelines to patients, auto-fills completion of CDC’s Person Under Investigation (PUI) form to reduce the clinician’s documentation burden, identifies high-risk patients and reports them to state agencies to administer necessary actions.
Currently, the solution is being leveraged by leading healthcare organisations and government agencies across the globe, including the Government of Goa and Pudduchery, Physicians of Southwest Washington (PSW), and Elevate Health, among others.
“When the COVID-19 pandemic struck the world, we started building solutions to help combat it with a small team of four associates, who were all working remotely. We worked non-stop for 50 hours and shipped the first version of their product for providers. It caught everyone’s attention and we suddenly had an organisation of 600 working 24X7 from their homes, striving to create a COVID-19 management system that gave our users a novel approach to fight the pandemic,” said Kanav Hasija, Co-founder and Chief Customer Officer at Innovaccer.
Within just three days of the launch of the app in partnership with the Government of Goa, over 25,000 citizens conducted self-evaluation of their vulnerability against the COVID-19 on the “Test Yourself Goa” app.
"The solution is also added with the feature of telemedicine which helps it in maximizing patient interactions through virtual and telecare and minimizes the risk of Coronavirus from spreading," Kanav added.
X-ray automation detects indications of COVID -19
Qure.ai – a healthcare AI startup – is also pulling out all stops to help healthcare workers by developing additional capabilities for their existing chest X-ray automation and interpretation solution – qXR.
qXR was built on data from more than 2.5 Million radiology scans to detect 19 abnormalities including Tuberculosis and nodes from chest X-rays. In the last month, the solution has been repurposed to interpret X-rays to detect findings indicative of COVID-19 and the extent to which the lungs have been affected by lesions.
This solution has dual advantages
- It can help triage patients who need to be tested further for COVID-19 using a RT-PCR test. As many nations are seeing a shortage of test kits, this Qure’s qXR can prioritize those who need to be tested and those who need to be self-isolated.
- By quantifying the extent of the lung infected, qXR can help objectively track disease progression, which can help measure patients’ response to different therapeutic approaches. This could help optimize treatment plans for patients at different stages of COVID-19, and potentially help in drug discovery.
“Chest X-rays are relatively cheap and easy to perform, but they’re difficult to interpret, with lots of inconsistency and variability. qXR serves as a radiology assistant to enable the fast and accurate detection of abnormalities and thus help highly-stressed, time-deprived doctors and radiologists to measure the rate at which COVID-19 is progressing. This will enable them to decide what treatments are to be administered and then monitor the effects of the therapy,” said Rohit Ghosh, Founding Member, Qure.ai.
“In the past weeks, we've deployed qXR in five countries across 30+ sites for COVID-19 progression monitoring,” he said.
Since the solutions’ live deployment across multiple locations globally, it is being used in active case finding in remote areas, progression monitoring of infected patients and has enabled 24*7 surveillance for non-COVID-19 related chest X-rays as well.
Additionally, Qure.ai has also developed an app-based solution, qSCOUT, for frontline health care providers to carry out contact tracing and remote triaging of COVID-19 patients. qSCOUT offers the smartphone-based registration of patients and their contacts to remote-monitoring using an integrated telehealth service. AI powered qScout can help the health system infrastructure to operate below peak capacity restraints and eventually enable countries to flatten the curve of COVID-19.
Leveraging AWS to fight the pandemic
While Qure.ai is leveraging AWS to scale its qXR solution to different geographies, Innovaccer’s COVID-19 Management System is also powered by AWS and is the backbone of the Data Activation Platform, Innovaccer’s proprietary solution.
The ecosystem for the COVID-19 Management System required reliability, data security, and stability at scale and services such as AWS Lambda, Amazon SNS, Amazon S3, Amazon API Gateway and AWS Key Management Service were crucial, said Kanav.
“We needed multiple services (Telehealth, Patient App APIs, Email Service, Chat/Notification Service, Provider App APIs, etc.) to perform at scale without having to worry about infrastructure and resource management. Hence we chose the serverless computing platform provided by AWS as it runs code in response to events and automatically manages the computing resources required by that code. This helped us to scale, relieving us of the hassle of self-managed servers and minimising the costs significantly,” he said adding that Innovaccer is a leader in the space of Healthcare IT, and the solution was put together in a quick span of time leveraging Serverless technologies from AWS.
The system scales automatically to user requests and ensures data security and privacy.”
Geo mobility intelligence to arrest spread
Among the many steps taken to combat the virus, enforcing social distancing has become one of the biggest ways to prevent the spread of the disease. This is where geo mobility data comes in handy to understand model population behaviour.
TruFactor, an intelligence-as-a-service platform (subsidiary of InMobi Group), provides access to mobile-first consumer intelligence for enterprises. TruFactor ingests, filters, processes and transforms over 100 TB of raw telco signals and core mobile SDK data into secure, ‘shovel ready’ and actionable intelligence for enterprises. The data is persistent, always-on, ‘phygital’ (physical and digital), and covers a panel of 40Mn+ in the US.
TruFactor’s IntraCounty and InterCounty Geographic Mobility Intelligence provides a national and regional understanding of population mobility, both within and across counties across the United States while maintaining individual privacy. This intelligence enables researchers, public officials and private enterprises to understand how population-level behavior is changing due to COVID-19 and ensure the appropriate national, state and local response ensues.
The company has listed these datasets on AWS Data Exchange. Any AWS customer can browse and find the intelligence, subscribe and access the data directly in their S3 bucket. According to Vivek Iyer, Vice President of Strategic Partnerships at TruFactor, this intelligence is being used by policy analysts, researchers and universities, to understand the adherence to and impact of Stay-at-Home directives and model potential spread of the outbreak overtime. For all such not-for-profit use cases, these intelligence sets will be made available for free.
Vivek says there has been a 25 percent increase in requests for the data since the COVID-19 outbreak, especially from universities and companies in the policy-making, retail and financial services space. Besides the intra and inter-county mobility data, TruFactor has several other mobility related intelligence such as Visits to key PoIs and mobility across millions of Routes across the United States.
“Alternative data has a key role to play as we come to terms with the impact of this pandemic. Besides modelling the outbreak, it will likely be a key input while determining calibrated policy actions as the economy reopens. In the private sector, our retail customers are using this intelligence to model changes in customer behaviour and predict the new normal post COVID-19 - which has a bearing on business strategy.” said Vivek.
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