Humankind is finding themselves on a race against time as the medical science community across the globe is moving mountains to discover a cure for the COVID-19 pandemic. According to a recent study, an infected person could end up infecting 59,000 people in a snowball effect. With the stakes so high, it has become imperative to restrain the novel coronavirus with various micro as well as macro-level approaches. At the micro-level, the challenge is to ensure that infected individuals are promptly diagnosed and isolated. Whereas, at the macro level, the fluidity of the pandemic calls for a response plan that warrants constant adaptation, innovation, and communication.
Apprehending the situation, the state of Utah has been one of the first states in the U.S. that endorsed a contract tracing app to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Behind this initiative is the technological competencies of Healthy Together. Although the application was initially built to improve the mental health and wellbeing of the millennials and Generation Z, right now, it has given more speed and scale to help in curbing the spread of the pandemic at the micro and macro levels. Designed by the founders of Twenty TM, Healthy Together app is also enabling the citizens of Utah to assess symptoms on their own, locate testing centers and hotspots on the map, get access to the nearest testing resources, obtain their digital test results promptly, and utilize a Return-to-Work Daily Passport (free for businesses & colleges)Driven by such features, Healthy Together is currently the official platform for the state of Utah to communicate plans and guidelines to its citizens.
Healthy Together’s COVID-19 response technology helps in shortening the time gap between an early COVID-19 symptom, lab diagnosis, and the subsequent self- isolation, thereby slowing the spread of the virus and keeping the communities safe. Their efforts to bring technology to the forefront of the COVID-19 battle has been widely acknowledged by media and the White House as well. “ We are currently delivering over 1,000 real-time test results per day just in Utah, and over 1 million symptom checks have been performed. Healthy Together has been critical to helping residents know if they should be tested and delivering their COVID-19 test results hours and sometimes days before people hear from their testing provider,” says Jared Allgood, co-founder and chief strategy officer at Healthy Together.” However, Utah is not the only state that has leveraged the benefits of Healthy Together as a COVID-19 response effort.
Healthy Together has also created a contact tracing case management tool for the state of Florida. This tool guides the contact tracers through the process of taking a tracing interview. Users that have been tested positive can provide extensive information through it, regarding where they have been, who they have been in contact with, and any other additional contacts that may be needed for public health contact tracers. Information shared by the user is then automatically sent to the tracing investigators via Healthy Together’s securely hosted online portal. By enumerating the contacts and possible exposures made by an infected person, public health workers can quickly trace the spread and alert those who need to be tested. Notably, this whole system can be integrated with the Healthy Together app or can function independently.
Since launching the case management system in Florida, Healthy Together has allowed the Department’s contact tracers to scale up their efforts as they have already worked on over 100,000 contacts and positive cases. To further support and integrate with the state’s manual contact tracing efforts, the Healthy Together app is now launching for all of Florida’s residents and will offer these key features:
• Universal Test Delivery: Florida residents who take a COVID-19 test from any provider in the State will be able to receive their expedited test results directly through the Healthy Together app.
• Self-Serve Contact Tracing Interview: Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 will be prompted to take an in-app interview, which involves answering questions on their exposure history. This information will help further augment the efforts of public health contact tracers and can play a major role in slowing the spread of COVID-19.
• Real-Time Public Health Announcements: The Healthy Together app will serve as a notification center for state-wide updates and alerts from Public Health, including SMS alerts and automated notifications.
Interestingly, SMBs and large business organizations have also started to partner with Healthy Together—to comply with new health and safety regulations and to ensure a healthy work environment for their employees. By performing daily self-screening through Healthy Together’s easy check-up feature, an organization can deem whether an employee poses a risk or not. The app’s health passport feature allows employees to easily share their status—green (clear to work) or red (seek medical attention)—with their supervisors, thereby reducing potential risks and liabilities. For each organization, Healthy Together partners with health professionals to customize their CDC-based assessment to fit the needs of the organization. Organizations like Real Salt Lake, Hilton Hotels, Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, Traeger Grills, and many more have implemented the Healthy Together Daily Passport for symptom screening.
Furthermore, universities and other higher educational institutions are also coming forward now to avail Healthy Together’s health passport feature. A case in point is Brigham Young University; who has recently implemented the Healthy Together app to ensure the safety of its students and faculties.