Indy tech firm Hc1 joins COVID-19 fight with real-time lab analytics tool

Indianapolis-based Hc1.com, which makes software that helps health care organizations interpret data to personalize care and control costs, has launched a real-time dashboard that displays lab testing insights to support leaders on the front lines fighting the spread of COVID-19.

Hc1 CEO Brad Bostic

“This is a game-changer in the way it’s able to bring in information that’s so current,” Hc1 CEO Brad Bostic told IBJ. “With a fast-moving, evolving virus like this, we need to see what’s happening today. This is the only service that is offering lab insights on a daily basis.”

Hc1 pulled together a nationwide coalition of more than 20,000 labs to make this possible. Hc1’s new dashboard reports testing rates, positive and negative test results and key demographic data such as age and gender down to the county and neighborhood level. And it’s doing all this days—or even weeks—faster than is currently being done, Hc1 officials said.

The Hc1 dashboard reports testing data the moment it’s reported, often two weeks before what is currently being done, Bostic said. Hc1’s dashboard can be a critical tool in predicting when the outbreak will surge, peak and begin to decline, he added.

“With the trend data, we can offer insights seven to 14 days ahead of when emergency rooms and intensive care units get bogged down,” Bostic said.

Those forecasts will come in days ahead of any other predictive software packages on the market, he added.

“The CV19Dashboard meets the critical need for public health officials and health care institutions to gain detailed insight into current lab testing trends,” said David Dexter, CEO of Tempe, Arizona-based Sonora Quest Laboratories, which is part of the coalition.

The CV19 Lab Testing Dashboard is available free to individuals directly involved with implementing policies and delivering care to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, including public health officials, government agencies, health care providers and researchers. Qualified individuals can request access at https://cv19dashboard.org.

“We do not profit from this in any way,” Bostic said. “We’re doing this because it’s the right thing to do. I would go so far as to say it’s our obligation.”

Hc1 started reaching out to key labs across the U.S. on March 9 about forming a data-generating coalition and debuted the new platform April 3. The platform was built on the backbone of Hc1’s existing system.

“This was developed in a very rapid time frame,” Bostic said. “We knew time was of the essence.”

Founded in 2011, Hc1 has long been a leader in providing health care analytics with its software pulling in more than 800 million medical laboratory results per month.

“When the coronavirus emerged, we realized we had the ability to bring together COVID-19 data,” Bostic said. “We take in billions of lab results, and we have the ability to organize it, analyze it and trend it, and that’s really important information in a situation like this. The geographic, gender, age and other data [Hc1’s dashboard] provides can help with the response to this fast-moving virus. This pandemic is putting a spotlight on how important [medical] lab data is.”

Hc1’s dashboard is pulling in data from close to half of all coronavirus testing labs in the U.S., which is more than enough to give it the ability to predict trends accurately—not only nationally, but regionally and locally as well, data experts said.

All trends in the dashboard are based on de-identified, aggregated data from thousands of testing sites, in accordance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (known as HIPAA) privacy requirements, Bostic noted.

“Labs are working around the clock to support surging COVID-19 testing demands in regional hot-spots, while public health professionals need a unified national view that spans thousands of locations and organizations,” Bostic said. “Hc1’s specialized focus on lab bioinformatics puts us in a unique position to deliver up-to-date national insight into the spread of COVID-19.”

“We feel strongly that the data being produced by [Hc1’s platform] can help form a response and mitigate the spread of this virus.”

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