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March 12, 2020

COVID-19 & Digital Health

In this time of public health crisis, we each have a responsibility and commitment to do whatever we can to keep our communities safe. Though the risk of contracting Coronavirus anywhere in the U.S. is currently very low, the situation is evolving and there will certainly be more cases of infection. Our healthcare system partners are reporting increased demand for their services from patients concerned about the novel virus.

We at Bright.md are taking our individual and collective responsibilities to reduce the potential harm of this new virus very seriously.

As individuals, that starts with following prevention recommendations from the CDC, including making sure we are current on our flu shots, elevating our hygiene consciousness, and avoiding people who are sick. If an employee or family member does become ill, they are being asked to stay home. And, of course, we are encouraging employees take a SmartExam if they have flu-like symptoms, and to seek additional medical care as needed.

Our collective responsibilities to our healthcare system partners and the millions of patients they serve have led us to add COVID-19 screening within our virtual care application, SmartExam. Our rapid response team is committed to quickly implementing updates that reflect new CDC guidelines for the duration of the Coronavirus crisis.

We’re also working with our health systems partners to communicate with their patient populations the CDC’s recommendations to leverage telehealth to mitigate the spread of the virus. The ability to get care from home, including being screened for COVID-19, can not only pre-empt the possible spread of the virus but also reduce the impact this crisis will have on healthcare facilities and clinician resources.

The CDC is recommending the use of telehealth to help hospitals deal with the potential onslaught of patients presenting with Coronavirus. For hospitals that do not currently offer asynchronous telehealth, the negative impacts could be devastating, from quickly overwhelming their resources to leaving their communities unprotected. To help hospitals across the U.S. mitigate that threat, we are now offering a free COVID-19 screening, evaluation and escalation tool to any that need it.

Bright.md team members will work with hospitals to get the free COVID-19 tool up and running on their website within one week. Once the SmartExam-based tool is deployed, patients concerned they might have Coronavirus will be guided through a dynamically adaptive online interview about their symptoms and health history, as well as possible exposure to COVID-19. If a patient is identified as having a high-risk of Coronavirus infection, a clinician at the hospital will be notified and the patient will be directed to the most appropriate venue for care. Patients determined not to have a high risk of Coronavirus will receive instructions for at-home care.

Hospitals that deploy Bright.md’s free COVID-19 screening tool will see numerous benefits, including:

  • Keeping patients who should not be there out of ERs and clinics, saving clinic and clinician resources for high-acuity patients
  • Giving their communities peace of mind
  • Enabling them to engage with patients who need care
  • Directing patients to appropriate venues of care within their hospital

When it comes to these kinds of health threats, we’re all in this together and we each have a part to play. By offering this free product to hospitals, we at Bright.md are doing our part to keep patients and the hospitals that treat them healthy.

Ray Costantini, MD
Bright.md CEO and co-founder
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