Thursday, May 21, 2020

Remaining Nimble in the Uncertain COVID-19 Era

Priya AbaniCEO, AliveCor


In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, our team will be interviewing experts from across the ecosystem to bring the HLTH community timely facts and updates.

The ongoing health crisis has heightened the importance of our mission at AliveCor to deliver accessible personal ECG technology to those who need it most. People with chronic conditions are more likely to develop severe symptoms if they are diagnosed with COVID-19. Throughout the pandemic, this demographic has faced more health challenges than ever. Some are in the hospital being treated for coronavirus, while others are learning to navigate telemedicine in order to stay on top of their heart health.

As business leaders in healthcare, it’s crucial during this time that we remain focused on providing care to those who are most vulnerable—remotely or otherwise. As the pandemic hit, our team at AliveCor knew that we had to come together and shift our approach in order to provide critical care for those in need right now. Whether it was something simple, like adjusting our logistics to ensure we had the necessary supply of devices, or something more complex, like building entirely new workflows to support the implementation of our devices by front-line care providers, we had to be both flexible and quick to respond. While learning to navigate this surreal state of the world can be daunting, I’ve learned from prior recessions that these difficulties are less overwhelming when you hone in your efforts and outline a roadmap to anchor your team.

Accept the challenge and adapt. What was once planned the day before can shift overnight in a recession. That state of flux is not something we have control over, but we can control how we respond. Recently, the FDA issued guidance to expand the availability and use of remote patient monitoring in the wake of COVID-19. For AliveCor, that meant initiating a rapid and nimble response to further expand our offerings, while remaining steadfast in our commitment to our core demographic. Almost overnight, we adapted our workflow to offer a service to healthcare professionals that measures the QTc interval in COVID-19 patients using data from KardiaMobile 6L, our six-lead personal ECG. The QTc measurement is a critical piece of heart rhythm data that can be used to help identify negative side effects of medications being used to treat the virus, such as hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin. This service, offered for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency, provides our already strained healthcare system with resources to effectively manage patient care.

  • Remember, we’re in this together. Across the healthcare industry we’ve seen the FDA, as well as the private and public sectors, come together to address the pandemic head on. Like Alphabet’s Verily, which launched a website that identified testing areas, and Facebook, Apple, and Google using their data to help identify outbreaks. Or our team at AliveCor, who has expanded strategic partnerships with global healthcare leaders—such as OMRON, Medable, and ERT—to improve access to remote care for patients and to assist the continuation of important clinical trials. These collaborative efforts are crucial to ensure that we’re not only addressing the COVID-19 crisis directly, but also leveraging each other's strengths to improve business strategies and ultimately assisting our customers, patients, and healthcare professionals alike.
  • Remain focused on the goal. Our mission at AliveCor has always been to provide life-saving cardiological services to those who need it most—and that’s something we won’t budge on. While our approach and strategies to fulfill this vision may have evolved because of the pandemic, we remain committed to our mission in everything we do. As we increased the presence of KardiaMobile 6L in hospitals to help fight COVID-19, we equally expedited enhancements to our enterprise platform, making it even more valuable for healthcare providers. Our team also continues to progress the new services and product offerings planned for this year, which will provide people with a way to monitor heart health like never before.

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced us all to recognize a new normal that will significantly alter how we do business, provide and receive healthcare, interact with each other, and more. But by accepting the challenge, working together, and keeping our focus, we can learn to shift and evolve with the changes coming not only during the pandemic, but beyond it as well.

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