by John R. Fischer
, Senior Reporter | March 26, 2020
Mayo Clinic, Intermountain Healthcare and Amazon Web Services are among a number of organizations taking part in the COVID-19 Healthcare Coalition, a private-industry collaborative group formed to support healthcare delivery and protect U.S. populations throughout the coronavirus pandemic.
The group aims to provide insights and real-time learning to support healthcare systems in their decisions around patient care and treatment, as well as workflow. It also seeks to increase testing and help ensure early detection and treatment for patients who test positive for the virus.
"Applying real-time data analytics and best practice guidance to a pandemic can flatten the curve of infection and change its course, as seen with Ebola and H1N1," said Dr. Jay Schnitzer, chief technology and medical officer of MITRE — an industry partner in the coalition — in a statement. "The business and research communities have mobilized to address COVID-19 and give this data analysis to the healthcare system leaders and public health officials to make evidence-based decisions that can save lives."
Mayo Clinic formed the coalition with Leavitt Partners and several Massachusetts Institute of Technology faculty leaders. MITRA was asked to coordinate the private sector response and serve as an independent party to facilitate communication and aggregate de-identified data, including clinical insights and resource requirements such as beds and ventilators. It also coordinates responses across member organizations.
Other partners include, but are not limited to, Arcadia.io, athenahealth, Buoy Health, the CommonWell Health Alliance, Epic, HCA Healthcare, Intermountain Healthcare, LabCorp, MassChallenge, Microsoft, Rush University System for Health, Salesforce, University of California Healthcare System and Walgreens.
The coalition seeks to gain an understanding of the effectiveness of community mitigation efforts through social distancing to help slow the spread of COVID-19 and reduce the burden on healthcare delivery. It also is working to ensure people at risk of COVID-19 exposure receive necessary diagnostic testing, and to help virtual and physical healthcare delivery systems make informed decisions regarding staffing, space and supply chain needs.
It believes the resources provided by its members will not only help providers but also federal, state and local government efforts to contain and reduce the spread of the virus.
"The power of convening enables collaboration in ways that ensure the whole is greater than the sum of their parts," said Dr. John Halamka, president of Mayo Clinic Platform, in a statement. "In the past 24 hours I've seen the best of humanity coming from the coalition."
The coalition is open to private-industry companies, including healthcare organizations, technology firms, nonprofits, academia, and startups. Joining requires abiding by the following principles:
- Everyone participates for the benefit of the country only — no preferential advantage to any one organization.
- Everyone cooperates and openly shares their plans.
- Nobody will get paid for coalition work — without exception.
- Everyone brings their own resources — no money is exchanged.
- Verbal agreements will suffice to get the coalition started.
- Agree to these terms and conditions and you are in.