Verily launches COVID-19 Pathfinder to automate frontline support for health systems and hospitals
Over the past few weeks, health systems and hospitals have come together to address the ongoing COVID-19 public health crisis with remarkable dedication and resilience. In this challenging time, communication and information sharing between organizations providing care and their communities is essential. However, the overwhelming demand for actionable, up-to-date information is creating an unprecedented strain on resources. Nurses and staff are managing a high volume of questions and concerns from their communities.
To help relieve the burden on care teams, Verily has launched COVID-19 Pathfinder-- a new set of tools that provide on-demand access to COVID-19 information directly from a hospital or health system website. San Joaquin General Hospital, Western Wisconsin Health, Morehouse School of Medicine and Morehouse Healthcare are already using Pathfinder to help guide their own communities to relevant information on the virus and local resources.
At San Joaquin General Hospital, our focus is on delivering the best care to our patients during this pandemic.
Tools like Verily Pathfinder help us communicate broadly with our community, and provide an easy, interactive way for our patients to get relevant and timely COVID-19 information at home.” – Rajat Simhan, Director-Provider Relations, Strategic Initiatives at San Joaquin General Hospital
Pathfinder currently includes a free embeddable screening tool and a programming template for virtual agents, such as chat and voice bots. Many of the COVID-19 questions asked by patients and community members can be addressed with the latest guidance from public health authorities, but information is often scattered and frequently changing. Our approach has been to centralize and update this information in dynamic tools, where individuals will be guided to the information most relevant to their questions and concerns.
For example, the Pathfinder screening tool enables patients to answer questions about their symptoms and/or health risk factors, then provides relevant information tailored to their responses. The Pathfinder virtual agent template, co-developed with Google Cloud, enables health systems or hospitals to program chat or voice bots to automatically answer questions about COVID-19. Working with Verily and Google Cloud, health systems can build these chat or voice bots, and easily integrate Pathfinder content across various platforms, such as web, phone and SMS. All Pathfinder content is sourced from public guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO), as well as other public health authorities, and curated and updated by Verily.
It is critical that innovative tools like the COVID-19 Pathfinder have a place in the pandemic response.
We’re partnering with community-based organizations, hospital systems and healthcare providers in our clinical settings to help provide underserved communities with access to digital tools like this to keep them informed and connected to resources.” – Valerie Montgomery Rice, MD, FACOG, President and Dean, Morehouse School of Medicine
The Verily Pathfinder screening tool has given us the opportunity to make accurate and relevant information about COVID-19 available to our community 24/7.
As the COVID-19 landscape continues to shift rapidly, tools like this enable us to adapt quickly and guide members of our community to make the best decisions about their care.” – Maggie Cogbill, Director of Community Relations at Western Wisconsin Health
Our interdisciplinary team spent a lot of time thinking about how best to apply core capabilities in engineering, analytics and clinical practice to helping care organizations urgently. We designed Pathfinder to be easy to implement, customizable and scalable, aiming to close the COVID-19 information gap as quickly as possible and enable hospitals and health systems to focus on delivering care. We’re continuing to work with our partners across the industry daily to understand their evolving needs and how we can continue to support our global community. Our team is hard at work expanding features and functionality to support more information sharing, symptom tracking and workforce management. Enabling our communities to return back to their daily lives in a healthy and safe manner is a top priority.