BroadReach COVID-19 app reaches 1.3m screenings

Sibahle Malinga
By Sibahle Malinga, ITWeb senior news journalist.
Johannesburg, 01 Jun 2020

The coronavirus (COVID-19) community screening mobile app, BroadReach Vantage, has reached the milestone of over 1.3 million COVID-19 screenings in SA.

The cloud-enabled app was launched in April by health-tech solutions group, BroadReach Group, in collaboration with the provincial health departments of Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal.

It allows healthcare workers to capture screening and testing data and input the data to feed consolidated, real-time insights to the nerve centres in Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal – data labs built by BroadReach Healthcare.

Through the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and data analytics capabilities, the app also triggers contact tracing and hospital managers to prepare their facilities for potential COVID-19 patients, by predicting resource allocation needs such as ICU bed usage and critical stock-outs.

According to BroadReach, the tool plays an integral role in stopping the spread of COVID-19 through a data-led approach that promotes a virtuous cycle of mass screening and testing, treatment and contact tracing, and hospital and facility readiness.

SA has, of this morning, recorded 32 683 cases, with 16 803 recoveries and 683 deaths.

As SA enters level three lockdown today, over eight million South Africans will be returning to work, with BroadReach saying it expects increased targeted testing and screenings in communities, which is anticipated to result in a spike in the infection rate.

“The rapid spread of COVID-19 requires an urgent, coordinated approach to balance rising patient need for care and hospitals’ capacity to deliver it,” explains Dr Ernest Darkoh, BroadReach co-founder and public health expert.

“Understanding both patient demand and facility supply, from community screening, testing and contact tracing, to hospital and clinic readiness, stock management and workforce health is essential for leaders to direct action, distribute resources and save lives.That’s why we believe Vantage, our advanced analytics and AI-powered cloud platform, is useful.”

About 60 000 screenings are uploaded on the app daily − information which health managers can use to identify clusters and hotspots, notes BroadReach.

The BroadReach Group is a group of three distinct social-impact businesses established nearly two decades ago and spanning over 20 countries. The group has collaborated with governments, multinational health organisations, donors and private sector companies to support healthcare reform and solve some of the world’s biggest health challenges.

The app is part of a wider ecosystem of the Vantage Cloud Platform − a data analytics and population management platform that helps healthcare leaders drive efficiency and effectiveness into health systems.

The Vantage platform is underpinned by Microsoft’s suite of applications and is hosted on Microsoft Azure Cloud, which enables easy integration with a range of digital tools.

Vantage has also been used in KwaZulu-Natal in the fight against HIV, where it has helped the district of Ugu to reach the Nations Programme on HIV goals.

In Africa, Vantage has helped distribute malaria medication to over 21 million children, according to BroadReach Group.