A few months ago, access to COVID-19 testing was a national crisis. Physicians couldn’t get test kits. Patients were turned away. Only through a coordinated effort between government, diagnostic vendors, and providers could we get to where we are today. Tests are readily available, providers are prepared, and there is no cost to patients thanks to the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.
We’ve been longtime partners of LabCorp, Quest, and 100+ other labs, making ordering and resulting possible through a FHIR-based API that digital health developers can embed into their own products. Since the virus began spreading in the US in February, we’ve been supporting our digital health clients in their sprints to help their provider users treat COVID-19. Many of our clients, like Heal, K Health, and DrChrono, rely on our APIs to get lab data directly in their applications. This allows their provider users to order from a vast network of labs, avoid paper-based ordering workflows, and get results back more quickly. It also allows developers to avoid complex integrations with labs, and instead focus on building a spectacular experience for their users.
This week, we crossed a meaningful milestone. Our clients have used our API to process over 12,000 COVID-19 test results. COVID-19 testing has become a significant share of our total lab volume in the past 2 months, and we’re pleased to see increased access to testing across our customer base.
We wanted to share some highlights on the data that our customers have generated through our API in the hopes that it might be helpful for researchers or public health officials.
- 12,506 COVID-19 test results processed via API (as of May 28)
- Additional 1,339 COVID-19 order transactions via API
- 28% of COVID-19 API transactions involved LabCorp, Quest, or BioReference
- 7.5% positivity rate
As the curve flattens, we expect positivity rates to decrease and test volumes to decelerate. However, until a vaccine is available, we believe all telemedicine companies should offer electronic COVID-19 test ordering and resulting in their products. This has become an essential clinical workflow for any patient presenting with COVID-19 symptoms. One of our clients has actually automated test ordering using our API, so when a patient reports certain symptoms in their app, a lab order is automatically triggered. Our customers are on the cutting edge of making high-quality care both efficient and scalable.
A few weeks ago, Duke University’s Margolis Center for Health Policy published a report about the need for better reporting between labs and public health agencies. Up to 50% of lab reports submitted to local and state departments of health lacked the patient’s home address and zip code. For COVID-19, this creates challenges for government organizations to conduct basic epidemiological research on the virus. Electronic lab reporting (ELR) must include a complete set of clinical and demographic data, empowering public health programs to make recommendations to the public based on real world data. With our deep roots in the diagnostic market and our clinical data network, we are collaborating with state agencies and lab vendors to address ELR pain points.
As we have seen over the past few months, diagnostics play a vital role across the healthcare ecosystem. Especially in telemedicine, providers must rely on labs or imaging to truly understand what’s going on with their patient. The electronic and secure transmission of this data becomes a critical function. Throughout the crisis, we’ve seen demand increase significantly among developers and government organizations, and we’re thrilled that our APIs have become a fundamental part of our customers’ product development toolkit. If you’d like to review our code or learn more about our APIs, visit developer.healthgorilla.com.