While the global coronavirus pandemic has brought much of the world to a stand-still, one group is working at break-neck speed: first responders. From hospital staff to police officers and firefighters, these brave men and women are on the front lines giving everything they’ve got to save lives and keep the public safe. In order to be successful, they need to have up-to-the-minute information and the ability to quickly allocate resources where they are needed most.
So, when K2 was asked to develop applications that would aid in the effort, we were honored to take on the challenge. Developing apps to be used during the pandemic comes with two qualifications: speed and accuracy.
When lives are on the line, time is a luxury no one can afford. Likewise, the apps we were tasked with developing had key functionality requirements that had to be met. We’re proud to have completed the projects in record time, fulfilling all specifications.
A Police Department in Australia
A major police force came to us with the goal of providing over 6,000 personnel with a risk assessment application that could determine if an officer was ill and quickly get them the necessary Human Resource (HR) and medical support.
Essentially, the police organization needed to know the condition of every officer at every moment. Since police officers are consistently on the frontlines helping the citizens, each officer needed the ability to report if they were showing symptoms of COVID-19.
The reports would be flagged and sent to HR for assessment and guidance on how best to support the officer. Equally important, the app needed to provide transparency as well as a force-wide picture of who would be available for deployment at any point in time.
In less than a week, we had developed a prototype of an application for police officers to complete an online risk assessment for themselves or a colleague. Using the app, HR could streamline COVID-19 requests, assign medical attention when necessary, and have visibility into the impacts on specific branches.
The application went from concept to live in two weeks after K2 received the assignment.
After creating that app specifically for the Australian police service, we used the model to create a version of the app that can be used by other groups. We’re now making it available to other police and emergency organizations worldwide.
A National Health Care Services Organization in Europe
Because nonessential surgeries and most medical services unrelated to the pandemic have all been pushed to one side, many medical specialists and consultants are being redeployed. For example, doctors are becoming nurses and, in one highly publicized case, cleaners in their hospitals because they want to be on the front line.
In the case of the health care organization, the need to find a way to search, manage and allocate 20,000 personnel was paramount, as hospitals and medical facilities urgently worked to efficiently allocate much-needed resources based on skillset, availability, and location. In particular, medical personnel needed a way to register, and hospitals and general practitioners needed a way to submit requests for resources.
K2 developed a hub application for health care workers to register, and hospital administrators to share and redeploy staffing resources across all primary and secondary care organizations. Through the app, requests can be received, reviewed, and triaged so that the correct person with the needed skill set can be deployed as rapidly as possible.
It’s an extremely robust application that would normally take a significant amount of time and effort to fully develop and implement. We did it in seven days. It’s a remarkable achievement — not only from an IT point of view — but from an organizational perspective.
K2 worked closely with the health care organization’s IT infrastructure team and logistics to rapidly build and deploy the app. Based on the success we have seen with this European health care group, we’re making the generic version of the app available to other health care systems as they address the COVID-19 challenge.
The application went from concept to live in days versus weeks after K2 received the assignment.
A testing app in development
This first product has been so successful that the health care organization has asked us to do a second project. As testing becomes more and more important in the quest to open up parts of the economy and put people back to work, it’s imperative that tests can be allocated against the resources available as efficiently as possible.
We’ve developed and deployed an app that will allow any NHS resources to register and book a test for coronavirus. The app will direct the user to the correct facility and book the appointment. We are currently live in two major regions and again this app has been deployed in a week from conception to live in production.
I’m very proud of our teams on the ground who have worked late into the night and through the weekend, doing whatever it takes to help our clients to deliver these apps in record time. We strongly believe that we are all in this together and we want to do whatever we can, no matter how small, to contribute. It’s a philosophy that has strong support from our senior leadership team.
But as proud as we are of our work, we never forget that the real heroes of this pandemic are the people in the hospitals and on the front lines.
How can we help?
We’re here to help during this challenging time. We have put together a COVID-19 Resource Center which provides a number of available apps and tools for you to access.