By May 1st, over 30,000 healthcare professionals will be enrolled in emocha’s remote monitoring platform for Covid-19. This work has required a swift pivot from emocha’s work in medication adherence, demanding the scale-up of a new product to meet rapidly evolving health system needs. For the past two months, emocha’s team has worked around the clock, with a singular focus and with much at stake, to take a remote monitoring program from idea to deployment.
Product Manager Latoya Richards-Sturgis describes her team’s first reaction at being asked to assist with Covid-19 monitoring as elation, both at the opportunity to join the fight against the novel coronavirus and to develop a product that could serve existing emocha users as well. “With every piece of functionality we ask: how can this assist all users,” she says.
Richards-Sturgis and her team quickly began work on their first task, bulk enrollment—how to enroll more customers at one time than emocha ever had before. Using a .csv provided by the hospital, within one day, the system created bulk import, text messaging for download, and deactivation: scaling up every aspect of the enrollment process.
Developing an app that could monitor Covid-19 meant soliciting input from stakeholders ranging from hospitals to clinicians to the news. Richards-Sturgis describes her role as that of taking requests and turning them into reality. When meeting with customers, she says, “I gather the wishlists, the nice to have things, the need to have things, and go back to the tech team and monitor progress.” New releases for the app include a screen to input temperature, a crucial aspect of Covid-19 symptom monitoring. Other significant changes include new workflows to change passwords, in an effort to make emocha more intuitive to use for the thousands of healthcare professionals logging in.
In such a fast-moving environment, emocha has made challenging decisions about how to automate enough to scale-up while preserving the human engagement central to the company’s mission. “That’s probably the hardest part—we love the human engagement, that’s who emocha is,” Richards-Sturgis says. emocha continues to offer a secure two-way chat with a patient’s Care Team through the app. The process is more automated for individuals who report no symptoms and maximizes human engagement for those who do, what Richards-Sturgis describes as “automating the process for people who don’t need it, but not for people who do.”
Our knowledge of Covid-19 and what effective monitoring strategies are continues to evolve each day. emocha’s team works closely with hospitals, health systems, and public health departments to use technology-enabled services to address changing needs.