- For too long during the current coronavirus global pandemic, testing has remained something of a bottleneck. More testing still needs to be done to find and better track confirmed coronavirus cases.
- A new web tool launched on Tuesday that lets users see the nearest coronavirus test location nearby.
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A pair of startups from within the Georgetown University Venture Lab has launched a new web tool called the COVID-19 Testing Locator that lets users know how far away they are from testing locations and where they can find the closest site that will test them for the COVID-19 coronavirus.Anyone in the US can access the COVID-19 Testing Locator for free starting today by visiting www.covid19testing.today. The locator’s features include showing users how far away they are from testing facilities, allowing users to view contact information for the facility if that data is available, and letting users filter locations based on preferences — such as whether it’s drive-thru only, focused only on children, or geared towards senior citizens.
“As the COVID-19 pandemic has expanded in the United States, many companies have teamed up to provide education resources to keep the American public updated on (this) rapidly evolving disease,” said Raakin Iqbal, founder of The Social App, which launched the tool along with another startup, Basil Labs. “We want to provide people with a centralized area to find testing locations and feel a sense of empowerment in an atmosphere that has most of us feeling otherwise in the dark on the information. Our goal was to build a platform for the common good.”
The goal here is for the test locator to eventually help eliminate medical silos and “foster an ecosystem of trust through an open knowledge culture,” at a time when hospitals, governments, nonprofits, and Americans themselves need reliable data and information about this virus more than ever.
After enough data is collected, The COVID-19 Testing Locator team said in a news release it plans to create visualizations and address pain points for testing centers to allow them to better manage their resources when supplying treatment or handling logistics. The initiative is also looking to team up with city governments to help them identify coronavirus hot spots.
“Across the country, COVID-19 testing sites are popping up but are not communicating enough with one another,” said Basil Labs founder Theo Goetemann. “This is dangerous. Silos lead to information gaps between facilities and slow adaptation of best practices.
“We don’t have time to wait — testing sites are maxed out and hospital beds are filled up. We need to survey and understand patient experiences in order to maximize efficiency and safety at testing centers, improve in-patient flows and share this knowledge with testing centers across the nation and world.”