Digital tools to support oxygen management for COVID
Recent waves of COVID spikes have uncovered many underlying challenges in the healthcare system across the world. One of them is managing demand and supply of medical oxygen. Throughout the peak in cases and oxygen requirements, health officials in many places had to manually reach out to hospitals and field staff on a daily basis to understand stock availability and usage, to understand real-time consumption and availability of oxygen. This was a tedious process for all involved which made it nearly impossible to make informed decisions in real-time..
Simply put, access to real-time production and consumption data at a regional or national level in countries is essential in helping predict and prevent outages. Without a digital system in place which can centralize daily metrics to aid decision-makers, ensuring steady supply to all areas that need oxygen becomes an enormous challenge. As of now, there is currently no central platform or data source to help healthcare systems monitor oxygen production, consumption, and availability.
To address that challenge, Everwell is working with domain experts to develop and deploy digital solutions to capture, visualize, and help project oxygen usage and availability at various geographic levels (i.e. facility, district, or state). Our team has utilized open source technology so that the code, and the positive impacts produced, are available to any country or partner in need of such a tool.
This vision for this platform is the first of its kind in the world for oxygen supply and demand tracking.
The first objective of the oxygen platform is to help visualize where oxygen production facilities and distribution facilities (like hospitals) are located, and to keep that mapping up to date as new facilities are developed. This visualization helps officials see progress as new sites are selected, facilities built, electrified, and ultimately connected via pipelines to hospitals and facilities for oxygen delivery.
The next objective is to capture data on how much oxygen is being produced in the facilities, where that oxygen is in the distribution pipeline and how much a given healthcare system has available to distribute to those in need. The visualization platform would allow consolidation and delivery of detailed information, from central reporting of oxygen production facilities all the way to oxygen tanker capacity at the national level, and make it possible for stakeholders to quickly understand demand versus supply and forecasting. In short, a state or government stakeholder would have an early warning system of potential oxygen shortages that the country could then respond to and potentially avoid.
Based on early feedback and engagement of state officials and representatives, we are very optimistic that our oxygen module will ease the process of oxygen audit data collection and help efficiently manage oxygen in a crisis. We hope to expand our pilot of this platform and scale the technology for any country in need during this pandemic. This is a case in which real time data analysis and reporting could allow dedicated and diligent healthcare workers, hospital administrators, and government decision makers to save lives.