WASHINGTON, D.C. – February 12, 2018 – Healthcare Ready, a nonprofit focused on improving the resiliency of healthcare systems to better meet health needs amid disaster, today announced its partnership with Google to develop a proof of concept for refining future disaster response through data analytics and collaboration. Healthcare Ready developed a case study that outlines the impact of its partnership to help improve the future of disaster relief and response.
Google’s aggregated search trends, paired with Healthcare Ready’s Rx Open data, an interactive map that shows the operating status of pharmacies in areas impacted by disaster, provided a better understanding of where limited healthcare access and high-density patient areas were centered in relation to open pharmacies, shelters and dialysis centers. This intersection of information helped Healthcare Ready prioritize where to direct resources and send patients.
“The goal of our partnership is to automate and refine available data that can be utilized during future disasters and to ensure we are addressing patient needs in real time,” said Nicolette Louissaint, Ph.D., executive director of Healthcare Ready. “The results of our work together provide an excellent example of how leveraging health data and technology can improve public health efforts, especially in times of disaster and uncertainty. We are thrilled to continue this collaboration into the future with the goal of improving our ability to meet patient needs amid disasters.”
Rx Open tracked more than 16,000 chain and community pharmacies from California to Florida and Puerto Rico during the 2017 hurricane season. The tool, which is free to use, helps direct patients and first-responders to vital medications, while providing public agencies and private sector partners insight into pharmacy status and healthcare recovery. Daily updates for more than 100 days of activation ensured that Rx Open remained a useful tool for quick decisions during the 2017 response and recovery efforts.
“During Hurricane Harvey, Google partnered with the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) and Healthcare Ready to provide real-time medical Search Trends in the Houston area,” said Courtney Rose, industry director for Google Government, Advocacy, and Elections. “This allowed the Healthcare Ready team to find patterns in zip codes affected by the hurricane and deploy resources to increase access to medicine. Users turn to Google Search for information in their moments of need and we’re thankful to partner with PhRMA and Healthcare Ready on the analysis of this data, and for their real-time response to the people in Houston.”
By partnering with Google, Healthcare Ready strengthened its Rx Open data by overlaying a map with aggregated Google Search Trends from hurricane-impacted communities searching
for healthcare and hurricane assistance. In the future, this data could pinpoint strained areas early in response and recovery efforts so that facilities can be resupplied before medication shortages and life-threatening situations arise.
Healthcare Ready works through its member organizations, including PhRMA, the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO), the Healthcare Distributors Alliance (HDA), the National Association of Chain Drugs Stores (NACDS), Amgen, and the American Red Cross to protect patient access to medicines and healthcare during emergencies. For more information please visit: https://healthcareready.org/.
About Healthcare Ready
Healthcare Ready helps to strengthen healthcare through public private collaboration and addressing pressing issues before, during, and after disasters and disease outbreaks. As the convener of industry and government, Healthcare Ready safeguards patient health by providing solutions to critical problems and identifying best practices for healthcare preparedness and response.
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