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COVID-19 – Global Update – Where Are We Now?

Last month in February, there was more than 60,100+ cases confirmed globally and about 1,370 deaths.  Now there are more than 463,000 total cases and over 21,100 deaths from COVID-19.  In a span of a month, cases have increased by almost 700% and deaths by over 1500%.  The drastic increases of cases and deaths in a span of a month is staggering.   COVID-19 continues to spread globally as we are still searching for a cure. The U.S. is now the third country with the most total confirmed cases of COVID-19.  China currently has 81,000+ cases, Italy with 74,000+ cases and the U.S. with 69,000 cases.  What should we have done to slow down the spread of COVID-19?

One notable country who was able to flatten its coronavirus curve was South Korea.  What did they do differently? South Korea was quick to respond once China announced it’s first case of Coronavirus.  They were able to get their first test approved by early February and they were able to prepare for the masses by having a capacity of 20,000 people a day at 633 sites.  South Korea was also able to detect asymptomatic carriers, especially the younger masses, who had the virus. They are also able to digitally monitor lower-risk patients under quarantine for when hospitals are overwhelmed.  The South Koreans can use an app to enter their symptoms.  It would also work as a real-time update for the people in the country.  It informed them of where current patients are located.

How is the U.S. handling the virus?  The big names in Healthcare IT are all working together and created a group called: COVID-19 Healthcare Coalition.   A couple of members to note are: Epic Systems, Mayo Clinic, HCA Healthcare, University of California Healthcare Systems, Athenahealth and more.  The goal of this group is to help consult on pandemic strategy and how to improve clinical and operational imperatives.

Dr. John Halamka, president of Mayo Clinic, writes on his blog what the Coalition has been working on n the past 24 hours:

  1. A major data analytics company focused on COVID modeling asked to collaborate with a major vaccine lab to accelerate development
  2. A group of competing companies aligned to create national policy requests that enable more virtual care
  3. Two competing big tech companies agreed to work together on helpful web-based resources for the country
  4. Big tech companies are offering expertise and credits for cloud resources
  5. An EHR company is working on a heat map showing orders placed for COVID testing as a proxy for virus spread
  6. An AI company is creating a map of national searches for COVID symptoms as a proxy for virus spread
  7. Many companies are offering free/reduced cost services in support of COVID response
  8. A non-profit recognized that we’ll likely need a national vaccine registry linked by a nationwide patient matching strategy when a vaccine is available 12-18 months from now. They will assemble a guiding coalition for that effort.
  9. A group of investigators is working on a trial of using convalescent plasma as a mechanism of conferring immunity.
  10. A laboratory is seeking coronavirus positive blood to accelerate the development of an easy to run, highly specific serology-based blood test.

What are your thoughts on how we could have prevented this mass spread of COVID-19 in the U.S.?  If your organization is in need of staffing healthcare IT talent in this crisis, please reach out to us at


This article was created by Stephanie Sok, Business Researcher, Global Healthcare IT, Inc. with assistance from the following base line articles.


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