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Anthem, CloudMedx launch digital tool to help employers, public health officials track impact of COVID-19

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Anthem has launched a digital tool that aims to allow public health officials and other health and community leaders to track and predict the impacts of COVID-19.

The insurer’s new C19 Explorer platform is available in a public version for free and a paid version that clients can use to build more personalized predictive analytic models based on internal data they upload into the system.

The tool was built in partnership with CloudMedx, an artificial intelligence startup.

“We ourselves as an employer were struggling with the health of our employees,” Rajeev Ronanki, chief digital officer at Anthem, said during a briefing with reporters Thursday. The insurer “figured that all of the other employers are dealing with a similar set of issues as we were,” he said.

Ronanki said the Anthem team recognized early on that the pandemic would likely have ripple effects beyond healthcare and wanted to make as much data as possible available to track both the virus itself and its impacts.

He said Anthem is also using the tool internally as it maps its own response to COVID-19.

“We felt that there was effort that was needed very quickly to sort of mobilize all of the data sets that were available across the country,” Ronanki said.

Anthem first announced that the tool was in development in June, alongside a slate of other digital offerings designed to assist in navigating the demands of the pandemic.

C19 Explorer is divided into five tabs with different pockets of information that users can then dive into at the national, state and county or city level. The sections include data on cases and testing, hospital preparedness and capacity, economic impacts, social risk factors and how well people are adhering to state or local orders to stay at home.

Tashfeen Suleman, CEO of CloudMedx, said the platform includes data from more than 100 sources, including claims, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Bureau of Labor and Statistics.

He said it was critical to mobilize large swaths of data beyond positive cases and mortality as the coronavirus pandemic’s effects have reached far beyond physical health. COVID-19 is “effecting people from all walks of life,” and “not just clinically,” he said.

There has been particular interest in accessing the platform from regions that are current hot spots, such as Florida, Texas and Arizona, Suleman said.

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