Google Partner SADA Systems Launches National Response Portal To Battle Covid-19

Google asked its leading channel partner to leverage technology it had built to help municipalities coordinate construction projects. The new platform, which helps health-care providers and the public better understand the pandemic, went live Thursday.


When SADA Systems built a platform to help municipalities manage construction projects, it never expected that Google would one day ask it to repurpose the technology to combat a global public health catastrophe.

But as the nation began to confront the enormity of the coronavirus crisis in March, that call came, and the Los Angeles-based cloud consultancy, a powerhouse in Google’s channel, got to work.

On Thursday, SADA launched the National Response Portal—a free, open repository of comprehensive and geographically granular information to empower front-line health-care workers, and the general public, to stop the spread of COVID-19, said Michael Ames, SADA’s senior director of health care and life sciences.

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Collaborating with health-care providers and Google, SADA built and manages the platform, which aims to cull data from a wide variety of sources to provide health-care and government decision-makers better insight into the spread of the disease—and prepare them for what’s coming next as the economy reopens.

While there are many initiatives in the tech industry working toward a like-minded objective, SADA’s platform is unique in that it takes data from hundreds of hospitals around the country to get a more nuanced view of the disease and the overall condition of health-care providers fighting it, and delivers more accurate forecasting models with county-level, rather than statewide, granularity.

The genesis of the project can be traced back to HCA Healthcare. The operator of almost 200 hospitals approached Google with the idea, and Google, knowing that SADA had built a similar platform, and had a large footprint in health care, brought its partner on board.

Health-care groups, including HCA, Community Health Systems and Bon Secours Mercy Health, have been providing data daily. And since the project incorporated many Google Cloud services, SADA got “a lot of input and advice and support from the people at Google.”

SADA built the portal by repurposing dotMaps and Atom—platforms it developed three years back to provide location-based visualization services to municipalities coordinating construction projects.

“It wasn’t too big a leap for us to take this and apply it to health care,” Ames said.

The National Response Portal features actionable information. Anyone, anywhere in the world, can log in, enter their address and immediately be shown resources in their community, such as local COVID-19 testing centers.

SADA wanted the portal to provide “quick and targeted access to any member of the public to cope with the pandemic and stay-at-home orders,” Ames said.

And for health-care professionals, the portal offers an analytic view of the pandemic at national, state and county levels through dashboard charts, graphs, tables and maps. All that data is also accessible to the public.

“This was envisioned and designed as a greater-good project for the community,” Ames said. “We intend to keep it that way. Everybody’s just trying to do the right thing for the community.”

The portal also highlights the analytics at the intersection of social policy, social distancing and health outcomes, he said.

Users can drill down on a state or county to see what their various social distancing policies are, when they were implemented, the impact of those measures on how people are moving around, and how that behavior has affected the spread of the disease.

Currently, that’s all achieved using publicly available data. But in the near term, SADA will be incorporating more data that’s coming directly from health-care partners, Ames said.

SADA’s health-care and life sciences practice has been keeping the consultancy busy through the crisis, Ames said. And in the last three months, almost all that work—encompassing a variety of products and services for existing and new customers—has been directly related to the coronavirus.

Hospitals are seeking to help distressed families who can’t see COVID-19 patients in ICU beds. Among the urgent engagements, SADA has been deploying Google Meet to enable video communications with their loved ones.

For customers engaged in coronavirus research, SADA is helping scale up cloud infrastructure. And for businesses coping with work-from-home mandates, it’s introducing G Suite collaboration tools.

While some of its practices have taken a hit with the widespread economic devastation, those engagements, as well as work on the National Response Portal, are “certainly enough to keep us really, really busy,” Ames told CRN.