Protecting our communities against COVID-19: how technology plays a part in making testing programs safer, faster and more efficient.
In this TSS APAC interview, Sébastien Lefranc, marketing director of APAC TSS GBL (Terminals, Solutions and Services Global Business Line) under the Ingenico brand, the global leader in seamless payments, talks with Wayne Fagan, Co-Founder and Operations Executive at Resonance Australia, about the role that technology can play in rolling out more efficient and reliable Covid testing programs in the field.
Hi Wayne, as a technology and service provider, what is your view on the impact of the pandemic on the use of technology?
Hi Sébastien, if you ask me, the pandemic has been a big accelerator of major trends that were already showing traction before it all started. On top of altering the way we interact, the pandemic has acted as a key driver of digitisation of our society, and with social distancing measures, from nationwide to local lockdowns, has seen a surge in online platform adoption, together with a significant shift to online commerce as well as high adoption of contactless transactions. Beyond the payment industry, businesses have had to adjust to the New Norm, employees have been working from home, students attending virtual classes leading to increased usage of video conferencing services and outside of working hours, home entertainment and streaming services have boomed. In other more traditional industries, take the healthcare industry for example, the volumes and pressure of COVID-19 has highlighted deficiencies with legacy processes and tools.
Speaking of the healthcare industry, what are some of the challenges that you identified with the COVID-19 community test programs in Australia and how did Resonance Australia react?
Driving COVID-19 community testing programs is key to containing local outbreaks and it has been at the heart of the strategy of the State and Federal governments. However, these testing operations are highly resource intensive, typically utilising manual data inputs, resulting in long hours, repetitive and tedious processes, creating challenges to scale wholesale testing within entire communities.
Early in the pandemic, we spotted that almost all testing operations were heavily paper-based and reliant on human intervention at all stages of the process. This meant that collection and verification of patient data was susceptible to transcription errors and actually taking more time than the test collection itself. When you combine both the volume of tests with the manual data collection and management, the efficiency and the quality of test results are unfortunately bound to be negatively impacted.
Patient data can be leveraged across all stages of the testing process, thus increasing the overall speed and accuracy of testing operations. We’ve integrated the digitally collected data directly into the hospital and pathology systems, ensuring patient data is accurately passed through every step of the process with minimal human involvement. Finally, we developed a unique thermal sticker solution for the Ingenico terminals to allow testing samples to be barcoded immediately in the field, improving traceability and saving time in the lab.
How efficient is the new testing process?
The solution has been running for quite so time now and we have found that the process improved throughput by 4 times - cutting the testing time by half and the lab processing time by 74%. Most importantly, we’ve seen near-zero data errors through the process. The more patients who can be tested, more COVID-19 cases can be proactively detected, and the communities are overall safer.
Do you have any last comment on Resonance Australia’s association with Ingenico in relation to this testing program?
I am extremely proud of our association with Ingenico to support front-line healthcare teams in their effort to curb the COVID-19 outbreak. This patented solution has the potential for global application to make the COVID-19 testing regime substantially more accurate, efficient and effective. We have a long-standing relationship with Ingenico who provides reliable and scalable technology which has allowed us to take the solution to market quite quickly and make a positive impact. This sustainable initiative to limit the spread of the COVID-19 by implementing Resonance Australia and Ingenico’s service offering’s has resulted in a significant contribution to society at large. See it for yourself in the video below.
For more detail, please refer to the 9News Australia recent news report.