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Getting medics back to hospital faster with smooth COVID-19 tests

Pandemic partners: how Labor Berlin and Ada gave 5,000 people a better COVID-19 testing experience

Whether positive or negative, COVID-19 test results are having a critical impact on global pandemic responses. A positive result helps epidemiologists contact trace, and contain an outbreak cluster. For medical professionals working on the front line, fast and accurate testing to confirm they’re COVID-19 negative is essential.

So when Xenia, a medical assistant working in prenatal diagnostics and therapy at Germany’s largest hospital, the Charité Berlin, needed to get herself tested, she wanted to know how quickly she could get back to the hospital.

“Not too much has changed for me since the pandemic started. Except, of course, that the face mask is now my constant companion and patients are unsure about things they used to be certain about. For example, if they can bring their spouse to the appointment, or if they have to comply with certain regulations and so on. A lot more explaining has to be done now. So everything takes a lot more time these days.” – Xenia

When Xenia arrived at the test facility, a nurse asked if she’d like to register using the COVID-19 lab results tool, developed by Labor Berlin and Ada. Five minutes later, following the simple registration process, she received her private ID by email. Within 12 hours of having her sputum (mucus found in the mouth) sample taken, she used that same ID to access her test results online.

“Especially considering that I work with lots of patients closely every day, some of whom are even considered part of the risk group, it is especially important to get test results back in a timely manner.” – Xenia

In those 12 hours, Xenia’s sputum sample was transported to the Labor Berlin laboratory, where Nina Beikert’s team analyzed the results. Labor Berlin is a subsidiary of the Charité and Vivantes hospital groups and regularly appears in Germany’s rank of top 100 innovative companies.

Nina first met our Chief Scientific Officer, Dr. Hirsch, at a 2019 Labor Berlin industry event where he spoke about how AI affects the patient-clinic relationship. One year and a pandemic later, the potential for Ada and Labor Berlin to create a better COVID-19 testing experience for patients was clear.

“Our partnership brings Labor Berlin and its patients closer together. Up to now, we as a laboratory have had little direct contact with our patients. The contact usually took place via doctors in clinics and medical practices.” – Nina, Labor Berlin

How did Labor Berlin get closer to patients during an era of physical distancing? Strong relationships between patients and their health service providers, during a pandemic and always, are built on experiences that leave people feeling safe and confident. A smooth user experience helped patients get their results online and understand what those results meant.

“We have created a tool that enables us to provide patients directly with our lab results, the medical interpretation and behavioral guidelines. In order to isolate people with a SARS-CoV-2 infection, the rapid transmission of findings is of particular importance not only for patients and their families, but also for society. With the help of this special online tool, we enable people to call up their diagnostic results at any time in order to be able to act quickly and prevent further contacts from getting infected.” – Nina, Labor Berlin

For Xenia, the results are in – it was a positive experience that makes managing her health while working on the frontline during the pandemic a little less stressful.

“In case I need to be tested again, which can happen at any time, it is a relief to know that I can get my test results this fast.” – Xenia

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