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Early Days of COVID-19

Michael Nikitin

CTO & Co-founder AIDA, CEO Itirra

Published on December 9, 2020
covid virus
by CDC on

I clearly remember the day Washington State confirmed the first Covid-19 case in the US. 

It was January 21st, 2020, and it was a man who returned from Wuhan, China. The virus was shortly found in a Life Care Center nursing home in Kirkland, which unfortunately soon became one of the epicenters of the virus in the area. The EvergreenHealth hospital nearby quickly saw the number of patients rise. 

As a resident and co-founder of a healthtech startup in Kirkland who was helping Evergreen hospital and Life Care Center, I was shocked to see the pandemic unfold in our neighborhood. If not for the fantastic diligence and dedication of local health care professionals, for which I am very grateful, the situation would have been much worse. I believe it is in everyone’s power to do their best to get us through these exceptional times. 

As an entrepreneur with more than a dozen years of experience in the healthcare industry, that meant helping local companies optimize their processes as much as possible through digital transformation. 

Doing our best to help hospitals

Hospitals are not the most suitable places for extended care or rehabilitation. Patients often end up staying in hospital beds for months or even years because they can’t or it takes too long to find a place in extended-care facilities. Besides discomfort and improper level of care, the rapid rise of patients with the coronavirus made hospitals even less safe for those without the virus. The older generation is one of the worst impacted because they are more prone to get the virus and have the worst outcome. 

In 2016, we launched AIDA, a software product for hospitals that reduces the length of stay and optimizes patients’ discharge process. The key purpose was to find a quality, geographically desirable place for patients to get extended care. 

During the initial Covid outbreak, AIDA was instrumental in optimizing the movement of patients between 35+ hospitals and 2000+ post-acute care facilities around Washington state. The added efficiency slowed down the spread of the virus and helped health care professionals treat more incoming patients.  

Adjusting the strategy to meet a growing patient flow

We saw a massive increase in AIDA’s product utilization from various hospital clients. The number of patients in hospitals significantly increased, and they urgently needed help managing higher patient flow. We worked overtime to adjust our platform and implement a new patient flow control strategy that would benefit health care facilities the most.

The hospitals didn’t know which post-acute care facilities are sufficiently equipped and willing to take patients recovering from the virus. We spotted this issue pretty early on and began the adjustment process to better fit both hospitals and care facilities’ needs.

The aim was to improve communication between both parties focused solely on Covid-19. We introduced an additional questionnaire for care facilities asking questions such as the availability of proper equipment, adequately trained staff, and suitably equipped rooms. We also implemented additional communication channels for Covid-19 patients. It allowed hospitals to see the full picture of post-acute facilities and speed up the process of finding a suitable care facility.

The role of Itirra in AIDA’s development process

When we co-founded and were contemplating the vision for AIDA with Julian Paraschiv in 2016, I formed a small team of engineers to help with product development. The team quickly turned into a product development company called Itirra that focuses on health and elderly care. When the pandemic hit, we quickly mobilized our team and divided the tasks productively and rapidly. Utilizing Itirra’s onshore and offshore resources helped us implement the changes to the AIDA product in days.

Let’s talk

With over 15 years of experience in the field, I have helped companies grow their technological capabilities with keen insight and innovative ideas. I use my technical expertise in enterprise IT solutions to provide valuable guidance on various matters concerning the effective and secure use of data and technology. It will be my pleasure to meet with you and discuss how my team can help your company grow.