Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Meet the two-person Madison startup that scheduled 70,000 COVID shots

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Madison-based startup Carebot created a tool to help healthcare providers schedule 70,000 COVID vaccinations. Using patient records, Carebot automatically identifies eligible patients, sends them a text message inviting them to enroll in the waiting list, and then notifies them when records are available.


Courtesy of Carebot


But Baran, who previously founded the technology company Healthfinch and sold it to Health Catalyst in 2020, knew it could take years to develop such software from scratch. Not only will this require extensive programming, but all tools that handle medical records must include specific security measures to comply with medical data laws. Meanwhile, Carebot did not have full-time programmers.

So the company turned to Tray.io, an automation platform that allows other companies to integrate existing applications into their programs with little or no additional coding. Carebot used Tray.io technology to connect its own app to the Twilio text messaging platform and a customer database called Knack.

A few days later, Carebot had a version of the tool ready for testing. “It’s insanely fast,” Baran said, but that’s exactly what a situation filled with uncertainty demands. “People had no idea how much vaccine would be delivered. We had no idea how quickly this would need to be cleaned up. There were so many unknowns, ”said Baran.

50 COVID Cases, 167 New Quarantines Last Week At Madison Schools

“It’s great to see them succeed,” Tray.io CEO and co-founder Rich Waldron said in an email statement. This is an example of how his company is democratizing access to software and engineering, he said.



Assistant Robot Jonathan Baran

Jonathan Baran is the co-founder and CEO of Carebot, a two-person Madison-based startup that helped schedule about 70,000 COVID vaccine visits.


Courtesy of Carebot


“The ability to do important work, including what Carebot is doing to vaccinate COVID-19, should be available to anyone looking to develop new processes and products, even without engineering knowledge,” Waldron said. “The ability to innovate should not be given strictly to those with in-house developers or engineers.”

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