How LUMINARE pivoted its communication technology to transform COVID-19 vaccination in Texas

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reduction in wait times

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shots administered on a single day

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cities and counties served

This past year, the world came together to adapt business services to support pandemic relief efforts. From hand sanitizer production to mask assembly, the call to arms saved lives—and no where was that more true than among healthcare professionals.

Luminare is a perfect example. The company was founded to catch and immediately treat sepsis in hospitalized patients. They chose Twilio to power low volume, high-value SMS messaging to physicians and teams as part of their sepsis detection software.

With the onset of the pandemic, however, Luminare modified its platform to address COVID-19 syndromic surveillance, and now aids in mass vaccine administration.

“When the pandemic hit, we saw the need for organizations to keep everyone safe and reduce the spread of COVID-19. We knew a vaccine was coming for months prior to the EUA and began working on a solution to help cities and counties efficiently administer vaccines to the public and for the public to easily sign up to get a vaccine when they became eligible,” Luminare’s Sarma Velamuri said.

Luminare created a HIPAA-compliant solution with embedded multi-channel communication that could scale to tens of thousands of messages per minute, with reliable delivery. Here’s how it’s helped more than 40 cities and counties across Texas with more than 20 million messages sent.

A eureka moment

With the launch of COVID-19 vaccinations in early 2021, many healthcare systems became overwhelmed with the demand for vaccinations and the scarcity of healthcare providers to handle appointment scheduling and administration. To get ahead of the curve, Dallas County in Texas ramped up infrastructure and resources to distribute the vaccine as quickly and equitably as possible.

They established a mass vaccination site at the Dallas Fair Park, but were stymied by paper-based systems that required a team of more than 100 full-time volunteers to manually handle all data entry and communications. It led to hours-long waits, and only about 2,000 shots administered per day. There had to be a better way.

After hearing about neighboring counties’ use of Luminare’s software to streamline the end-to-end vaccination and communications process, Dallas County implemented the solution at their vaccination site. Almost overnight, wait times decreased from hours to minutes. Using Luminare, Dallas County delivered almost 2,000 shots per hour and more than 12,000 shots per day on peak days.

“If you look at any location that has deployed our software, it’s gone from three or four-mile-long lines to no lines at all—just people trying to get a shot and then move on. We’ve taken sites that normally do 1,800 vaccines a day to giving about that amount of vaccines in an hour,” Velamuri said.

A bright future for public health equity implementation and disaster management

Luminare’s Innoculate product not only digitized all of the formerly paper-based processing of vaccination records and reporting, but also embedded communications to coordinate every aspect of the vaccine administration.

From proactive SMS notifications to join a waitlist to personalized links for appointment scheduling and reminders, to email confirmation of the vaccine record, Luminare’s platform is paving the way for better vaccine delivery in the future.

And what about HIPAA compliance in this digitization process? Luminare achieved compliance by programmatically avoiding personal health information sent over SMS or email. The solution leverages Twilio to implement high throughput toll-free SMS for their vaccine solution given the much greater scale requirement compared to their initial sepsis detection product. Finally, by implementing both Twilio SMS and email communications, Luminare increased the probability of message delivery to all demographics.

“Luminare’s Innoculate vaccine administration solution requires reliable, fast, and scalable messaging services. Twilio has been a great partner in empowering our customers to quickly communicate critical information to their citizens,” said Adam Feldman, operations analyst at Luminare.

“Twilio’s off-the-shelf debugging tools have been key to supporting operations as messaging volume rapidly scaled. Twilio has been excellent in helping us proactively address issues and build for the future as we move out of peak vaccine administration,” he said.

Lighting the way for better vaccine administration

Since the general availability of Innoculate, Luminare has served over 40 public health departments across Texas, New Jersey, Connecticut, Washington State, and Tennessee with its vaccine efforts. The company has also demonstrated how software can be used to solve problems and save lives when developers (even medical doctors-turned-inventors) apply creativity and passion to their work.

“Luminare’s mission is to stop unnecessary human suffering and death through converting data that is invisible and unusable into meaningful information that accelerates workflow,” Velamuri said. “We’re excited to redouble our efforts to push into the healthcare market where we are working with hospitals to stop sepsis.”

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