North Florida startup company creates software to help detect COVID-19 outbreaks in nursing homes in real time

The software is designed to analyze electronic medical records and serve as an early warning system to help reduce infections like COVID-19 in nursing homes.

GAINESVILLE, Fla — As nursing homes try to combat the spread of COVID-19 to protect their vulnerable population, a North Florida startup company is working to provide automated and enhanced infection control solutions in skilled nursing facilities across the country, and it just launched a new tool.

“What I am seeing in the nursing home people is such variable presentations. It’s not just a respiratory illness,” explained Infectious Disease Specialist, Dr. Robert Yancey. “It’s something that affects the whole body, very strange presentations with muscle aches altered mental status, abdominal pains, diarrhea.”

Yancey is the founder of SmartSteward. His company’s software is designed to analyze electronic medical records and serve as an early warning system to help reduce infections like COVID-19 in skilled nursing facilities. The innovative software is able to map an outbreak and immediately deliver the data to doctors and nurses.

“The sooner you identify an infection, the sooner you can execute control measures such as isolation and diagnosis and prevent it from spreading to other patients and other health care workers,” Yancey said.

The visualization tools can help identify how COVID-19 is spreading.

SmartSteward Real-Time Heat Map

“Is it coming from a nurse, from the food supplies? Is it coming from air vents or just person or person you can tell by mapping out these outbreaks over time,” Yancey said.

Right now one North Florida nursing home is using this technology, and Yancey expects five more will be within the next week.

“We believe this is a whole new way of providing safety for this volatile population,” Yancey said.