In 2019, Target Market, Israel’s largest, production, promotion and project management company was preparing to apply for a Ministry of Health tender to manage the entire Corona virus testing process, from start to finish – from identifying locations for testing to take place, to providing the necessary equipment including testing kits, to recruiting staff to physically perform tests in the field, to transporting samples to labs, to processing the samples, to relaying results back to the people who had been tested.
Sheba hospital was to fill the medical requirements of the project. Looking for a partner to deliver the technological part of the solution, the company asked us and another major Israeli technology provider for a detailed proposal. Although the original request was fairly basic, today, our system supports a variety of tests from multiple centers (both private and government run), as well as the complete support cycle required from registration and until the arrival of the final test results. When Target Market was announced as the winner of the Ministry of Health tender, we got to work putting our plan into action.
The need for speed
The challenge we faced right from the start was the speed with which the new solution had to be ready to go live, despite the uncertainty that surrounded the whole Corona issue.
Certain rules had been laid out, for example regarding who needed to be tested and under what conditions, but it was not known how these would change as the virus progressed. Nothing like this had ever been done before on such a scale. Nevertheless, we used our own experience and creativity to make up for the little information we were given.
A multi-faceted solution
As the pandemic progressed, Target Market was awarded additional tenders for projects with the Home Front, Ben Gurion Airport, border crossing authorities, tourist hot spots (the Dead Sea and Eilat) and the Ministry of Education. Each had their own specific requirements, so we modified the app accordingly.
Test types covered include PCR, PCR express, antigen and rapid serology, and languages other than Hebrew are also accommodated. Differences in testing methodology had to be facilitated as well. The Ministry of Education, for example,
launched a program called Igum in which, to reduce pressure on the labs, samples from a capsule of students would be batch tested initially.
Only if the virus was detected in the combined sample would samples then be tested individually. This required us to develop a new barcode system – the usual labels would go on the individual sample test tubes, but the batch samples would be identified by a virtual barcode for use behind the scenes at the labs.
In addition to the testing, there was a reporting element to the project. We created a live dashboard showing how many tests are being carried out, so that the Ministry of Health can be kept up to date on every single test, across four different steps in the
process. The technical support provide has to match the operating hours of testing stations – some of which are open 24/7. If there’s a failure in the field somewhere, our team is notified by phone within a minute and deals with it right away.