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Partnering together to help save lives: the story behind the COVID-19 Critical Care resource management application

March 30, 2020By

At a time when the future looks so uncertain, there are a few things I know for sure. They’re beliefs I’ve always had, but they seem to apply now more than ever. I’m certain that people and businesses can create a better world by giving what they’re good at. I’m certain that amazing ideas and utilization of technology can solve enormous, complex issues. I’m certain that holding to your values and doing what’s right can yield great results.

About two weeks ago, I was approached by David Helliwell, Co-founder and CEO at Thrive Health, a healthcare technology firm. David and I worked together a few years ago. David’s initial ask was focused on assisting Thrive to scale resources to help them meet the demand for their assessment technology. Thrive’s deep understanding of the Canadian healthcare system also led them to believe that hospitals would soon face a crisis in handling supplies and human resources. My response was simple, “I’m all in, how can we help?”

This is a crisis like we’ve never known before. While more and more people are getting sick with COVID-19, there’s a scarce supply of health practitioners, ventilators and other health supplies to protect healthcare workers. While there are some tech systems that can track the real-time availability of resources, there are none that could track the real-time availability of workers. And none that could do both, especially not with the scalability and flexibility that’s needed right now.

David wondered if the knowledge and experience from our community of Tractionites could build an app that could ultimately save a person’s life. Without a doubt, getting involved with this project was the right thing to do. We assembled a team of more than 50 Tractionites, who’ve been working around the clock to build a real-time resource management platform that tracks demand and availability for staff, ventilators, supplies and facilities.

Sadly, as our team worked, Thrive’s fears began to come true in healthcare facilities around the world. The number of people infected has nearly quadrupled. More and more hospitals are beyond capacity. There’s an ever-increasing shortfall of ventilators, and personal protective equipment for healthcare workers is so scarce that staff and their patients are at increased risk.

Over the last few days, BC Children’s Hospital and B.C. Women's Hospital were among 26 Vancouver area healthcare facilities that adopted our new app, a product of the combined efforts of Thrive Health and Traction on Demand. Hospitals can now track their staff better and assign them to where they’re needed most. Staff can monitor stocks of personal protective equipment in real time, and send them where they’re needed before anything runs out. Regional administrators can see which facilities have capacity and send patients to where they can get the most immediate and appropriate care. This has the potential to save thousands of lives.

The Salesforce platform provided the basis for our answer -- a mobile-ready, real-time, analytics-rich platform that could help us link hospitals, regions and countries together. This system offers a true, unified understanding of how the virus affects local residents and the healthcare system and allows staff to manage resources to help people survive.

Nothing I’ve achieved in business has ever felt as important as projects which can help preserve precious lives. I’m so proud of our team for putting their hearts into this new app. And I’m filled with incredible gratitude for our partners at Thrive Health, Salesforce, and the Government of British Columbia for their generosity, ingenuity, focus, foresight and speed.

Look at what happens when we all give what we’re good at. Every healthcare worker has a better chance of being protected and is better enabled to work to their fullest potential. Every patient can be quickly matched to an available resource and given the best chance of survival. And everyone is given the gift of time to contribute to a better world.

Want to learn more about the COVID-19 Critical Care Resource Management application? Please visit

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