Maccabi Health taps AI-driven RPA to speed coronavirus patient intake

With incoming COVID-19 cases threatening to overwhelm Maccabi Health Services staff, the Israeli HMO deployed an AI-driven RPA program in only 48 hours, to speed patient intake.

Brain circuitry
DARPA

As cases of novel coronavirus spiked in Israel in March, Maccabi Health Services realized it was on the verge of drowning in time-consuming data entry, threatening to endanger patients and undermine attempts to control the outbreak.

The problem was that Maccabi Healthcare's central labs had to manually migrate data for thousands of symptomatic patients arriving daily from the Israeli health ministry, which has administered the coronavirus tests, to its own system. That process could take three to four minutes per individual because the information was arriving in Microsoft Excel sheets and had to be re-entered into Maccabi's system.

"I got a phone call from the team that managed Maccabi's central lab. They wanted our assistance on how to automate," said Maccabi CIO Ofir Kadosh.

 Kadosh knew the solution demanded implementation of robotic process automation (RPA), software that acts as a virtual robot, performing repetitive tasks like opening emails, downloading attachments and reading data. Large organizations from finance to telecom increasingly utilize RPA to help reduce costs and improve accuracy on mundane tasks such as payroll processing or vendor onboarding.

Developing an RPA solution in house would have taken between one to two months. But with coronavirus sweeping Israel like brushfire – with cases doubling about every three days -- Maccabi needed a solution urgently.

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