Sharecare, the digital health company that helps people manage all their health in one place, announced a strategic partnership with Augusta University and Augusta University Health to support Gov. Brian Kemp’s efforts to better inform Georgians about the pandemic while bolstering COVID-19 testing across the state.
“Through partnerships with the private sector and academia, our state has made bold progress in the fight against COVID-19,” said Gov. Kemp. “We are setting national records among states in testing and continue to see a drop in hospitalizations and ventilator use. I am encouraged by this favorable data, but there’s more work to be done. While already making an impact, the collaboration between Augusta University and Sharecare will become even more important, especially as we work to test as many Georgians as possible. As I’ve said many times before, testing determines the battlefield. This partnership will help us win the war.”
Since January 1, 2018, Sharecare has been the official wellness vendor of the state of Georgia, empowering members of the State Health Benefit Plan (SHBP) – which includes 450,000 state employees, teachers and their families – to engage in their health and make and sustain positive changes in behavior. As an established, trusted source for health information to the many essential employees under SHBP, Sharecare also launched Well-Being Georgia, a centralized destination to help members easily access the latest developments and medically verified guidance and tools about COVID-19, including Augusta University’s telehealth service to accelerate testing, the AU Health ExpressCare app. Since launching Well-Being Georgia for SHBP members on May 1, the number of Georgians who have taken COVID-19 tests has more than doubled, with the total number of tests taken in the state currently exceeding 400,000.
“We are committed to doing our part to continue flattening the curve in our home state and bridge the information and access gaps that exist for so many Georgians, whether they live in our city centers or our rural communities,” said Jeff Arnold, founder and CEO of Sharecare. “As a Georgia-based company, we are proud to work with Augusta University during this important moment in history and answer the governor’s call to help all Georgians in the fight against COVID-19, starting by understanding their current risk and getting access to testing.”
Starting today, Augusta University and Sharecare are making Well-Being Georgia available to the general public so all Georgians can access information and programs to help them through the next phase of the pandemic – from the latest local news and policies to tools for managing stress and anxiety – while increasing traffic to the AU Health ExpressCare app to conduct virtual screenings and route Georgians to one of more than 100 test sites across the state. Additionally, by combining Sharecare’s expertise with Augusta University’s testing infrastructure and data repository, Well-Being Georgia features a comprehensive directory of testing sites; as well as an interactive map documenting everything from the number of confirmed cases to mobility data to help people better understand the scope of the pandemic in Georgia.
Arnold added, “A critical component of mitigating this global health crisis in Georgia involves securely evaluating behavioral data related to COVID-19 – from understanding people’s modes of transit to how frequently they’re coming in contact with others. These factors have a direct impact on our readiness and resilience as Georgians, and are important datapoints to consider as we develop strategies to ensure we keep the people of our state stay safe and well.”
“Augusta University is on the frontlines of the battle against COVID-19,” said AU president Dr. Brooks Keel. “While I am proud of what we have accomplished to dramatically scale testing and capacity in our state, there’s more we must do to ensure the health and safety of all Georgians. Through this partnership with Sharecare, we are using their expertise as one of the world’s leading digital health companies to encourage even more Georgians to access our virtual screening and get tested at one of the state’s many sites. Together, we are working to carry out the Governor’s mission to protect the lives and livelihoods of all Georgians.”