Meet 5 Chicago Tech Companies on the COVID-19 Front Lines

Janey Zitomer
April 23, 2020

They’re looking into 3D-printing N95 and N80 masks. They’re providing medical professionals with personal protective equipment made in-house. They’re distributing fanny-packs stuffed with medical supplies to healthcare providers. 

Tech companies across the nation are stepping up in the face of the novel coronavirus, and Chicago businesses are no exception. 

The following five tech companies are using resources readily available to them to help their communities. In part one of a two-part series, they shared how they’re giving back through data-sharing, remote care, product integration and new partnerships. 

Healthtech company TimeDoc, for example, trained a health clinic’s staff in remote care coordination so that nearly a dozen previously planned layoffs were no longer necessary. 

Ellen Houston, managing director of applied data science at Civis Analytics, said her team is working with the states of Illinois and Michigan on data centralization, epidemiological modeling and surveys related to the COVID-19 crisis response.  

“We had to ask ourselves if what we were previously working on still matters and adjust accordingly,” Houston said.  

Solve
Solve
Chris Knoff
Co-founder

U.S. health clinics are leveraging TimeDoc’s remote care managers to arrange medication and meal deliveries and share CDC recommendations with Medicare patients. Co-founder Chris Knoff said that as remote care becomes more essential, his team is doing what they can to make a difference. 

 

How is your company currently contributing to the COVID-19 response efforts?

Healthcare organizations are using TimeDoc’s remote care managers and care coordination platform to engage thousands of high-risk, elderly patients during COVID-19. For example, a TimeDoc client practice clinic was going to lay off more than 10 of its clinical staff. Instead, TimeDoc trained the clinical staff to do remote care coordination. They are using TimeDoc’s care coordination platform to identify high-risk patients, track daily patient engagement and provide other valuable services. The clinical staff kept their jobs as they provide valuable services and replace lost office-visit revenue. 

 

What is the greatest challenge COVID-19 has presented to your team?

Many people on our team have worked in hospitals or come from a family of healthcare professionals. Many have friends and family members who are on the front lines fighting COVID-19 and others have lost friends and family.

Patients have been receptive to remote-care coordination during COVID-19.’’

What impact have these events had on your overall business product and hiring plans?  

Patients have been receptive to remote-care coordination during COVID-19. We’re expanding our care management and sales teams significantly since we’ve seen clients and other medical practices who need our help to provide these services to patients. We’re fortunate and inspired to be a small part of the solution to fighting COVID-19. 

 

TruckPark is an old-school company that’s recently adapted to new technology. As the trucking business picked up due to delivery influx, according to CEO Anthony Petitte, his team began focusing on releasing new product integration, like access to doctors on demand to keep drivers safe.  
 

How is your company currently contributing to the COVID-19 response efforts?

We partnered with urgent care travel centers so drivers have access to on-site doctors and nurses at truck stops and can get tested for COVID-19. We also integrated platforms with GenieMD so our driver community has access to on-demand doctors and local prescription pick-ups while on the road.

We partnered with urgent care travel centers so drivers have access to on-site doctors and nurses.’’ 

What is the greatest challenge COVID-19 has presented to your team and how are you overcoming it? 

We are an old-school company with an old-school mentality. We pride ourselves on creating relationships in person. Recently, that has been a challenge. We found ourselves in a new world and made the transformation to digital. As a result, we have connected with individuals and companies from all over the world.

 

What impact have these events had on your overall business product and hiring plans? 

Our team has continued to work through the times. Overall, business has improved. We’ve reached more people and drivers are serving stores and hospitals. In fact, the truckload index is up 18 percent from March 2018. 

We have been able to focus more on technology and releasing some new product integration into the market, which will allow us to bootstrap. Eventually, we will be looking at hiring more salespeople.

 

Though Chicago is its home, job training software company Solve recently expanded offerings to Atlanta. CEO Matt Strauss said he hopes a partnership with a local nonprofit will help support the community by providing job opportunities for the unemployed. 

 

How is your company currently contributing to COVID-19 response efforts?

This week, we launched in our second city: Atlanta. We are joining forces with the Georgia Center for Opportunity to provide support to those who have been economically impacted by COVID-19 in the Greater Atlanta area. This partnership combines the power of Solve’s technology with GCO’s “Hiring Well, Doing Good” program to connect un- and underemployed people with the resources, training and job opportunities they need in order to regain stability through employment. 

The goal of this collaboration is to foster efficiency and effectiveness among service providers. We want to empower organizations to support their communities through employment opportunities and identify critical data about the way in which initiatives such as these can generate significant positive impact both on a local and national level.  

We want to empower organizations to support their communities through employment opportunities.’’ 

What’s next for your team?

We are moving into an opportunity zone in the Kinzie Corridor on the border of West Town and Garfield Park. We are also excited to announce our newest investor, Verte OZ.

 

Ellen Houston
Managing Director of Applied Data Science

Big data firm Civis Analytics recently repurposed their census outreach campaign infrastructure to build a new product that helps COVID-19 response teams work faster and smarter. Houston said she hopes the product will allow clients to shape language that will persuade vulnerable communities to stay home and stay safe.

 

How is your company currently contributing to the COVID-19 response efforts?

We’re lucky that the data and analytics industry enables us to help organizations weather the crisis. We’re working with the states of Illinois and Michigan on data centralization, epidemiological modeling, surveys and message tests related to the COVID-19 crisis response. We’re doing regular research to help brands and nonprofits understand how consumer sentiment and behavior is changing, so they can adjust now and prepare for the future.

 

What is the greatest challenge COVID-19 has presented to your team and how are you overcoming it?

There are so many ways that data science can help address the crisis. We were almost overwhelmed with ideas. I think our healthcare lead, who has a degree in epidemiology, was on about 100 calls in the first week or two. We had to evaluate projects by impact and feasibility to stay focused. 

We were almost overwhelmed with ideas.’’

What impact have these events had on your overall business product and hiring plans? 

We’re focusing our hiring efforts on a few key positions as we watch how this crisis unfolds. We’re directing our near-term business efforts to help companies, nonprofits and government agencies navigate this new landscape with data. This means a lot of folks needed to quickly re-prioritize. We had to ask ourselves if what we were previously working on still matters and adjust accordingly. 

 

Abbie Buck
Chief People Officer

As part of Collective Health’s efforts to support their community in the recent weeks, the team has published a 60-second risk assessment tool. Chief People Officer Abbie Buck said the tool will help individuals understand their risks of exposure or symptoms. Internally, a COVID-19 task force put a remote-work contingency plan into place to prevent significant workflow disruption.

 

How is your company currently contributing to the COVID-19 response efforts?

We offer a technology-driven alternative to employee healthcare for more than 50 companies, representing nearly a quarter million people across the U.S. Therefore, we’ve had the opportunity to support our members in helping them understand, navigate and pay for their healthcare in new ways during this pandemic. This includes directing people to safe options for care, like telemedicine, as well as working with their employers to respond to legislation and expand coverage for testing and treatment. 

For our own employees and the community at large, we launched a public COVID-19 online resource center, which includes materials to help people stay safe, healthy and informed. 

 

What is the greatest challenge COVID-19 has presented to your team and how are you overcoming it?

As a company that provides an essential service, employee healthcare coverage, our greatest challenge has been ensuring our workforce and operations continue to function at normal levels despite moving our entire workforce remote. 

We had to be prepared to manage a surge in member inquiries during a health crisis. We’ve shipped multiple COVID-19 product updates in addition to our aforementioned resources, while maintaining the same level of customer service. We’ve oriented our customer experience team to prioritize COVID-19-related inquiries from our members, and have been able to service these inquiries at the same rate — and in many cases, faster — than our normal response times.

The biggest impact has been a shift in resourcing.’’ 

What impact have these events had on your overall business, product and hiring plans? 

The biggest impact has been a shift in resourcing. We want to ensure we’re equipped to  continue servicing our members and clients. Our remote-work contingency plan, spearheaded by an internal COVID-19 task force, has allowed us to continue to operate at a high level. We built new processes to make sure our customer experience and clinical support teams were able to conduct work remotely and securely. This has all been solidified, with no changes to our hours of operation.  

Through all of this, we’re still hiring. Our mission is as important as it has ever been and we look forward to welcoming new colleagues to join us.

 

Related: Companies Hiring During Coronavirus

Jobs from companies in this blog29 open jobs
All Jobs
Finance
Data + Analytics
Dev + Engineer
Legal
Marketing
Operations
Product
Sales
Developer
new
Collective Health
Chicago
Sales
new
Civis Analytics
Chicago
Sales
new
Civis Analytics
Chicago
Data + Analytics
new
Civis Analytics
Chicago
Developer
new
Civis Analytics
Chicago
Developer
new
Civis Analytics
Chicago
Developer
new
Collective Health
Chicago
Developer
new
Collective Health
Chicago
Developer
new
Collective Health
Chicago
Developer
new
Collective Health
Chicago
Marketing
new
Collective Health
Chicago
Developer
new
Collective Health
Chicago
Developer
new
Collective Health
Chicago
Operations
new
Civis Analytics
Chicago
Data + Analytics
new
Civis Analytics
Chicago
new
Collective Health
Chicago
Product
new
Civis Analytics
Chicago
Data + Analytics
new
Collective Health
Chicago
Marketing
new
Collective Health
Chicago
Marketing
new
Civis Analytics
Remote
Data + Analytics
new
Collective Health
Chicago
Developer
new
Collective Health
Chicago
Finance
new
Collective Health
Chicago
Data + Analytics
new
Civis Analytics
Chicago
Data + Analytics
new
Civis Analytics
Chicago
Marketing
new
Collective Health
Chicago
Developer
new
Civis Analytics
Chicago
Developer
new
Civis Analytics
Chicago

Chicago startup guides

LOCAL GUIDE
Best Companies to Work for in Chicago
LOCAL GUIDE
Coolest Offices in Chicago Tech
LOCAL GUIDE
Best Perks at Chicago Tech Companies
LOCAL GUIDE
Women in Chicago Tech