When the pandemic hit, we leaned heavily into our response to COVID-19. One of the many things we did was create a free map of sites around the U.S. that did COVID-19 testing. Nothing special here — lots of these popped up and helped people around the country get access to testing.
The first version was literally the result of a small team at Carbon Health calling thousands of hospitals and health centers around the country and some scraping. As time has gone by, we’ve built some automated processes. Nowadays, there are lots of ways to access testing, and access to testing is pretty widely available. But tons of people used our test finder, and friends who knew I worked at Carbon Health would occasionally reach out if they needed a test (for example, if they were about to travel or had been recently exposed), and I’d just point them to it.
The response to these tools and the rapid onset of the pandemic revealed something about healthcare in the U.S. that it might otherwise have taken us a while to learn (healthcare veterans would know this, but I was a noob): for patients, finding exactly what you need in healthcare is hard.