In tandem with biweekly testing, the College has implemented the app CoVerified as a crucial aspect of its COVID-19 outbreak prevention protocol. Physicians, engineers, and public health experts at Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology designed CoVerified as a comprehensive COVID-19 management platform for schools and colleges. While the application allows students to report new symptoms and to schedule testing appointments, it also allows the College to communicate test results and conveniently track the condition of its student body.
In an email to The Colby Echo, Scott Lowman, the College’s medical director and a key figure in the COVID-19 response team, explained CoVerified and future testing protocol. According to Lowman, the Broad Institute in Boston runs the College’s testing program. The Broad Institute worked with the CoVerified team to develop the application.
“The Broad partnered with CoVerified to develop a platform to distribute test results, facilitate scheduling, and provide a symptom reporting/monitoring process,” Lowman said.
The Broad Institute did not require the College to use CoVerified, however, Lowman and his team believed that it was the best option because of its convenience.
“While the use of CoVerified was not mandated, the College felt that having all of these functions fall under one interface would create the most user-friendly experience for the campus community,” Lowman said. “Before making the decision to select CoVerified, the College evaluated other potential options. CoVerified’s ability to incorporate multiple functions under one umbrella was a key factor in making the decision.”
A small period of time separated the beginning of the school year and the implementation of CoVerified. While students began testing the first day they arrived on campus, symptom reporting and test scheduling through CoVerified did not start until early September. Lowman explains that there was an unexpected delay in the development of the app.
“The options that were being evaluated over the summer were in development as companies were responding to a market need. CoVerified’s platform was not available at the start of the semester because of the unexpected additional time needed for the development process. The delayed implementation was clearly a drawback but necessary to ensure personal health information was protected. This situation was not unique to the solution we selected,” Lowman noted.
Lowman believes that CoVerified has effectively complemented other parts of the College’s testing program.
“Students, faculty, and staff may use a single app to schedule tests, receive results, and report symptoms. It also provides a single platform for Colby to manage these programs,” Lowman remarked.
At this time, Lowman and his team are unsure if the College will change or add to the COVID-19 prevention program, as the situation is dynamic and constantly developing, but they do not foresee any changes in the near future.
“We don’t know at this time. The College takes steps to actively stay informed about advancements in health and testing strategies. In addition, the College monitors multiple factors that determine the health code level as described in the following website – https://covid19.colby.edu/health-code-and-testing-data/,” Lowman said. “At this time we don’t foresee any changes to the testing protocol, but we will be proactive if changes are needed.”
Avery Rosensweig `23 agrees that CoVerified has been one of the most convenient parts of the testing process.
“It’s been pretty easy to navigate,” Rosensweig said. “I like how I can do everything all in one spot. It’s really easy to schedule testing times through the app.”
Rosensweig likes that CoVerified reports her test results immediately after the lab has processed them.
“I like that I can see my test results as soon as they’re available. Sometimes waiting days for results can be nerve-wracking, like the test we took right before we got to school. For the last test I took, the results were ready on the same day,” Rosensweig remarked.
While CoVerified has generally facilitated an easy experience, Rosensweig wishes that the application had a more robust notifications feature.
“I sometimes wish that I would be better reminded to test and to report symptoms. But, overall, it’s been really easy!”
~ Matt Rocha `23