Innovation is key to overcoming society’s challenges. At IEM, our team is committed to innovating to provide our clients with the solutions and tools needed to respond to crises, save lives, and build a safer, more resilient world.
The pandemic brought significant challenges that the U.S. and the world were not prepared for. It also brought opportunities for innovative solutions. At IEM, our team adapted quickly to create solutions to help our Nation and communities respond to the coronavirus and withstand its widespread repercussions. We worked diligently to innovate tools and systems to track and predict the spread of COVID-19 and provide relief to individuals seeking assistance.
Without the ability to effectively track and forecast the spread of the virus, public health officials would have little data to inform evidence-based response efforts. In order to help state, localities, tribes and territories project COVID-19 infections and predict surges in hospitalizations and medical needs, IEM quickly leveraged its more than 15 years of support to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for medical consequence modeling and adapted its proprietary artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms to generate modeling of coronavirus cases.
We refined our AI model in late February and early March to provide accurate seven-day projections for operational and logistical planning for all 50 states and 3 territories, as well as key regional government organizations. Since then, IEM has provided its state and region-specific COVID-19 projections daily to federal, state, local, and territorial emergency managers and public health officials to better prepare for an increase in hospitalizations, plan for and locate drive-through testing facilities, and to determine where increased levels of transmission may be occurring. Our projections continue to be within 10%, and are often within 5%, of actual confirmed cases. Our projections are now included in the CDC’s national ensemble.
COVID-19 Projection Dashboard:
IEM innovated to integrate AI and geographic information system (GIS) technologies to create its COVID-19 Projection Dashboard. The Dashboard utilizes IEM’s AI modeling to forecast or predict new coronavirus cases across the country and visually show confirmed and IEM projected coronavirus cases at the state and county level. The Dashboard serves as a resource to generate a better understanding of where coronavirus hotspots are occurring within each state and provide an accurate seven-day estimation of future cases to aid response efforts.
IEM’s COVID-19 Dashboard features multiple interactive display options, including National and State Heatmaps that capture historical and seven-day forecast data at the county level (where information is available) in contrasting colors to show the severity and progression of COVID-19 cases over time. Users can select a specific county to view its confirmed coronavirus cases in the past seven days and, if available, IEM’s projected estimates for the next seven days in the Dashboard’s County Pane.
Pandemic response goes beyond the public health sector. Evictions, or the threat of them, have skyrocketed across the country as the economy suffered due to lockdowns and unemployment numbers increased. IEM sought to help communities overcome the pending eviction crisis and distribute the newly authorized $25 billion Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) program’s relief to individuals in need.
Based on our successful program for disaster recovery funding, HRIQ, IEM developed the innovative software application, RentAssistIQ™ powered by Appian—a low code, secure platform—to ensure relief funds are managed and distributed efficiently. The software easily processes Emergency Rental Assistance Program funds from application, eligibility determination, and duplication-of-benefits review through disbursement, monitoring and reporting, and continued reapplication as needed – the entire lifecycle.
Appian technology is already a trusted partner for the U.S. Treasury, the agency administering the ERA program, and is used by the Department to track applications, coordinate and assess reports, and integrate internal strategies. IEM’s incorporation of this technology in RentAssistIQ™ ensures its processes and systems fully align with Treasury’s standards and can seamlessly process rental assistance applications. The technology is capable of processing large volumes of applications and documents accurately and efficiently while employing fraud detection capabilities. Appian automation ensures RentAssistIQ™ increases productivity, decreases errors, and reduces costs. IEM’s innovative technology ensures that landlords, tenants, and utilities get the funding they need to persevere during these uncertain times.
“IEM is committed to innovating for our clients and partners, especially in these difficult times,” said Ted Lemcke, IEM’s Chief Technology Officer. “We have leveraged our technology to bolster public health response and help communities and individuals get vital relief to keep their businesses open and a roof over their heads.”
IEM will continue to expand its capabilities to aid response efforts to provide pandemic relief and in future disaster efforts. Only through innovation can we build a safe, secure, and resilient world.