PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The president of the Pittsburgh-based technology company that is taking over collecting coronavirus data from the CDC says the firm is ready to solve the coronavirus crisis.
Hospital data related to the coronavirus pandemic will no longer go to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention.
TeleTracking’s leadership explains this as a public-private partnership rather than a taking over of data collection for the CDC.
The company says it’s proud to do its part to help solve the largest public health and economic crisis of our lifetime.
“In the fight with COVID, we must have actionable information so that we can test, tag, track and treat the disease,” said Christopher Johnson, president of TeleTracking Technologies.
Even before it was awarded a $10 million contract from the federal government to track coronavirus data, TeleTracking was already managing real-time data from 11,000 hospitals in the U.S., U.K. and Canada.
“Anyone who’s been in the hospital knows our system is inefficient,” said Johnson.
The company’s name may be familiar because of its annual Mission Of Mercy event, which is a volunteer effort in Pittsburgh that provides free dental care to the needy.
But it’s a modern technology platform that the company created a decade ago that Johnson says lent itself to landing this new federal contract.
“It’s similar to what you would see at NASA Mission Control or an air traffic control center, and TeleTracking has built more of these than any other provider combined,” said Johnson.
But this new role didn’t come without controversy, many saying the private company shouldn’t be doing the work of the federal government.
“TeleTracking did not replace the CDC. The CDC has a powerful mandate in this country and one that we all want them on that wall in doing,” Johnson said.
Instead, Johnson says TeleTracking is helping the CDC and other government agencies in the overwhelming job of tracking and treating those impacted by the pandemic.
“Everyone is involved and focused on solving the crisis,” Johnson said.
Some of the controversies were due to an error on a government spending website that inaccurately said that TeleTracking was the only company to bid for the job. Six companies placed a bid, and the website has since been corrected.