During the pandemic of 2020, many Americans expected large businesses and corporations to step up and help. While many large businesses and corporations did exactly that, many people failed to consider start-up companies in the fight against COVID-19. Thankfully, one particular company defied all odds and expectations, standing up as a critical aid to millions of Americans.
Cyrus Massoumi started the Dr. B website in January 2021 after founder Cyrus Massoumi identified an issue with vaccine waste. While millions of Americans struggled to find a COVID-19 vaccine, many clinics were forced to discard extra doses due to strict expiration guidelines. The platform wanted to help connect interested Americans still needing the COVID-19 amount, with local clinics holding a surplus due to scheduling conflicts.
How Dr. B Became the Start-Up Company with a Customized Plan
The explicit goal of the Dr. B website was to connect local Americans trying to secure an immunization with clinics in the area with extra vaccine surplus before the predicted expiration. The standby service held free registrations online, offering an instant connection with registered clinics within the region. Clinics could register with the platform free of charge, uploading the extra vaccine quantities through the portal.
As every state held its vaccine eligibility requirements, Dr. B developed an algorithm to cross-reference all applicants against the current guidelines and stipulations required. Anyone matching the criteria and hitting the highest priority received the first contact from the system. From there, the network would access the registry instantly and pull all applicable names from the database.
What Happened When an Individual Received a Notification?
When the Dr. B platform sent a text message to an eligible applicant, individuals had 15 minutes to determine whether they could make the appointment. Most appointments required immediate vaccination, meaning the patient had to confirm or decline the appointment as quickly as possible. If an appointment remained unanswered or declined, Dr. B would contact subsequent applicants to take the appointment slot. The first person would then return to the back of their appropriate priority category.
Who Registered with the Dr. B Website?
At the initial launch, two clinics registered with the Dr. B platform. The first clinic was a pharmacy owner named Brittany March of Little Rock, Arkansas. The drug store owner found herself struggling to use the supply of COVID-19 vaccines before they expired after an unexpected 22-inch snowstorm hit in February. After registering with Dr. B’s website, the overall waste from the devastating storm was minimal.
Over time, many different clinics joined Dr. B’s website, hoping to help reduce their vaccine waste during a pandemic. At the end of the registration period, 755 other clinics across the United States were working with Massoumi through the platform. As the platform sent automated text messages to qualified and interested individuals without additional time or energy from the clinic, it was an effortless process. Before Dr. B, many clinics would spend hours finding eligible patrons in the store.
Collecting Private User Information
It’s critical to recognize the company’s level of reach throughout 2021. The start-up helped immunize Americans, collecting nearly 2.5 million individual registrations. The website collected many pieces of personal information to help organize the priority status of citizens wanting immunization. This information included employment details, geographic location, name, pre-existing medical conditions, and primary contact details. All data collected was referenced against a clinic’s current availability and state-wide eligibility requirements. The information gathered helped pinpoint eligible individuals who needed the vaccine within the local area.
All companies collecting and storing personal and health information should always receive a proper evaluation. Massoumi understood the platform wasn’t governed by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) but strived to maintain equal levels of protection and privacy for all users. The Dr. B website used bank-level encryption to keep all details private.
Understanding the Populations Served Through Dr. B
As the Coronavirus vaccine became readily available, the eligibility parameters shifted to allow more citizens to receive a vaccine. Although anyone could potentially register through the platform, Massoumi initially approached vulnerable and underserved communities before going public with the platform. These populations were intentionally given access to the website’s registration, developing a standby list to receive text notifications of available vaccine appointments. Once the public caught wind of the service, enrollments skyrocketed to unprecedented levels.
How Dr. B Enforced Government Restrictions
The national government gave every individual state separate control over the vaccine rollout. As the vaccine distribution began in 2021, many states used pre-existing medical conditions, age, and occupation status to determine eligibility. Those individuals qualifying for a vaccine faced overbooking and backlogs of appointments. Systems couldn’t handle the influx of traffic. Those committed to securing an appointment time spent hours refreshing the booking websites, ultimately hoping for a cancelation.
With the Dr. B platform, users could wait in line virtually without having to spend hours in the pharmacy. The website offered equitable access to all vaccines while prioritizing access to individual qualifications and risk factors.
How COVID-19 was a Community Effort
Although the pandemic proves the destructive nature of new viruses hitting our population, it also showcases the need to protect the community through cooperation and diligence. Trying to streamline a complicated process saves valuable resources, especially when facing a vaccine shortage. All companies have a critical part to play during times of global concern and panic, especially when life-saving vaccinations are at risk.