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How could global health benefit from Fearless’ $35M CDC contract?

“It’s going to empower the CDC to not meet future pandemic needs, but ultimately, be preemptive and proactive.”

“It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data.” — Sherlock Holmes (Maxim Berg/Unsplash)
Full disclosure: Fearless is a Technical.ly Talent Builder client. That relationship had no impact on this report.

In 2022, Fearless Portfolio Director Nichole Weems told Technical.ly that the impact-focused digital services company would continue working to advance its healthcare-related technology projects.

With an established presence in the federal government ecosystem and a history of securing large contracts, Fearless recently scored a three-year, $35 million contract from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The contract is designed to bolster the Pandemic Ready Interoperability Modernization Effort (PRIME), a collaborative initiative between the CDC and the US Digital Service. Weems told Technical.ly that this work aims to modernize how the CDC might be able to “iteratively improve upon receiving data” from hospitals, nonprofit organizations and government agencies at both the state and local levels.

“As you can imagine, those sources have different levels of maturity in which they’re even able to collect and store and disseminate data,” Weems said. “So it’s really helping the CDC be able to digest and [intake] data from all of those sources, so that they can make better-informed decisions about public health [and] safety. It’s not about if there’s going to be a future pandemic. It’s really about when.”

The multi-functional platform, Enterprise Data Exchange (DEX), is a preliminary version of CDC Front Door and is something that Weems says she hopes will be a “frontline” and “future solution” for international health work.

“I think the future looks like equity,” she said. “And it looks like being able to allow those who are in rural or tribal areas of the population to be able to seek equitable care [the same] as someone who is in a popular city like New York or LA, or any city, right?”

“I think it also looks like empowering,” Weems added. “It empowers. It’s going to empower the CDC to not meet future pandemic needs, but ultimately, be preemptive and proactive in possibly mitigating any future needs or lessening the impact of any future pandemics globally.”

According to Weems, Fearless will explore several problem-solving techniques throughout its contract to support the CDC as it provides advisories or instructions to populations during health crises like COVID-19.

“This is an exciting opportunity for us to leverage all of our capabilities as a digital services integrator,” said Fearless Digital President Alka Bhave in a statement. “We’re supporting the customer experience, improving visibility and readability of data through human-centered design and service design techniques, product management methods, and agile software development principles.”

The CDC website denotes that lessons learned with DEX will inform the eventual launch of Front Door before it becomes available for “broader” use.

Companies: Fearless / Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
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