I’ve got a video (2:34) for you today. This is an interview filmed earlier this year. In it, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Chief Data Officer Somesh Nigam talks about his work identifying early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic in Louisiana. This was before widespread testing was available and even when you could count confirmed cases on one hand.
But Somesh was able to turn the data Blue Cross gets about our members into a really good guess about where COVID-19 was spreading in the state. I’ve written about how Blue Cross teamed with the Louisiana Department of Health to create the COVID-19 tracker. Now, hear in Somesh’s own words how he turned a hunch and Blue Cross data into a major part of how the state predicted the spread of COVID-19 and allocated resources to combat it.
“I said, ‘well, we have to figure out a way to find who has COVID because it was also the flu season. You know what? A lot of people are really dying of pneumonia and maybe you can take a look at pneumonia without flu.’”
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Chief Analytics & Data Officer
In fact, as a result of this collaboration, Blue Cross earned a Brand Excellence Award for Brand Innovation from the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association in 2021, recognizing our partnership with the State of Louisiana throughout the pandemic.