Industry leaders fight against COVID-19

September 12, 2020 Providence News Team

Providence joins Microsoft, Adaptive Biotechnologies, LabCorp and Illumina to begin mapping immune responses to the infection and sharing the results.

  • Providence is part of a group of researchers gathering information and studying how different people react to infection from COVID-19.
  • Data about the body’s immune system response to the virus increases understanding about the disease and offers clues on how to lessen its impact.
  • The efforts showcase the commitment Providence has for developing innovative solutions for today’s healthcare concerns.


Providence continues to showcase its commitment to excellence and innovation in developing healthcare solutions to ease the way for all we serve, especially during this time. We recently partnered with Microsoft, Adaptive Biotechnologies, Illumina and other industry leaders to map and decode the body’s immune system’s response to infection from COVID-19. The results will be shared in a unique database called ImmuneCODE. Providence is an initial clinical collaborator in the group’s efforts.

Understanding how the body's immune system responds to the coronavirus (COVID-19) improves our understanding of the disease and provides valuable insights on how to detect and treat it more effectively.

Your immune response is how your body detects harmful substances such as viruses, bacteria and infections. When your immune system recognizes one of these invaders, your body activates a set of defenses that fight off the foreign substance and restore your body to a healthy state. When the battle ends, your immune system maintains a memory of the response and the results it generated to help ward off reinfection. This process is called an immune response signature.

Earlier this year, researchers in the collaboration began a virtual clinical trial managed by Covance, a global research company and drug development arm of LabCorp. Using a LabCorp-enabled service, experts began collecting blood samples from patients who have been diagnosed with or recovered from COVID-19. Information from those samples is analyzed and the immune response signatures identified and matched to the COVID-19 properties they address. The study is unique because it focuses on T cells—the body’s defenders against a viral invasion. It hopes to identify what components of COVID-19 prompt a T cell response and document the individual immune response signatures of thousands of people worldwide.

As data is generated, it's loaded into the ImmuneCODE database. The open-access portal makes the information available to all public health researchers, providers and organizations. As the study progresses, researchers will continue to improve and update the results in real-time. As of early August, more than half a billion data sequences had been collected.

The Hospital of the Future

Providence and Microsoft are no strangers to collaboration. Last year the two industry leaders formed a strategic alliance to create what Providence CEO, Rod Hochman, M.D., referred to as “the hospital of the future,” in a CNBC report.

The joint effort centers on improving patient care by using innovative communication tools and artificial intelligence to simplify and modernize care delivery.

Although it’s still in its early stages, the project has logged several accomplishments to date.

In May, Providence deployed Microsoft 365 for more than 132,000 caregivers. This achievement allowed them to successfully transition to remote work when COVID-19 put restrictions on travel and face-to-face contact.

Other innovations include artificial intelligence chatbots, in-home monitoring and telehealth solutions.

“We can’t be a box that takes care of patients with emergency rooms attached,” said Hochman in the CNBC report. “We have to evolve to become information centers, with sophisticated outpatient and inpatient care. It’ll be interesting to see how many (health systems) make it through that transition.”


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Find a doctor

The Providence Digital Innovation Group Resource Center gives you access to publications, research and perspectives on issues that are reshaping healthcare through digital innovation. Through Providence Express Care Virtual, you can access a full range of healthcare services. If you need to find a doctor, you can use our provider directory or search for one in your area.






Related Resources

Where the 'hospital of the future' partnership stands a year later

The pandemic is pushing tech giants deeper into health care

Robots, telemedicine, and more: How hospitals are leveraging tech to limit coronavirus exposure

Providence Digital Innovation Group Resource Center

This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.

About the Author

The Providence News Team brings you the updates to keep you informed about what's happening across the organizational ecosystem. From partnerships to new doctor announcements, we are committed to keeping you informed.

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