CoResponD

CoRESPOND is our response to immediately connect people in need of quick solutions for emerging COVID-19 problems, with a network of researchers, engineers, students, medical experts, community and industry members poised to respond to these problems.

CoRESPOND is a rapid publishing and innovation system for the planet. The system supports just -in-time needs, enables unified conversations and powers crowd sourcing of solutions - starting within our own community and network of experts. We believe that with an easy to reach, agile system, and a growing, diverse network of experts, we can address critical needs and enact fast response.

Examples include frontline docs in need of the best information for their patient, investigators in need of research support for COVID trials, health system members trying to obtain PPE or medications in short supply, academic, government of industry leadership in need of ad hoc emergency response teams as the situation unfolds.

I NEED HELP!

I am on the Frontline

Are you a Frontline Provider, Clinician , Nurse or Researcher with an urgent need? Do you need the most up to date information, emergency supplies or inventions you can build in your own hospital?


  1. Direct your frontline needs to CoRESPOND by emailing:

  1. We'll build a team just for you.

  2. Receive a response back with resources, answers or solutions

We created CoRESPOND as an evolving platform to help clinicians, researchers and and the public by matching queries/needs at the front line with help from our collective talent.

We help with problems and offer solutions from clinical questions to new science, DIY and community driven innovation.

I CAN HELP!

I am an Expert/Innovator

  1. Are you an expert or someone with resources, a clinical researcher, scientist, engineer (faculty, staff and students), an inventor and innovator who wants to help the frontline?


  1. Join the earth2.0 emergency publishing and innovation system:

  1. Engage in Discussions on Slack and work and innovate in groups

  2. Get effective solutions back to the frontline

Clinicians, Staff, Researchers and others at the frontline need resources, accurate and timely information and rapid innovation to support their heroic efforts.

Their needs range from emerging knowledge of COVID management to equipment, from translation to innovation. They simply can't do this on their own.

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How Does CoRESPOND Work?

Background

To get this system off the ground quickly we used slack at earth-two.slack.com as the backbone of our rapid response infrastructure. We allow direct integration with email on the inbound side of problems (I NEED HELP!), and ticketing system called FreshDesk, and google drive to manage any resource generated during the problem solving (WE CAN HELP). With time the platform will merge with a web application underway which will serve as another channel to post problems as well as a venue to showcase FAQs and key information.

This system now enables frontline workers and critical staff to rapidly communicate problems simply by emailing. Slack will enable solution providers to discuss and generate solutions, perform tasks or find resources that can then be delivered back to the front-line.

The unified platform will also allow us to connect with the general public and enable citizen-science by enacting community help in terms of both resources (e.g. capabilities to help with specific technical issues), as well as key information about COVID-19 and its spread in the community (e.g. contact-tracing).

We expect most needs/problems to be communicated through email input to COVID-help@ucsd.edu. Emails will be triaged by CURATORS, and will then be posted in the appropriate channel on SLACK where MODERATORS and DOMAIN EXPERTS will discuss the problem and devise a solution.

To achieve the workflow above, we have structured our platform around 4 ways of interacting across the stakeholders of the COVID-Help platform.

Problem Reporters Portal- FRONTLINE AGENTS

  1. Input of needs/problems to the COVID-Help platform: EMAIL: COVID-help@ucsd.edu

  2. Input will post to the triage/ticketing system built on the FreshDesk Helpdesk support system and deployed at http://covid-help.ucsd.edu

  3. Incoming emails are tracked by the triage system, and FRONTLINE AGENTS decide if the question is legit, redirect the question to existing solutions, or engage in conversation with the front-line workers to clarify any details.

  4. Frontline agents then decide to which of the existing slack channels (see below) to forward the request, by assigning the incoming email to a specific type (e.g. type = #clinical-research, type = #dyimask). The message is automatically forwarded to the selected slack channel.

  5. Frontline agents monitor a special slack channel #completed-projects, to then notify the front-line worker with the reported solution. Curators will be grouped in a special @curators team on Slack that will be automatically notified when a new solution is posted. Frontline agents retrieve the solution information that has been posted on the completed-project channel (e.g. google doc, PDF, etc.) and respond to the front-line clinician with the information that has been provided.

  6. Frontline agents post the solution in the appropriate folder on the FreshDesk solution space (link to the original solution document).

Problem Solvers Portal - MODERATORS and DOMAIN EXPERTS

  1. Dedicated SLACK channels are generated through the Earth 2.0/COVID response platform. Currently the following channels have been created: #clinical-research #contact-tracing #covid-infectivity #diymasks #ethics #phage #ppe #stress-wellness #radiology #ventilators

  2. DOMAIN EXPERTS (solution providers) are recruited through a dedicated Google Form here. These experts will join the slack platform and help provide solutions.

  3. Domain experts can subscribe to different type of channels

    • OPEN: Users subscribe to the one of the above open channels they choose to discuss solutions related to the problems

    • SOLICITED: Users are invited to selected channels to solve a problem by a MODERATOR.

    • INVITED: Users create a dedicated private group to solve a specific project

  4. Every channel elects a small numbers of MODERATORS, who are responsible to keep track of new request and create domain experts teams and

  5. Requests are automatically posted on different slack channels by the curator and appear as COVID-Help@ucsd.edu emails on the channels that the curators decided to post it to.

  6. MODERATORS attend to the request, and forward it to specific domain experts or teams, by creating dedicated direct messages groups. To signal that the request is in process, moderators apply the “:heavy_check_mark:” ✔️ reaction to the posted message.

  7. MODERATORS should forward the question to either:

    • a specific group of Domain Experts through Direct Messages

    • to a specific Domain expert

    • to the Administrator(s) with the ask to create a new channel to address an emergent need/problems that does not fit the current channel.

  8. DOMAIN EXPERTS (groups or individuals) work on their solutions, create resources and documents in the solution space infrastructure (see below).

  9. When a solution is found, the moderator forwards the original request to a special app user @COVID-Help, adding a key piece of information to the forward message:

    • Link to solution document/folder: <add your link>

  10. The message is archived in the read-only #00-completed-projects Slack channel.

  11. To signal that the request has been answered, the @COVID-Help slack application will automatically add a ":thumbsup:" 👍 reaction to the posted message.

  12. The FRONTLINE AGENTS are automatically notified of a new solution, and can then forward the information to the Front-line workers using the FreshDesk ticketing system.

Solution Space Portal - DOMAIN EXPERTS

  1. DOMAIN EXPERTS will use dedicated Google Drive folders to store any document and resources created during the resolution of the project. We expect domain experts to use Google Docs, Google Spreadsheets, PDFs, images, and other.

  2. Every solution that is being worked on, should create a subfolder within that main channel folder. Domain experts are expected to organize their folder in a way that everybody can understand.

  3. The master google drive is owned by the google account covid-help@ucsd.edu, and the root folder called “covid-help” is shared with channel administrators (@administrators)

  4. Every slack channel has a link to its dedicated Google Drive folder (a subdirectory of the “covid-help” folder) in the channel topic at the top of the channel.

  5. Google drive folders can be kept restricted to specific groups (e.g. the “COVID Research Support Project” in the #clinical-research channel can be made available in “write mode” to experts (Attending, Fellows and Medical Students) but only given “view” permissions to others (e.g. Engineers and Cell Biologists).

  6. To add new channels (and google drive folders) or to tune permissions on Google Drive, please contact @administrators on slack.

Discussion Format

Slack users will engage in topic discussions in the different channels. They will be asked to address specific problems raised in several ways:

  1. Users can have conversation within the “official” problem channels

  2. Users can create dedicated (and temporary) channels to address sub-elements of need/problem

  3. Users can start threaded discussions on one specific need/problem

  4. Users can have 1-1 discussions, or create groups of users that are only discussing a specific problem.

Workflow and Structure

A simplified version of the workflow and structure of the Earth 2.0/COVID Response system is shown above.
A detailed version is available here.