Analytics team races to plot surges, predict shortfalls and save lives


All across the country, Americans are doing what they can to flatten the curve. We’re working from home, wearing masks when we’re out and washing our hands … a lot. Across Optum, there are scores of people who are also determined to flatten the curve.

Tushar Mehrotra explains how data and analytics are being used to help track COVID-19, support health care providers and help save lives.

Watch the video below to learn how Optum is predicting surges and managing supplies.


Here’s what you need to know about the Optum COVID-19 modeling efforts:

  • Data and analytics teams are helping predict COVID-19 growth while assessing providers’ readiness.
  • They are able to predict at what point providers in specific areas may run out of critical supplies like intensive care beds and ventilators.
  • That key information helps providers make decisions, ration supplies and, in some cases, reroute patients to other locations.
  • The push to build and maintain COVID-19 models required long hours from people in all areas of Optum — from actuaries to clinicians to data engineers.
  • One provider in Washington state estimates Optum modeling bought his organization an extra week of preparedness when every second counted.

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One thought on “Analytics team races to plot surges, predict shortfalls and save lives

  1. The Governor here in NM acted in the first week that cases showed up in NM and I am glad to say rendered my projection useless. The first two weeks the cases were growing exponentially just like my projection but then I could see the stay at home orders having an effect as growth went linear and now it looks like we will not hit hospital capacity. We were lucky as it hit here later than on the coast states so we had a better idea of what was coming and a Governor willing to take heat for acting strong and fast but it has made a big difference. She is getting a lot of heat for closing the liquor stores recently (apparently alcohol lowers your resistance to COVID-19). Bummer 🙁

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