COVID-19 TOPx Tech Sprint Final Demos: Showcasing Digital Diagnostic Tools

The HHS “COVID-19 TOPx” technology sprint aims to further develop digital health tools to capture, harmonize, and securely transmit data from COVID-19 diagnostic tests. The COVID-19 TOPx tech sprint is now in its 10th and final week, and will provide valuable insights about on-the-ground needs and challenges to ensure effective collection and reporting of COVID-19 diagnostic data.

As COVID-19 diagnostic testing becomes more widespread and accessible beyond laboratories at points-of-care, at schools and workplaces, at-home, and over-the-counter, it is essential that diagnostic data from testing devices is harmonized, automated, and shared with medical providers and reported to appropriate public health authorities. This is not happening reliably right now because diagnostic devices and tests have not previously been coupled with the applications or digital software tools needed to collect and transmit test results.

“Rapid point-of-care, over-the-counter, and at-home tests are increasingly accessible and utilized to make data-driven decisions on how to create a safe environment,” says Dr. Leith States, HHS Acting Director of the Office of Science and Medicine. “The COVID-19 TOPx Tech Sprint is one of the many innovative approaches we are exploring to accelerate the development of digital tools to accurately capture, harmonize, and report SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic testing data.” The NIH in collaboration with CDC recently announced the “Say Yes! COVID Test” community health initiative, an innovative approach to ensure that accurate COVID-19 tracking data is captured through regular screening with at-home COVID-19 tests to strengthen prevention efforts. As self-testing becomes increasingly accessible, it is vital that this diagnostic testing data is reliable and interoperable with other digital tools that have been developed.

HHS launched the “COVID-19 TOPx” tech sprint with the U.S. Census Bureau to leverage The Opportunity Project (TOP) sprint model. The TOP model combines human-centered design techniques with agile technology sprints to encourage industry to rapidly create digital tools and add value from open government data.

The COVID-19 TOPx tech sprint continues momentum from the COVID-19 At-Anywhere Diagnostics Design-a-thon to accelerate the development of digital health tools that capture, harmonize, and securely transmit key data elements from at-anywhere COVID-19 diagnostic tests to medical providers and public health authorities. This will help inform people about the rates of infection and risk in their communities as well as inform decisions around opening up schools, businesses, large gatherings, and other congregate settings.

This fast-paced, 10-week COVID-19 TOPx tech sprint is the first time HHS is piloting the recently published “TOPx Toolkit” in partnership with the U.S. Census Bureau. This interagency event series is a public-facing technology sprint with government, industry, academia, and non-profit organizations to openly collaborate and create value from federal data. Over 700 entrepreneurs, innovators, industry professionals, and problem solvers of all stripes have already joined the HHS COVID-19 Crowdsourcing platform to help develop digital solutions for data capture, harmonization, and reporting from COVID-19 tests.

The 12 tech teams presenting at the TOPx Final Demos on April 1st 1:00 – 5:00 PM EST will be:

  1. Oracle: COVID-19 Immutable Test Results Submission and Visualization
  2. Interpret-COVID: Consumer Dx Test App
  3. Net Medical Xpress Solutions, Inc: Net Medical’s Telemed for COVID-19 Wireless Data
  4. IBM: Digital Health Pass for Citizen Reported COVID-19 Testing Data
  5. Safe Health Systems: Connected Diagnostics Platform
  6. NYU: Smart Diagnostics Ecosystem for COVID-19 Disease Management
  7. UDoTest: Simple Patient Testing Solution That’s Live, Integrated and Comprehensive
  8. Lifepoint Informatics: COVID-19 State Reporting Hub
  9. VirusIQ: VirusIQ Screening Platform > Virtual Lab Module
  10. CURA Patient: CuraPatient Digital Platform
  11. Dovel Technologies: Patient Health Surveillance Ecosystem Portal (PHSEP)
  12. DLC-Delta: Co-Verify Solution

While this is the final week of this COVID-19 TOPx tech sprint, we will continue to strengthen these public-private connections to incentivize entrepreneurs, innovators, and problem solvers to use COVID-19 data and adopt federal data standards. The participating tech teams retain ownership of all intellectual property rights to the products developed during the COVID-19 TOPx tech sprint. The long-term sustainability and continued product development and deployment is fully in their control.

Visit Waters.Crowdicity.com for more information and to RSVP for this event.

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    Former Acting U.S. Attorney General Monty Wilkinson’s Remarks Good morning. It's my honor to welcome Merrick Garland back to the Department of Justice as the 86th Attorney General of the United States. I'd also like to recognize the Attorney General's wife Lynn, his brother-in-law Mitchell and his nieces Laura and Andrea.
    [Read More…]
  • Owner of Tax Preparation Business Sentenced to Prison for Filing False Returns
    In Crime News
    A former Gulfport, Mississippi, tax return preparer was sentenced to 46 months in prison today for aiding and assisting in the preparation of false returns, announced Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard E. Zuckerman of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst for the Southern District of Mississippi.
    [Read More…]
  • Four Individuals Plead Guilty to RICO Conspiracy Involving “Bulletproof Hosting” for Cybercriminals
    In Crime News
    Four Eastern European nationals have pleaded guilty to conspiring to engage in a Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organization (RICO) arising from their providing “bulletproof hosting” services between 2008 and 2015, which were used by cybercriminals to distribute malware and attack financial institutions and victims throughout the United States.
    [Read More…]
  • Sentencing of Hong Kong Pro-Democracy Activists for Unlawful Assembly
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Antony J. Blinken, [Read More…]
  • Bangladeshi National Sentenced for Conspiracy to Bring Aliens to the United States
    In Crime News
    A Bangladeshi national formerly residing in Monterrey, Mexico, was sentenced to 46 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for his role in a scheme to smuggle aliens from Mexico into the United States.
    [Read More…]
  •  Secretary Blinken’s Call with Czech Prime Minister Babiš
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Office of the [Read More…]
  • Executions Scheduled for Two Federal Inmates Convicted of Heinous Murders
    In Crime News
    Attorney General William P. Barr today directed the Federal Bureau of Prisons to schedule the executions of two federal death-row inmates, both of whom were convicted of especially heinous murders at least 13 years ago.
    [Read More…]
  • Remarks at the United States’ Third Universal Periodic Review
    In Human Health, Resources and Services
    Robert A. Destro, [Read More…]
  • Former CEO and Founder of Technology Company Pleads Guilty to Investment Fraud Scheme
    In Crime News
    The former chief executive officer (CEO) and co-founder of Trustify, Inc. (Trustify), a privately-held technology company founded in 2015 and based in Arlington, Virginia, pleaded guilty today to his involvement in a fraud scheme resulting in millions of dollars of losses to investors.
    [Read More…]
  • Attacks on Yemeni Officials in Aden
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Cale Brown, Principal [Read More…]
  • Mongolia Travel Advisory
    In Travel
    Reconsider travel to [Read More…]
  • Secretary Antony J. Blinken at a Press Availability
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Antony J. Blinken, [Read More…]
  • The Justice Department Announces Statement of Interest Filed in Lawsuit Challenging Philadelphia’s Moratorium that Cancelled the Veterans Day Parade
    In Crime News
    The Justice Department announced that a Statement of Interest (SOI) was filed today in a case pending in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania that challenges the City of Philadelphia’s “Event Moratorium” that prohibits issuing permits for gatherings of 150 or more people on public property.
    [Read More…]
  • Fire Extinguisher Manufacturer Ordered to Pay $12 Million Penalty for Delay and Misrepresentations in Reporting Product Defects
    In Crime News
    A federal judge today ordered Walter Kidde Portable Equipment Inc. (Kidde) to pay a $12 million civil penalty in connection with allegations that the company failed to timely inform the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) about problems with fire extinguishers manufactured by the company, the Department of Justice announced.
    [Read More…]
  • Sri Lanka Travel Advisory
    In Travel
    Reconsider travel to Sri [Read More…]
  • Antitrust Division Announces Updates To Civil Investigative Demand Forms And Deposition Process
    In Crime News
    Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim of the Justice Department's Antitrust Division announced today that the Antitrust Division has implemented two uniform updates to its Civil Investigative Demand (CID) forms and deposition process: 
    [Read More…]
  • Weapon Systems Cybersecurity: Guidance Would Help DOD Programs Better Communicate Requirements to Contractors
    In U.S GAO News
    Since GAO's 2018 report, the Department of Defense (DOD) has taken action to make its network of high-tech weapon systems less vulnerable to cyberattacks. DOD and military service officials highlighted areas of progress, including increased access to expertise, enhanced cyber testing, and additional guidance. For example, GAO found that selected acquisition programs have conducted, or planned to conduct, more cybersecurity testing during development than past acquisition programs. It is important that DOD sustain its efforts as it works to improve weapon systems cybersecurity. Contracting for cybersecurity requirements is key. DOD guidance states that these requirements should be treated like other types of system requirements and, more simply, “if it is not in the contract, do not expect to get it.” Specifically, cybersecurity requirements should be defined in acquisition program contracts, and criteria should be established for accepting or rejecting the work and for how the government will verify that requirements have been met. However, GAO found examples of program contracts omitting cybersecurity requirements, acceptance criteria, or verification processes. For example, GAO found that contracts for three of the five programs did not include any cybersecurity requirements when they were awarded. A senior DOD official said standardizing cybersecurity requirements is difficult and the department needs to better communicate cybersecurity requirements and systems engineering to the users that will decide whether or not a cybersecurity risk is acceptable. Incorporating Cybersecurity in Contracts DOD and the military services have developed a range of policy and guidance documents to improve weapon systems cybersecurity, but the guidance usually does not specifically address how acquisition programs should include cybersecurity requirements, acceptance criteria, and verification processes in contracts. Among the four military services GAO reviewed, only the Air Force has issued service-wide guidance that details how acquisition programs should define cybersecurity requirements and incorporate those requirements in contracts. The other services could benefit from a similar approach in developing their own guidance that helps ensure that DOD appropriately addresses cybersecurity requirements in contracts. DOD's network of sophisticated, expensive weapon systems must work when needed, without being incapacitated by cyberattacks. However, GAO reported in 2018 that DOD was routinely finding cyber vulnerabilities late in its development process. A Senate report accompanying the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020 included a provision for GAO to review DOD's implementation of cybersecurity for weapon systems in development. GAO's report addresses (1) the extent to which DOD has made progress in implementing cybersecurity for weapon systems during development, and (2) the extent to which DOD and the military services have developed guidance for incorporating weapon systems cybersecurity requirements into contracts. GAO reviewed DOD and service guidance and policies related to cybersecurity for weapon systems in development, interviewed DOD and program officials, and reviewed supporting documentation for five acquisition programs. GAO also interviewed defense contractors about their experiences with weapon systems cybersecurity. GAO is recommending that the Army, Navy, and Marine Corps provide guidance on how programs should incorporate tailored cybersecurity requirements into contracts. DOD concurred with two recommendations, and stated that the third—to the Marine Corps—should be merged with the one to the Navy. DOD's response aligns with the intent of the recommendation. For more information, contact W. William Russell at (202) 512-4841 or russellw@gao.gov.
    [Read More…]
  • Former State Department Employee Sentenced to Prison for Trafficking in Counterfeit Goods from U.S. Embassy
    In Crime News
    A former U.S. Department of State employee and his spouse were sentenced today for their roles in a conspiracy to traffic hundreds of thousands of dollars in counterfeit goods through e-commerce accounts operated from State Department computers at the U.S. Embassy in Seoul, Republic of Korea.
    [Read More…]
  • Justice Department Announces Civil Investigation into Chemical Restraint Use at Two Nevada Juvenile Facilities
    In Crime News
    The Justice Department announced today that it has opened an investigation into the use of pepper spray at two juvenile correctional facilities run by the Nevada Juvenile Justice Services Agency: the Nevada Youth Training Center and the Summit View Youth Center.  The investigation will examine whether staff at the two facilities use pepper spray in a manner that violates youth’s rights under the Constitution.
    [Read More…]
  • Abusive Tax Schemes: Offshore Insurance Products and Associated Compliance Risks
    In U.S GAO News
    Federal law provides certain tax benefits for transactions involving genuine insurance products, including insurance products held offshore. While taxpayers may lawfully hold offshore insurance products, they contain features that make them vulnerable for use in abusive tax schemes. For example, offshore insurance products can be highly technical and individualized, making enforcement challenging, according to Internal Revenue Service (IRS) officials. Furthermore, insurance is not defined by federal statute, potentially making a determination of what constitutes genuine insurance for federal tax purposes unclear. Offshore micro-captive insurance products, which are made by small insurance companies owned by the businesses they insure, may be abused if the corporate taxpayer improperly claims deductions for payments made to a micro-captive for federal tax purposes. Courts have applied certain considerations to determine whether these deductions can be claimed. For example, one consideration is whether the insurance legitimately distributes risk across participating entities. IRS officials said they expend significant resources reviewing these schemes because of the varied ways insurance companies may work. Offshore variable life insurance products, which are insurance policies with investment components over which the insured has certain control, may be abused if the individual taxpayer fails to meet IRS reporting requirements or pay appropriate federal income taxes. Federal regulations require that taxpayers with certain foreign life insurance accounts report this information to IRS and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network. The structure of life insurance products may vary and taxpayers are required to pay taxes based on the underlying type of financial product the policy represents. The figure below shows how noncompliance may occur when taxpayers use life insurance and micro-captive insurance in abusive tax schemes. Abusive Use of Micro-captive and Life Insurance When structured in abusive ways, insurance products held offshore can be designed to aid in unlawful tax evasion by U.S. taxpayers. Two products that IRS has recently warned have the potential for such abuse include micro-captive insurance and variable life insurance policies. GAO was asked to review how taxpayers may abuse offshore insurance products. This report describes (1) how offshore insurance tax shelters provide opportunities for income tax abuse; (2) how offshore micro-captive insurance is used and how it is used in abusive tax schemes; and (3) how offshore variable life insurance is used and how it is used in abusive tax schemes. GAO reviewed IRS tax and information return forms, relevant U.S. case law and IRS guidance, academic and trade publications, and applicable statutes and regulations. GAO also interviewed IRS officials and professionals in the tax preparation and insurance industries. For more information, contact Jessica Lucas-Judy at (202) 512-9110 or LucasJudyJ@gao.gov.
    [Read More…]
  • Louisiana Tax Preparer Sentenced to Prison for Filing Fraudulent Returns
    In Crime News
    A Louisiana tax return preparer was sentenced to 24 months in prison today for conspiring to defraud the United States, announced Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Louisiana.
    [Read More…]
  • State Department Designates Two Senior Al-Shabaab Leaders as Terrorists
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Michael R. Pompeo, [Read More…]
  • Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim Announces Re-Organization of the Antitrust Division’s Civil Enforcement Program
    In Crime News
    The Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division announced today that it is creating the Office of Decree Enforcement and Compliance and a Civil Conduct Task Force.  Additionally, it will redistribute matters among its six civil sections in order to build expertise based on current trends in the economy.
    [Read More…]
  • NASA-led Study Reveals the Causes of Sea Level Rise Since 1900
    In Space
    Scientists have gained [Read More…]