From one Utah business’ idea comes a solution for COVID-19 testing | First Utah Bank

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From one Utah business’ idea comes a solution for COVID-19 testing

It would be easier than you think to come up with a list of companies that have brought innovative products to consumers beyond Utah. With the tech boom and the start-up environment still prominent in parts of the state’s landscape, there are dozens of examples of businesses that go well outside the box to help others.

One such business from Orem was recently profiled in Entrepreneur magazine. Nomi Health had only been around for a year providing healthcare solutions when they developed a way to provide testing for the coronavirus. The idea took off in a big way – and relatively quickly – and now they are a great example of how Utah businesses can be leaders as well as innovators.

First Utah Bank also supplies its own type of leading-edge tools for businesses, including a recently revamped online personal internet banking program that provides convenience and security for businesses in the Beehive State.

Answering the call to better Utah residents’ lives

The big contract that changed the fortunes and direction of Nomi Health was from its own state government. Co-founders Mark Newman and Joshua Walker outlined the whole process for Entrepreneur. One of the first advantages they found was using suppliers for their tests in their own backyard once it was discovered that there weren’t enough COVID tests available to meet the needs of residents in Utah County.

“Most businesses just went and bought stuff from the same old suppliers,” Newman says. “We called a diagnostic company here in Utah who was doing COVID testing in Europe. And where everyone was saying no tests, they had two million of them. And we’re like, ‘This is silly. Why don’t you use them in your own state?’ And they’re like, ‘No one’s called.’ Wow. OK. Well, we’re calling. Put us down for 50,000 and let’s get going.”

Beyond just securing the tests themselves, Nomi Health needed to also work on the best method to get tests to the people. This is where its background in coming up with high-volume processes for healthcare deliverables came into play.

“We knew it wasn’t just about being great diagnostic testers; it was actually about throughput and flow,” Newman says. “No one thought we could do it, frankly. Within a couple of weeks, we launched everything, and then we talked with the governor’s office and they said, ‘Can you keep doing this?’ This is really a story of raising our hand, showing up and saying, ‘Yeah, we can do this.’”

Sustaining the momentum

Eventually, Nomi’s program was expanded to include testing in Iowa and Nebraska. The two leaders of Nomi Health had to work on the best ways to use the resources they had now across three different geographic areas. Walker told Entrepreneur that keeping the partnership going with all three governments helped them navigate changes in the program that naturally came up.

“In March, we had grocery stores shutting down and people were being asked to stay at home. That was one environment,” Walker says. “You had super-scarce resources when it came to PPE and nasal swabs and tests and machinery. Now there are more tests available, but it’s about throughput and speed of response. It’s how you get schools back going. How do you get people back to work?”

The ways that Nomi navigates these challenges includes staying focused on making testing affordable as well. “We are going to serve self-funded organizations so employers, states and communities will have our direct-healthcare claim-payment platform that replaces large insurance carriers,” Newman explained, “We’re going to continue to have Nomi public-health services be a portion of our business because it’s a case study of what we’re doing right. So it’s definitely adjusted our targets.”

The success of the testing program begs an important longer-term question: can a model such as Nomi’s be used to distribute the eventual coronavirus vaccine? Both of Nomi Health’s leaders seem to think so.

“I feel like there is hope,” Walker says. “There’s going to be a lot of creativity, and I believe there’s a healthy intolerance of the status quo as it relates to mobilizing and moving on immunization and vaccination rollouts, so I’m optimistic.”

Online banking options help Salt Lake City businesses save time

The challenge of finding the right amount of time to apply innovations to business is always going to be one for any size business. Savvy leaders and owners would be wise to try and find efficiencies in the way they run their business. First Utah Bank can help in this regard by making it easy and convenient to keep your business banking running smoothly.

First Utah Bank has a website that features a simple log-in for Internet Banking. If you are part of our Treasury Management program, you also can use the online portal to access your services any time of the day or night. It’s all underpinned by high levels of security even though the login process is streamlined.

Whether it’s a remote deposit you are needing to make or if you want to check on any type of financial status with an app from your phone, we can provide that easy access. To learn more about what we have to offer, go to our website or call First Utah Bank at 801-308-2265.