A leader in innovative tech solutions, Kameo’s mission is to make it easy for productions to stay safe in the era of COVID-19. Kameo offers clients a suite of comprehensive tools through its testing management platform and provides efficient onsite testing services with fast results, leveraging over 300 nurses, a fleet of mobile labs and a network of 30 high-throughput PCR labs. Kameo has supported more than 375 productions and has administered over 300,000 COVID-19 tests for clients including Netflix, Disney, Sony Pictures, HBO and more.
Meeting High demands of the Production Industry
Kameo adheres to guidelines set forth by the production industry unions and guilds, which require COVID testing at a specific cadence to ensure the safety of the cast and crew. The industry is full of high-profile talent, as well as hundreds of transient workers that move from project to project.
According to Chief Operating Officer Sebastian Hayto, Kameo strives to meet these demands by providing the highest levels of customer service possible, hiring within the industry and working with efficient labs that can deliver quick results.
“We test on set from 5 am to noon, drop off samples, and receive results that night, so if there are any positives, we can prevent those people from showing up on set the next day, helping mitigate potentially devastating outbreaks,” Sebastian explained.
Finding a Lab Partner with Next-Level Automation
Kameo selected the Pandemic Response Lab as one of their primary and strategic lab partners for two of their largest regions, New York and Los Angeles. By integrating its parent company Opentrons Labworks’ lab automation equipment
with world-renowned scientific expertise from NYU Langone, PRL has innovated the testing process so that samples are analyzed rapidly and reliably, at a low cost. Due to their focus on automation, turnaround time and cost efficiency, PRL is
uniquely capable of servicing the needs of Kameo's customers.
“Our goal is to deliver consistent, quality results at a competitive price with fast turnaround time, and PRL’s automation allows for that,” Sebastian stated. “PRL then went a step further and did two things – one is build out a team that would accommodate our needs. We’ve got a great intercompany communication channel set up with PRL. The second thing is they were willing to integrate with us very quickly.”
Seamless Integration Process
PRL was the first lab Kameo fully integrated with, and it involved about 10 engineers from each team
collaborating on how to push through the integration. According to Greg Gillam, Kameo Sr. Director of Lab Operations, the process went seamlessly.
“I’ve been in the lab space for quite a while, and historically, it’s an industry that moves slowly,” Greg said. “Knowing that PRL is so automated and future-thinking about how they want to operate and set up their systems is ideal for us.”
In addition to their high-throughput testing capabilities, PRL’s willingness to accommodate the demanding needs of the production industry further exceeded Kameo’s expectations of what a lab could do.
“Whether our customers need positive samples re-run or results turned around within a shorter timeframe, we’re able to go to PRL and trust that someone will always answer the phone and be willing to accommodate our needs,” Greg said.
Since integrating with PRL, Kameo has been able to reduce their turnaround time for customers and is averaging roughly six hours from the time of sample drop off to the time of result.
“Due to the level of automation that PRL offers, their rates are very competitive, allowing us to pass significant value to our clients,” Greg stated. “If we are able to get a lower cost for the same or better-quality PCR testing, we can offer a more competitive price to productions and increase our overall presence.”
Together, the Future Looks Bright
Both Kameo and PRL continue to innovate and stay at the forefront of the next wave of growth in the lab space. With the launch of Kameo’s front-end COVID-19 management platform in January 2021, production teams can track and manage their crew’s testing schedules, vaccination statuses, test results, etc. to better ensure safety and compliance on set. Kameo’s technology can extend into other types of diagnostic testing and industries. PRL has been expanding their test menu offerings, first with a 4-target Concise Respiratory Panel in March 2022, and plans to launch several other infectious disease and routine health panels later this year.
While continuing to provide outstanding service to COVID clients in the production industry, Kameo and PRL plan to enhance their partnership by aligning future initiatives to offer expanded diagnostic services and technological innovations to a broader audience.