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Tresors on a mission: Using the cloud to combat the HIV epidemic

An ambitious healthcare startup has found remedy for its data management woes in Tresorit’s easy-to-handle, reliable cloud solution

A hotbed of problems: Washington’s struggle to keep HIV at bay

“It was kind of a disaster scenario that lead us to Tresorit,” Mackenzie Copley, co-founder and CEO of One Tent Health, starts off their story. “One day I came into the office and realised that Dropbox has frozen all our files and we wouldn’t have access to them until we switched to a business plan,” he continues. The incident was quite alarming to him and his colleagues at One Tent Health, especially because they used those files to fight an entirely different disaster. Washington, D.C., the city where the healthcare startup was founded three years earlier, has been battling with a widespread HIV epidemic. According to the D.C. Department of Health’s Annual Epidemiology & Surveillance Report, young people are diagnosed with the infection at almost twice the national rate. In 2017, 41% of diagnosed patients were between the ages of 13 and 24. Nationwide, the same number is 21%.

Low-income areas, with little to no access to sex education, condoms, affordable screening and healthcare services in general, are hit the hardest. Mackenzie, at only 21 years old, decided it was time someone did something about this. During his senior year at Georgetown University, he teamed up with David Schaffer, a then-medical student at the University of North Carolina, and set up One Tent Health’s first ten-by-ten-foot canvas tent. Focusing on testing high-risk residents in the eastern part of D.C., they’ve been setting up outside of community hubs like local grocery and convenience stores to provide free HIV screening in 15 minutes or less for insured and uninsured folks alike. Their low-cost, hassle-free approach seems to be paying off. Not only have they screened hundreds of residents for HIV but they’ve also identified new cases at a rate better than the district’s average.

A way to recovery: Tresorit’s solution to remedy data management issues

As rewarding as it sounds, and certainly is, launching and running a nonprofit healthcare startup comes with a whole set of challenges. One of the most pressing ones, of course, is getting things running – and getting them running smoothly. When they first started out, Mackenzie and his colleagues were using personal Dropbox accounts to store and share files. But as the team grew, approximately fifteen different people needed access to their documents on a daily basis. Once their 30-day trial period with Dropbox was over, they had no choice but to switch to Dropbox Business – if they wanted their files back, that is. Besides the incident being a major disruption to their day-to-day, the subscriptions have significantly ramped up their costs. And that’s never good news if you’re on a startup budget. Topping it all off, the cloud storage service did not come with the level of cybersecurity Mackenzie and his colleagues felt comfortable with. One Tent Health has been keeping client records separately behind a compliance software but that doesn’t mean that there wasn’t a huge amount of sensitive information in the cloud they wouldn’t want to go public or get stolen.

Mackenzie says: “These files were previously shared and stored via Dropbox. One thing I really loved about Tresorit was how easy it was to move documents from one cloud to the other. Obviously, losing our files is terrifying to even think of. There’s just so much work that goes into our processes that we’d probably end up wasting a whole year if we’d lost them. I felt very comfortable with Tresorit from day one, knowing that they’re safe and sound.” Tresorit’s zero-knowledge, end-to-end encryption cloud service has immediately put Mackenzie’s mind at ease. Especially when he found out that, thanks to its bulletproof client-side encryption feature, it’s not just the most secure way to store data. It’s also HIPAA-compliant. Meaning that it’s suitable for storing medical records and patient information, as required by the stringent provisions of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. “As Tresorit is HIPAA-compliant I can see ourselves downloading and moving all our files into tresors in the near future to make them more accessible to people who analyse the data,” he adds.

Pretty much everything that goes into running the organisation is managed through Tresorit. We haven’t felt limited at all, in terms of capacity, availability or security, which is one of the best things you can say about the product... And the fact that it helps us stay HIPAA-compliant is amazing.
Mackenzie CopleyCo-Founder and CEO, One Tent Health

Tresors to the rescue: an easy way to store and share sensitive data

Ease of use has also been a key aspect of choosing a cloud storage solution. “Our mission is to save and extend lives and that’s where my mind is most of the time. Plus, I’m certainly no tech whiz. But if our cloud solution is not tight, then our whole foundation feels shaky and uncomfortable. With Tresorit, I don’t even have to think about it,” he says. The startup certainly makes the most of Tresorit’s capabilities. Every file that One Tent Health has besides client records is housed in tresors, from grant applications through budget calculations to promotional photos. “Pretty much everything that goes into running the organisation is managed through Tresorit. We haven’t felt limited at all, in terms of capacity, availability or security, which is one of the best things you can say about the product. Reliability is key for us. I haven’t come across any access issues with this service, during implementation or later, plus it even saves my computer space... And the fact that it helps us stay HIPAA-compliant is amazing.”

The startup today boasts a 1,000-strong undergraduate volunteer network. Students go out and do free HIV screening outside of grocery and convenience stores in neighbourhoods where the epidemic is at its worst. There are fifteen students across five schools around the city who handle all of One Tent Health’s recruiting and training activities, as well as volunteer management. To be able to do that, they need 24/7 access to up-to-date training materials and volunteer intake forms. “We use Tresorit to coordinate our volunteers remotely. It would be a nightmare having to email documents all the time. It would take so much more time and energy, and put so much friction in the whole process,” Mackenzie explains. “Tresorit is a truly reliable and workable cloud system even for people who don’t have any technical cloud knowledge. I don’t have to worry about if it’s going to work. And that gives us flexibility and a sturdy foundation to build upon,” he sums up.

Interested in learning more about HIPAA compliance and the cloud? Check out the following material:


Founded in 2016, One Tent Health offers fast and free HIV screening to hundreds of Washingtonians in high-risk areas, around grocery stores, convenience stores, laundromats, and community centres.







The challenge

  • Sharing confidential information over insecure channels

  • Dropbox froze their account and they couldn’t access any of their files

  • More than 1,000 volunteers scattered around the city who they have to share files with

  • Needed a user-friendly, robust solution to continue their life-saving work

Tresorit’s solution

  • Secure cloud storage with the opportunity to smoothly collaborate with external partners

  • Frictionless operation due to fast and safe data sharing and management

  • Great storage capacity for essential work documents

  • Easy to roll out and use for people with varying tech savvy

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