CHAT (community health assessment tool) is an innovative emergency management tool commissioned by Midland County Judge and Emergency Management Coordinator that utilizes SMS (texting) technology to gauge changes in the general health of the community during the COVID-19 pandemic. Like social distancing or wearing a face mask, CHAT relies on the community’s participation to Slow the Spread of the coronavirus.
SMS Based Symptom Reporting and Tracking
Why SMS? Speed. A texting system is faster to get to market. Everyone knows how to text. Texting has the highest utilization rates among the broadest base of people. Over 80% of Americans text, 90% of text messages are read within the first 3 minutes and texting overall has a 98% open rate. Texting is the most prolific form of communication available today. (medium.com)
Initially, the system asks each participant three questions to establish baseline information.
- What is your zip code?
- What is your age range?
- Do you have any of the following symptoms: Fever, Dry Cough or Shortness of Breath? Reply Y or N
Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday thereafter, CHAT will send question 3 to get an update on how the participant is feeling. By viewing the information over time, public policy makers will get a clearer picture of the community’s health by which to make decisions
In addition to creating CHAT a data analysis dashboard was created to help keep the public informed of the current symptom trends.