CONTACT TRACING CAN STOP EBOLA IN ITS TRACKS.
ACT (Assisted Contact Tracing) uses automated technologies to interact with high-risk individuals and provide faster medical response.
Contact tracing is a cornerstone of any well-coordinated health system. When a patient is diagnosed, community health workers will speak with the patient to learn who may have come into contact with him or her and been exposed. A community health worker will then travel to screen the family members, friends, or neighbors to make sure they’re not infected. If one of these individuals is presenting symptoms, he or she will be accompanied for further evaluation and monitoring. Currently, this time and resource-intensive process must be done in person and on foot.
By using automated mobile technologies (both interactive voice response and SMS/text messaging), ACT can reach a greater number of at-risk individuals and connect them with health workers when symptoms first present. This both improves the likelihood that an infected individual will survive, and reduces the chance they’ll infect others.
Through these technologies, ACT can also track outbreaks – such as the Ebola virus – in real time and anticipate where the virus will next present.
adapted from Partners In Health, "How Contact Tracing Can Stop Ebola"
STATUS UPDATE: 11/19/ 2014
ACT technical system is currently in development in partnership with InSTEDD. The first demo of the system was successfully completed on Tuesday, 11/18. Initial voice recordings are being coordinated with members of the Liberian and Sierra Leonean diasporas in the United States.