Health Check was developed in partnership with InSTEDD for the Division of Global Migration and Quarantine of the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention), to keep track of the wellbeing of federal employees that were traveling from the Ebola Hotzone.
Health Check allows travelers to report on their health condition through automated calls with an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system.
Requirements & Context
During the 2014-2016 Ebola outbreak in West Africa –the largest and most complex outbreak of the disease since the virus was first discovered in 1976–, we rapidly assembled an app in the midst of the crisis, by combining open source tools that we had built for InSTEDD, like Verboice for IVR and mBuilder for SMS. These tools were packaged together to facilitate and promote travelers’ adherence to daily self-monitoring reporting requirements of symptoms.
The Check and Report Ebola (CARE) Hotline, a novel approach to monitoring, was developed to monitor travelers from the Ebola Hotzone. But since Low Income countries don’t have the possibility to build such a system, the idea came up to build a simple Active Monitoring system that captured the lessons learned from Ebola and that could be made available for the global community.
That was the genesis of Health Check.
We started development of the new app in April 2017, and decided to use Phoenix (Elixir) for the backend, and a Single Page Application (SPA) on React.JS on the client side, connected to a PostgreSQL database.
Health Check helps identify users that are most important to follow-up with, and assists those needing help to better access care. By defining the signs and symptoms that we want to track, all it takes is an easy set-up, configure monitoring intervals, upload audio files and text, and then select to use IVR or chatbots.
The tool also has a visualization module, and it operationalizes your data with a dashboard, to quickly investigate detected cases, pursue those not responding, and review overall trends.
CDC surveyed the participating employees to assess user experience. Results indicated that users became more familiar with the system, and found it easier to use, over the course of their monitoring period. The majority were highly satisfied (94%) and would recommend the system for future monitoring efforts (89%).
This technology is easily adaptable and can be modified for future emergency responses, contact investigations, or routine monitoring for public health protections.
A dashboard allows health organizations to keep track of campaigns’ performance, participation and engagement levels.
Different diseases have different symptoms. Health Check’s customizable interface allows the tool to be of use in any type of outbreak, for any kind of contagious disease.
Viral outbreaks are not good scenarios to take risks. Health Check has an inner campaign test module so you can control that everything is good to go before going live.
This project is Open Source, we invite you to collaborate and join us in the development of a better world through the use of technology.