More than 60,000 people across Alabama, and beyond, are now self-tracking their health and sharing updates with medical professionals and researchers through a user-friendly online system created by the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
HelpBeatCOVID19.org launched in early April and is giving Alabamians and others an easy way to contribute information about their health status. The information is providing experts real-time insights about the spread and impact of COVID-19, particularly in rural areas and other underserved locations with limited health resources.
The website takes data from participants and uses it to track the movement of the virus, identify hot spots and anticipate needs. Aggregated information is displayed on the site on interactive maps that show how specific locations are being affected and where there is a rise in symptoms.
Sue Feldman, associate professor in the UAB School of Health Professions and UAB School of Medicine said in a news release about the website that the data will provide public health officials insight into how the virus is affecting Alabama’s rural communities, which already suffer from health disparities. UAB officials say the system is scalable to track people across the South, where there are many underserved communities that were already facing health issues and other challenges before COVID-19.
To learn more and to sign up to participate, visit HelpBeatCOVID19.org.