Sara Alert™ Academic
Secure monitoring and reporting for universities
Rapid response to public health emergencies and pandemics is crucial to helping contain the spread among populations both large and small. Focusing on early identification of new cases can reduce the strain on public health resources and help officials determine the most effective approach to mitigating future spread.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Sara Alert™ was developed to automate the monitoring of individuals exposed to or infected with COVID-19. In partnership with MITRE, ORAU’s goal is to leverage existing Sara Alert™ technology to protect the health of students and faculty on campus by creating a tool customized to university needs, Sara Alert™ Academic.
Sara Alert™ Academic enables students and faculty to enter their symptoms daily, providing real time insights to university health staff working to contain the spread of the virus on campus. Sara Alert™ Academic can help universities safely operate campuses through increased efficiency in tracking potential cases, leading to earlier containment of the virus and reduction of burden on resources.
Join us for a Sara Alert™ Academic demo every Tuesday
Register for this weekly webinar for a live demonstration on how Sara Alert™ Academic can help university officials automate the monitoring of individuals exposed to or infected with COVID-19. See firsthand how universities can utilize the Sara Alert™ Academic online platform as a customized tool for specific university needs to streamline processes.
Time: 2 p.m. EST every Tuesday
Benefits for universities
- Rapid identification of exposed individuals, enabling university health to contain the spread.
- Data monitoring ensures students or faculty sick with COVID-19 are immediately referred for care.
- Ability to quickly and easily share information with public health and other stakeholders.
- Secure information exchange that protects individuals’ data and allows for real-time updates.
- Automation of workflow for university health staff in order to reduce burden, accelerate response, and prioritize those who need help most.
How does Sara Alert™ Academic work?
Frequently asked questions
Universities have different needs and requirements than public health departments. Sara Alert™ Academic is a standards-based tool, initially developed by the MITRE Corporation that is hosted, maintained, and enhanced by ORAU. The tool automates the process of monitoring and reporting of individuals exposed to or infected with COVID-19 or any infectious disease.
Sara Alert™ Academic allows universities to tailor messaging or create custom monitoring protocols within subsets of the population. Sara Alert™ Academic is a standalone instance available to all universities, and is not tied to a public health jurisdiction. This alleviates concerns with universities that straddle multiple jurisdictional boundaries.
Universities using Sara Alert™ Academic will be able to directly enroll their students, faculty, staff, and administrators. This can be managed on the university's schedule, and using current enrollment and staff data. Individuals enrolled in Sara Alert™ Academic will report their symptoms daily using a variety of methods. Universities can access this reporting data in near real-time, enhancing decision-making ability.
Sara Alert™ Academic leverages the existing Sara Alert™ source code, security protocols, data use policy, and help desk support model. ORAU implementation is expected to be straightforward and done quickly.
Careful attention to privacy has been a hallmark of the Sara Alert™ capability from the start of the effort. To ensure privacy and compliance to HIPAA, the data is encrypted at rest and in flight and is protected in a FISMA-Moderate and FedRAMP compliant environment.
The application was designed to comply with privacy and data use laws and policies. Sara Alert™ Academic will collect the minimal amount of information from individuals diagnosed with an infectious disease and from those who are potentially exposed to the infectious disease. The application will also have granular access control and encryption at the single record-level. Different roles are available in the system that restrict access to individual level information; this follows the best practice of restricting access to information to only users who require it. A user may also only access records that belong to their assigned jurisdiction.
The data collected is only what is needed to support public health operations and the information will be purged from the Sara Alert™ database following a specified amount of time after monitoring has ended.
Sara Alert™ Academic is configurable for different diseases, but each instance can only support one disease at a time. If a separate database is stood up, the Sara Alert™ Academic functionality could be used to support a different disease. Additional resources and support would need to be identified to support a separate instance of Sara Alert™ Academic. As an open source project, the code-base is available for use if an organization would like to setup a separate instance.
To learn more about how public health departments can use Sara Alert™ to monitor individuals diagnosed with or at risk for COVID-19 (or other infectious diseases), visit the Sara Alert™ website.