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Emory’s Health DesignED and International Partner to Create Globally Accessible Health

Developing equitable technology-enabled care to reach underserved populations in the U.S. and internationally.

ATLANTA, GA – SEPTEMBER 9, 2020 – Emory’s Health DesignED: The Acute Care Design and Innovation Center, and International Inc. are partnering to drive equitable access to healthcare and digital solutions. By focusing on communities that are typically underserved by healthcare and technology, the two organizations are working together across markets to reduce the disproportionate burden of COVID-19.

To support communities of color in the greater Atlanta region, Health DesignED and have created an easily scalable mobile engagement campaign to reach individuals on their phones in a preferred and trusted way. Through Emory’s Collaborative Community Outreach and Health Disparities Group, the partners are identifying ways to work directly with community anchor organizations in metro Atlanta to provide critical and timely COVID-19 information about prevention strategies, online symptom checking, mobile testing sites, contact tracing, and community-based or telehealth services.

“As COVID-19 continues to spread across communities, particularly communities of color, it is essential that digital health solutions increase access to health services and information,” says Kaakpema “KP” Yelpaala, Founder and CEO of, a mobile solution aimed at communicating with precision and cultural awareness. “We are excited to partner with Emory to improve health equity by bridging the digital divide with solutions that are technologically accessible, available on preferred channels, and come from trusted sources.”

Building on the impact of Emory’s proven online COVID-19 symptom checker, C19 Check, and Emory are creating versions of the symptom checker for those with limited or no access to internet. The SMS and USSD-based versions stratify patients based on their symptoms and provide localized recommendations and resources tailored to their profile. The solution also connects people to critical information and services through additional mobile messaging. The engagement solution offers syndromic surveillance, dynamic public health messaging, and can support contact tracing and vaccine or treatment education when available.

“We need to reimagine acute care and create equitable tech-enabled care, especially in the context of COVID-19.” says Dr. Monique Smith, Founding Director of Health DesignED: The Acute Care Design and Innovation Center, Emory University School of Medicine. “We are leveraging cross disciplinary approaches and partnering with to drive innovation, increase global impact and improve health equity.”

About Health DesignED: The Acute Care Design and Innovation Center, Emory University School of Medicine

Founded in the Department of Emergency Medicine at Emory, we lead highly collaborative innovation projects that reimagine the acute care continuum and intentionally serve the needs of diverse patient populations. Our unique footprint across academic, community, and safety-net hospitals, enables us to universally design for technology enabled models of care delivery that are effortless and equitable.

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