How Twilio is Powering Communications for Contact Tracing Initiatives

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Twilio, the cloud communications platform, has been selected to power communications for the contact tracing initiatives of more than 28 cities, states, and universities, including the Illinois Department of Innovation & Technology, the Public Health Department for Philadelphia, and the Department of Information Technology & Telecommunications of New York City.

Twilio’s platform will serve as the communications layer of contact tracing efforts for some of the most populous regions in the United States, with potential to address the contact tracing needs of roughly 156 million people, or nearly half the United States population, as they work to contain the coronavirus and enable the timely and safe reopening of their economies.

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The Illinois Department of Innovation & Technology (DoIT) selected Twilio to deploy a cloud-based contact center on Twilio Flex that leverages Twilio SMS and Voice.

The solution will allow thousands of contact tracers to effectively engage people that have tested positive for COVID-19, to help better understand patterns of infection, and limit the spread of the virus.

Twilio’s platform acts as the comprehensive communications layer of the contact tracing solution. Contact tracers can reach out to patients that have tested positive for COVID-19 via telephone or text message; identify those patients’ known contacts; notify the contacts to ensure that they take appropriate precautions; and monitor COVID-19 symptoms in reported cases to provide resources and avoid further transmission.

Communications technology for contact tracing must be scalable enough to support thousands of agents, and have the flexibility to adapt to the continually changing situation, as well as regionally specific needs and guidelines.

Twilio offers a flexible, omnichannel contact center that enables remote agents to call, message, or email COVID-19 patients, provide resources about the virus, and identify their close contacts through self-reporting. The platform also provides messaging-based alerts using Twilio Voice, SMS, email or WhatsApp, which prompt patients to fill out secure surveys on their symptoms.

“Most industries are now faced with an urgent need to reimagine the way they reach customers and constituents as a result of coronavirus. Public health is one of the most important areas where digital communications can really help,” said Glenn Weinstein, chief customer officer at Twilio. “Contact tracing is a proven public health tool, and this pandemic requires us to operate at unprecedented scale. We’re helping in some of the hardest-hit areas across the public and private sector, enabling organizations to use flexible communications to engage constituents and keep communities safer.”

Twilio is committed to providing governments, organizations, and businesses with the communications solutions needed to stay connected and adapt to the constraints of the coronavirus pandemic over the long-term.