ATLANTA - GeorgiaChron -- HelplineSOS, a groundbreaking automated phone system and volunteer-driven technology platform aimed at alleviating the strain placed on charity clinics as a result of COVID-19 (coronavirus), launched this morning in Atlanta, Georgia.

In the weeks since the virus first reached Georgia, the state's charity clinics, which serve tens of thousands annually, have been overwhelmed by individuals seeking care and/or testing. The purpose of HelplineSOS is to limit individuals who fear exposure to coronavirus but do not need emergency medical care from visiting the clinic. These patients could  visit the clinic due to busy staff being unable to answer the phone, increasing the risk of infection and the strain on the clinic itself.

"HelplineSOS works to inform people who can recover from COVID-19 where they are and stop them from leaving their homes unnecessarily," said Breanna Lathrop, the service's co-creator. "They call their local clinic as they normally would, and it takes them to an automated system, where their answers to a series of questions are recorded and forwarded to a group of trained medical volunteers for call back."

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The volunteers return the patient's call offering information, reassurance and routing to groups like Giving Health, a nonprofit telemedicine provider. The automated system allows volunteers to quickly route calls requiring provider consultation to clinic staff providers or telemedicine partners.

Lathrop, COO of Atlanta's Good Samaritan Health Center, conceived the idea with her fellow Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Culture of Health Leader Joseph Agoada in February when they realized the virus's potential spread and impact.

"The power of the technology combined with medical volunteers like school nurses who are stuck at home due to the pandemic can assist the hard-working health providers on the frontline," Agoada said. "Our hope is to eventually make this service available to clinics around the United States".

Testing of the HelplineSOS system concluded yesterday and is available for immediate use by calling the Good Samaritan Clinic of Atlanta. Additional clinics will be adopting the helpline on a rolling basis.

For more information on HelplineSOS, or to volunteer to answer phone calls, please visit

Joseph Agoada

Source: HelplineSOS
Filed Under: Health, Coronavirus

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