Stay at home. Then, use your phone.
As nations go on lockdown due to COVID-19, people are using whatever means they have to stay connected and updated. Virtual meetings have now become the new norm, and communication tools like SMS have grown even more crucial.
For instance, governments and businesses are turning to SMS solutions to reach as many people as possible. From sending alerts to using it as a tool for journalism, SMS proves useful in fighting the spread of COVID-19.
Take a look at how nations are leveraging SMS to combat the coronavirus pandemic. Even better, gain insights into how you can use it to survive the crisis, too.
4 Ways SMS Can Help Stop the Spread of COVID-19
Chatbots answering questions via SMS
As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise globally, people are growing fearful over getting ill with the virus. In the United States, there’s a way for worried patients to get answers for their concerns.
Telemedicine startups, Memora Health and Ro, join forces to offer a new service that uses an AI-powered chatbot. This chatbot can link patients to remote doctors. The goal of the program is simple: to prevent patients from crowding clinics and reduce the risk of infection.
The chatbot provides answers to basic questions about COVID-19, such as, “What are the symptoms?” And, with the use of an automated system, the bot responds via text.
The software is programmed with the recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Once a patient reports having symptoms or has been to an area with an outbreak, Ro will connect the patient to its telehealth services to speak remotely with a licensed doctor.
Then, the telemedicine company will collaborate with the state health department once the doctor deems the patient is at high risk for COVID-19. The COVID-19 chatbot is being provided through various healthcare systems in the US.
Carriers sending coronavirus alerts
Amid the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, the UK government has sought the help of mobile carriers to send emergency alerts. This is the first time the UK government ordered networks to reach their customers on its behalf.
Citizens are told to stay home and go out only when necessary, such as buying food, seeking medical help, or going to work. Apart from the reminder, the text also includes a link to the government’s coronavirus response website.
The effort comes after the country’s emergency alert system, trialed seven years ago, failed to launch over several sorts of issues. UK security firms, however, advise the public to be cautious about SMS spam attacks. These attacks are pushing targets to respond and monetize from it.
Apart from the text alerts, the UK government is also considering the use of GPS and data usage monitoring. This move aims to confirm whether people are staying at home. But the plan is yet to be ironed out as there have been concerns regarding privacy.
Reporters bringing coronavirus updates through texts
Also, in the United States, reporters are using SMS to bring coronavirus coverage to their local audiences. The service, known as Subtext, allows beat-specific reporters to send texts and answer questions from subscribers directly.
The service was launched last year by the Advance Alpha Group. According to its founder, Michael Donoghue, the service saw a spike in the number of subscribers amid the pandemic.
Due to this unprecedented event, people have grown fearful and are bugged with questions. They want to know what is happening in their local communities, and whether cases are increasing within their neighborhood.
With journalists having a chance to connect with their readers directly, the platform helps combat misinformation. It also helps address queries which may be left unanswered on other platforms like social media.
Businesses using SMS for order-taking and delivery
With governments implementing social distancing policies, people are left to devise other ways to acquire their basic needs. Here’s where food and grocery deliveries step in.
Today, SMS plays an invaluable role in attending to customer needs, particularly in fulfilling orders. As more and more people rely on deliveries, there is a growing demand for reliable communication tools such as SMS.
Today, the customer journey highly depends on mobile, and businesses are leveraging SMS now more than ever. Retailers can send SMS to offer their products, receive and confirm orders, generate order summary, and send delivery notifications.
By using SMS as a tool for purchasing and delivering necessities, people can stay at home. As a result, it helps prevent the spread of the deadly coronavirus.
COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically influenced the way people go about their daily lives. With limited personal interactions, people are now relying heavily on technology to keep track of what’s happening and stay connected with family and friends.
SMS not only offers a reliable way to communicate but also helps bridge the gap between people and information. As the world continues to tackle the pandemic that cripples economies worldwide, people are encouraged to do their part — stay at home then, use your phone.
Do you want to help beat the spread of COVID-19 by using SMS? Connect with us and let our team recommend the right SMS solution based on your needs.