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Old 15-09-2020, 9:18 AM
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IMImobile enables Oxford University to conduct COVID-19 research via mobile

COVID-19 mobile survey data collection facilitated through SMS

LONDON, 15 September 2020 – Global cloud communications software and solutions provider IMImobile PLC, today announced it is supporting the University of Oxford to communicate their COVID-19 research.

Professor Peter Grindrod CBE of Oxford University was introduced to IMImobile during the initial stages of the pandemic, and soon needed a solution that would enable his team to conduct research into the early prevalence of COVID-19 across the United Kingdom. Conducting this research effectively is vital for the University to understand the unknown spread of the virus ahead of the first recorded case in the UK at the end of January, providing them with the knowledge to develop a faster and more efficient response to any future global pandemics.

IMImobile’s market-leading mobile messaging platform, Textlocal, offers a mobile survey feature that can be sent via a simple text message. Utilizing the platform and its capabilities, IMImobile has been able to launch a mobile-friendly survey hosted online that enables volunteers to share their experience of symptoms and instances of early infection.

Jason Palgrave-Jones, Managing Director at Textlocal, commented, “Supporting such an important piece of research with our mobile messaging platform has been a privilege. Ensuring the survey can be created, updated and deployed efficiently as well as being able to track, report and analyze the results has been a key priority. The simplicity and accessible nature of SMS enables any volunteer to take part, removing barriers to participation for those wanting to share their experience securely and quickly, regardless of device”.

Textlocal provided an SMS keyword on a short number (COVID on 62277) alongside a bespoke mobile survey, which the university will promote through social media and with advertising support from their partners in the broadcast media. By texting COVID to 62277, members of the public can request to take part in the survey and will receive an automated text message with a link to the branded survey. The SMS initiated survey is expected to be open for a month and the university is encouraging anyone who experienced symptoms early on to take part.

Professor Peter Grindrod, Professor of Mathematics at Oxford University, said, “The University was expecting the survey to take weeks to build when in fact, the team were able to build and finalize the solution in a single day. Speed and efficiency, as well as high quality, were all essential across the project to help gather useful citizen data that could have a real impact on the UK’s future pandemic response.”
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