With the pandemic surging, the National COVID-19 Resiliency Network (NCRN) launched a new mobile app this week to allow minority groups hit hard by the pandemic to access information.

The app is designed for Android and Apple devices to enable racial and ethnic minority groups to easily access information and health services to help curb the impact of the disease in the community.

The app was created as part of the $40 million award from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health. The NCRN network has partnered with over 400 national and local organizations and Morehouse’s Dominic Mack is heading the NCRN, which is based in the Morehouse School of Medicine.

Morehouse even received a $40 million HHS grant to develop the program.

“In 2020, around July 2020, we were awarded funding from the office of Minority Health, or HHS, to develop a dissemination platform that would help disproportionately impacted communities, populations to link to COVID-19 related services,” Dr. Mack said. “And that required us to overcome barriers that, of course, were in the way of these communities’ access to services. The goal was to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 in disproportionately impacted communities.”

With COVID-19 cases rising due to the Delta variant the app can bridge the gap and give those in communities a chance to see resources about COVID-19 and the risk areas as well as local testing locations.

The app also developed relationships with many other organizations to create multi-linguistic messaging to overcome barriers that exist in communities. Mack says that it’s to link services, vaccinations, testing and education training.

“But also evaluate the success of this implementation and disseminate best practices in various ways through partnerships, publications, papers, etc.,” Mack said. “This culminates in developing an infrastructure which includes the utilization of technology to communicate and get in touch with these communities.”

 

The app is available on Android and Apple app stores for no charge.

(The MSM NCRN Mobile App. Photo Credit: Morehouse School of Medicine)