ORAU Information: Sara Alert™: Secure Monitoring and Reporting for Public Health

July 20, 2020

Sara Alert™:  Secure Monitoring and Reporting for Public Health  New and Time Sensitive


ORAU is an active member of the national COVID-19 Healthcare Coalition, and we are exploring opportunities that could directly benefit our university consortium members.  One specific opportunity is Sara Alert™ -- a standards-based, open source tool developed by The MITRE Corporation with sponsorship by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.  The system allows contact tracing through remote monitoring of individuals who have been exposed, are ill, or at risk of developing a coronavirus infection (or any infectious disease).  Using multiple access methods (web, text, email, phone), individuals enter their symptoms daily and results are immediately available to participating public health departments.   Sara Alert™ is available in the public domain and is free of charge to public health agencies.  Additional information can be found at https://saraalert.org/ and YouTube video.  Some of the key benefits include:


  • Rapid Identification of a person requiring medical assistance, allowing a health department to arrange a medical visit with minimal additional exposure
  • Improved Monitoring of exposed individuals
  • Secure Information Exchange that protects individuals’ data and allows for real-time updates
  • Reduced Burden because public health professionals are able to more rapidly respond to individuals based on disease risk, prioritizing those who need help most


Your Feedback is Needed:  ORAU is evaluating how we might customize and host an academic instance of Sara Alert™ to serve our member universities.  Before we would be able to adequately stand up an effective system, we need to better understand your degree of interest and the feasibility of usage if an “Academic Sara Alert” tool was provided to your institution.  ORAU and MITRE would work together to assist you with a successful deployment.  One option may be to pilot such a system at a few universities that are diverse in membership level (Sponsoring vs. Associate) and in geographic location, followed by a broader distribution pending the results.  If successful, we anticipate that Sara Alert™  could be scalable to track, monitor, and report medical situations beyond COVID-19.


Your feedback is the driving factor on determining the best path forward.  Please provide your feedback to us by July 31, 2020 on your level of interest, ability to support a Sara Alert tool at your respective university, and any questions or concerns regarding this offering.  Pending the amount of interest we receive, we will schedule a webinar to inform you on the details of the proposed roll-out model, implementation plans and schedule, requirements of university staff, and an open Q&A period to address your questions.   Please send your responses to university.partnerships@orau.org


Successful implementation of Sara Alert™ at your university will be a collaborative effort and serve as another important component of the value proposition of membership.  Thank you for your attention to this important request.


Dr. Ken Tobin

Vice President, University Partnerships