Text Illness Monitoring (TIM) | CDC

Text Illness Monitoring (TIM) is an SMS system that public health organizations can use to monitor the symptoms of enrolled participants. Public health organizations can use this system free of charge to monitor symptoms consistent with COVID-19.

About TIM

Text Illness Monitoring (TIM) is an SMS platform that is used to monitor symptoms during an infectious disease outbreak. Public health officials have traditionally performed symptom monitoring through phone calls, which can be a time-consuming process that requires intensive resources. TIM enables Two-Way Short Message Service (SMS) messages that public health organizations can use to quickly identify enrolled participants reporting symptoms. TIM can be used to monitor a company's workforce or other specific population, e.g. B. Contacts of an identified case.

TIM is available for free and is currently aimed primarily at public health organizations at the federal, state, tribal, local and territorial levels to assist with COVID-19 response activities.

Using TIM for COVID-19 Response

As of February 2020, several federal agencies have been using TIM to monitor employees for COVID-19 symptoms. A number of state, tribal, local, and territorial health agencies also use TIM to monitor symptoms of enrolled participants in their jurisdictions.

Enrolled attendees will receive one or more text messages each day asking if they have symptoms consistent with COVID-19. Jurisdictions will be notified immediately if an attendee answers YES or if an attendee doesn't respond to message reminders. A dashboard feature enables jurisdictions to identify and track people who report symptoms or who have not responded.

TIM functions

TIM includes many features that can be used to monitor registered participants for symptoms of COVID-19. Organizations using TIM can:

  • Adjust the length of the monitoring period for a person
  • Collect the first and last names of the participants within the platform
  • View a dashboard with summary information about the status of the participants and symptom reporting
  • Remove / remove participants from monitoring
  • Specify when the tracking of YES responses or no responses will run and complete
  • Keep track of who is working on a yes or no answer
  • Edit text in messages to make them specific to the population being monitored
  • Use a Spanish version of the workflow
  • Allow attendees to register themselves by sending a keyword to the campaign phone number

frequently asked Questions


How do I get access to TIM?

State, tribal, local, and territorial health authorities can request access to TIM by completing the form at the bottom of this page. The TIM support team works together with the requesting organization to enable access to TIM.

Can local health authorities use TIM?

Yes, local jurisdictions can use TIM to monitor COVID-19 symptoms.

Who can access the information in TIM?

TIM enables access to information on two levels. Public health administrators at the state, tribal or territorial level (Level 1) have access to all data in their area of ​​responsibility, including local data. Jurisdictions assigned at the local level (Level 2) only have access to the data of the jurisdiction to which they are assigned.

Dashboard and notifications

What information does the dashboard contain?

The TIM system includes a dashboard with multiple visualizations, including detailed and summary information about people being monitored and warnings that require attention (e.g. those who respond YES to a text that shows symptoms or those who don't Reminder texts have replied). For alerts, jurisdictions can display the name and cell phone number associated with the alert and the content of the text message.

How do I know if someone is responding to symptoms?

TIM creates a warning if a registered participant:

  • Reply with a text that they have symptoms
  • Doesn't respond to the daily message after a reminder
  • Sends a text message to deactivate

Administrators can log into TIM to view all warnings for participants. Each organization can also set up an email address to receive notifications by email.

Are there reports in TIM?

Several reports and data extracts are available in TIM.

  • Campaign report (PDF document): graphics showing participant status, campaign status and warnings at the time of reporting
  • Participant report (PDF document): History of all text replies and notifications received over a certain period for a participant
  • Participant download extract (CSV file): Detailed information on all registered participants
  • Answer download extract (CSV file): List of participant answers and timestamps over a certain period of time

In addition to the reports and excerpts, TIM contains a dashboard with summary information on participants, SMS campaigns and warnings as graphics and tables. The data in these graphics and tables can be exported as a CSV file.

Registration and messaging

What messages do the participants get?

Organizations using TIM can personalize the text message workflow template available in the system according to their requirements. Figure 1 below shows an example of a text message template available in TIM. After the organization TIM has added the mobile phone number of a subscriber, the subscriber immediately receives a welcome message in which he is informed of his registration. Attendees will receive a daily message asking if they have symptoms consistent with COVID-19 and will be prompted to answer "yes" or "no". If a subscriber does not reply to the daily message, the TIM system sends a reminder. At the end of the monitoring period, the participants receive a final message in which they are informed that they have completed the monitoring and that they will be logged off by TIM.

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