The Tick App team at Columbia University is seeking partnership with Health Departments in the Northeast region
As part of our research on human exposure to ticks, we have developed a smartphone application to collect data through simple surveys with a citizen science approach: The Tick App. This is a joint effort between partners at the NEVBD and the MWVBD. The Tick App allows users to log in daily activities and their tick encounters. Users can also report any ticks they find and send pictures of the tick. We then identify the tick and send the report back to the user on the tick species and stage. This gives us a sense of overall tick populations and a better understanding of how people interact with their surroundings and get exposed to ticks. Other features of the app alert the users of the tick activity in the area, promote preventative measures and provide educational resources about tick ecology and prevention.
The app is available for free at the app store or google play, and could be used as a passive surveillance tool for tick exposure. As of May 2020, we have more than 3000 downloads. As more people participate in the app we can better understand tick exposure patterns over time in specific locations. This year we are aiming to partner with Health Departments across the Northeast region to promote The Tick App and, in turn, receive tick encounter data aggregated at a zip code level. This data would help the recipient Health Department identify tick risk in their area of influence. If you are interested and would like to partner with us, please contact Maria Diuk-Wasser at firstname.lastname@example.org
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