NIH expands use of emergency alert system

The National Institutes of Health is expanding its use of Send Word Now, an emergency notification system, according to SWN Communications. NIH will use use the SWN alert service across its main campus in Bethesda, Md., in NIH facilities in the Washington, D.C.  metropolitan area and throughout the country. The system will be used to communicate emergency and critical events to 35,000 emergency response personnel and employees.

NIH has used Send Word Now since 2005 for emergency communications. The expanded use of the system will enable rapid response in the event of an emergency and enable secure and auditable information exchange enterprisewide.

Send Word Now is a Web-based service that ensures fast, two-way communciation, regardless of location, device or connection, the company said. Send Word Now's Alert Tracer creates an audit trail of messages sent and received.

Send Word Now's messaging platform is capable of transmitting hundreds of thousands of voice and text messages in minutes, receiving responses and monitoring and reporting on the results.

"Send Word Now has been battle-tested by high-level federal agencies, and has passed stringent federal software security checks and independent audits," said Tony Schmitz, chief executive officer of SWN Communications.

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Trudy Walsh is a senior writer for GCN.

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