Stronger Together: Social Infrastructure for Community Health
Extending health care to those isolated by COVID-19.
Project Budget*- $1.9M
Partner Co-investment* - $0.5M
Supercluster Co-investment* - $1.4M
Health care is built on personal interactions. Visits to the doctor. Trips to the ER. Outpatient follow-ups after a hospital stay. But a pandemic like COVID-19 makes this difficult at best, and life-threatening in the case of large groups of patients like those with chronic disease, the elderly, and the disabled.
Even visits to community centres for rehabilitation and disease management programs are impacted. The programs these patients attend after discharge from hospital include education, exercises, coaching and critical peer support. They include some form of monitoring and clinical evaluation so that potential issues can be detected before they drive complications and re-hospitalization.
Supporting these kinds of patients is the goal of the Stronger Together: Social Infrastructure for Community Health project led by Curatio Networks in partnership with Cloud DX, , Simon Fraser University, the University of British Columbia, the University Health Network, Pacific Blue Cross, Wellness Garage, OnCall Health, Zu.com, and Age-Well.
The project makes sure discharged patients receive personalized peer support, educational programs, daily tracking tools and monitoring by bringing together a privacy-compliant social network platform with remote medical grade patient monitoring. As well, an open platform approach will allow healthcare organizations to integrate with it and take it in new directions.
The social network will operate like a Facebook platform built specifically for health care. Wearables and remote monitors that detect medical information can be integrated. And the patient will participate in evidence-based programs at home, safe from COVID-19. The network will connect them to their hospital’s platform, to peers facing the same situation, and will provide feedback on their progress and health.
Rehab and outpatient programs are often delivered by hospitals, researchers, and community organizations and Stronger Together fills one gap in current offerings by collecting data that could help speed research, cures, and vaccines.
The project will support 25,000 patients and families each week by giving hospitals, doctors and community organizations a new way to deliver rehabilitation and disease management programs.
While Stronger Together will start with outpatient support tied to COVID-19, it plans to expand to include recovery programs in mental health, anxiety, return-to-work after short-term disability, as well as disease prevention and management. It has the potential to move beyond the current crisis to improve outpatient health care service.
As Canada aims to slowly return to normal, the Stronger Together initiative not only addresses an urgent need to support patients at scale, but also points the way towards healthcare transformation. Transformation that strengthens the patient-provider and patient-peer relationship, while delivering cost and care efficiencies, all within a private, compliant and secure environment.
*amounts at time of project selection