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New app, website developed to help Hamiltonians fight spread of coronavirus

A health-care worker arrives at a walk-in COVID-19 test clinic in Montreal on Monday, March 23, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson

A Hamilton-based technology company has developed an app and website in hopes of helping to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.

In partnership with the Hamilton Academy of Medicine, Lumedi Inc. has developed Community Watch, an app and website, at no cost to the city or its users.

While handwashing and social distancing are helpful in stopping the spread of the virus, early detection is also key.

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“We believe that everyone must do everything they can in their own community to help stop the spread of COVID-19,” said Jamie Harsevoort, founder and CEO of Lumedi Inc.

“For us, it meant putting our team to work to create an app that is proactive in identifying COVID-19 information before it hits the health-care system, rather than being reactive. Most of our staff live and work in this community, and we want to ensure they and all Hamiltonians remain healthy and viable during this unprecedented time.”

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The new app will provide key insights to help local health authorities in five different ways:

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  1. Detect changing trends before they affect the health-care system
  2. Identify “hot spots” where COVID-19 may be actively spreading
  3. Assess how COVID-19 is impacting the community
  4. Identify trends several days before the hospital starts seeing them in incoming patients
  5. Assess risks neighbourhood by neighbourhood

Lumedi is asking Hamiltonians to complete a 30-second survey once a day during the crisis at https://covid19app.ca/.

By doing so, the app will be able to immediately identify trends that have changed as well as break down the data to the neighbourhood level to see if there are hot spots within the community on which local health authorities can act.

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The data collection procedure will be monitored by the leaders of Hamilton Academy of Medicine and Hamilton’s medical officer of health.

Participants will self-report symptoms each day, and the results will be shared with Hamilton Academy of Medicine, Hamilton’s medical officer of health, Hamilton Public Health, local hospital systems and other relevant stakeholders.

Currently, Community Watch is available online, and its app will be available on Google Play and in the App Store by the end of Monday.

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