A group of five entrepreneurs at Queen’s University have developed a medical appointment tool that can be used to assist with the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines.
Waive the Wait was created with the intention of reducing wait times for medical appointments, especially during the pandemic with waiting rooms closed.
Salman Sohani, Shrey Anand, Daniel Oh, Anne Liu and Yifei Yin from Queen’s University’s Innovation Centre all had personal stories about unpleasant wait times at medical centers which motivated them to find a solution.
“For me personally, when I was around nine years old, my dad got into a terrible kitchen accident. We rushed to the closest hospital and waited seven hours overnight to finally get the services he needed,” said Anand.
Since being created over a year ago, the software has been used in medical clinics in the Greater Toronto Area. Dr. Simran Thakar, from Queens Square Doctors in Brampton says the tool has been extremely useful.
“It’s had a huge impact on our office,” Thakar said. “Initially we were trying to find different ways to lessen the volumes that were coming into the office and making sure that our front office remains as spaced out as possible, given the high rates of COVID in the community”
Although the tool was meant to keep wait times low in doctor’s offices, the creators say it will help eliminate the potential of wasted dosage at vaccine clinics.
“It’ll be connected to their system, it will send off reminders and personalized wait times, dashboards, so patients know exactly what is going on with their health care,” Anand said.
“And if there is a no-show, we’ll be able to provide dynamic standby lists which will allow patients from other days to get text messages on the fly if they are interested to come in and get the vaccine.”
The team is hoping to collaborate with pharmacies and vaccination clinics as Ontario’s vaccine rollout ramps up in the coming months.
“Over the following days, our team has built an outreach strategy which includes mass emails & calls. Further, we want to ensure that the software is accessible to vaccine centres and can integrate seamlessly with their systems,” Sohani said.