Mobile health, or mHealth, is the use of mobile phones, tablets, or other wireless devices in the practice medicine or public health. The Ottawa Hospital’s mHealth Lab, led by Dr. Kumanan Wilson, is creating innovative, practical easy-to-use apps for people to manage their health information and be more involved in their own health care.
The mHealth Lab team is developing practical easy-to-use apps for people to manage their health information. It has developed five new mobile platforms and apps that are being touted internationally as visionary in how they enable people to participate in and connect with the larger health-care system.
CANImmunize is Canada’s national immunization app. A free, bilingual mobile app, soon available on the web, CANImmunize helps Canadians across the country keep their immunization information at their fingertips. The app allows people to securely store and manage their families’ vaccination records, provides appointment reminders and vaccination schedules by home province or territory, as well as reliable information about vaccination requirements for children, adults and travelers. Read more…
While CANImmunize is geared to adults – parents mainly – the mHealth Lab, in partnership with students from Algonquin College, created Immunity Warriors, a digital comic book to teach children about the importance of vaccination. Immunity Warriors was launched in a grade 7 class at Broadview Public School in Ottawa. Newfoundland health units are adopting it, and Dr. Wilson is hoping other health units across the country will also use this fun teaching tool at schools to get kids interested in vaccinations.
The Ottawa Rules
The Ottawa Rules is a mobile and web-based version of the Ottawa Knee Rule, the Ottawa Ankle Rules and the Canadian C-spine Rule, which are used around the world to help emergency medicine health professionals decide when to order x-rays and CT scans. With this app, the world-famous Ottawa rules developed by Dr. Ian Stiell, an Ottawa Hospital emergency physician and his emergency medicine research group, will be more accessible to the new generation of wired emergency department clinicians. This year, the mHealth Lab has added the Canadian CT Head rules, SAH and TIA risk scales to the app and will continue to evaluate it with practitioners at the Ottawa Hospital.
This app has had close to 5,000 downloads both in Canada and internationally.
OkKidney is a phosphate management tool for patients with chronic kidney disease treated with peritoneal dialysis. The app allows patients to track their daily dietary intake of phosphate and recommends an appropriate dose of calcium binders to accompany each meal. It was developed with Dr. Deborah Zimmerman of the OHRI Kidney Research Centre.
OkKidney has been tested on a group of patients treated with peritoneal dialysis and will be formally evaluated in a randomized controlled trial before being released to the public.
Project Big Life
Project Big Life is an online collection of health calculators that allow people and health-care providers to estimate life expectancy based on diet, physical activity, and lifestyle habits, such as salt intake, smoking habits, alcohol consumption and more. The project was developed by Dr. Douglas Manuel and his team at The Ottawa Hospital using surveys from Statistics Canada that are linked to health-care records.
The free life expectancy calculator has been used by over one million people worldwide. The mHealth Lab has built tools which make Dr. Manuel’s algorithms more rapidly translated into calculators, helping bring his research to the public more quickly and affordably.
RecoverNow is a tablet-based stroke rehabilitation platform that helps patients begin rehabilitation and allows therapists to track patient progress. It was developed in partnership with Dr. Dar Dowlatshahi, a stroke neurologist at The Ottawa Hospital. It has been tested by a group of stroke patients both in hospital and after they returned home. It will be formally evaluated in a randomized controlled trial before being made available for clinical use. Read more…