- WELL Health Technologies (TSX:WELL) has announced the launch of “FAST”, the Flu Automated Surveillance Tool
- In partnership with McMaster University and the Public Health Agency of Canada, WELL has digitised the flu surveillance program FluWatch
- The new program is able to monitor patients in real-time, and assess the spread of flu-like symptoms
- The company hopes to deploy FAST to a number of Ontario clinics in the coming weeks
- WELL’s share price is up 1.94 per cent, and is currently trading at $1.58 per share
WELL Health Technologies (TSX:WELL) has announced the impending launch of “FAST”, the Flu Automated Surveillance Tool.
The launch is the result of WELL’s partnership with McMaster University and the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC).
The three-way collaboration has taken PHAC’s flu-monitoring program, FluWatch, and digitised its sentinel surveillance capabilities.
The FluWatch system has monitored the spread of flu and flu-like illnesses in communities for over twenty years.
FAST, on the other hand, is able to provide real-time surveillance of patients who present flu-like symptoms. The program can then send automated result reports to PHAC, in order to facilitate improved assessment and treatment.
FAST has already proven to be effective at capturing accurate pictures of flu cases in a surveillance region.
McMaster University’s Department of Family Medicine was responsible for developing the FAST program. Professor and Chair of the Department, Dr David Price, commented on the many applications FAST may have.
“FAST can be adapted easily to increase the frequency of surveillance at any time, or to extend surveillance to other areas of concern, such as COVID-19.
It also electronically connects a virtual network of surveillance sentinels led by the Public Health Agency of Canada. This makes it possible to communicate and implement changes to surveillance across the network in under 24 hours,” he said.
FAST is fully compatible with the electrical medical record system, OSCAR, which is licensed by McMaster University. As such, WELL Health is continuing its partnership with McMaster University, to make FAST available to OSCAR users in Ontario.
Ontarian OSCAR users may expect to access FAST within the next few weeks. However, OSCAR users outside of Ontario will have to wait until 2021.
As concerns over the coronavirus outbreak continue to escalate, tools like FAST are likely to become more commplace.
As WELL CEO Hamed Shahbazi put it, “a digitised and automated system that can track where people are experiencing flu-like symptoms is necessary in order to prevent or contain outbreaks”.
WELL’s share price is up 1.94 per cent, and is currently trading at $1.58 per share, as of 3:16am EST.