Easy health record-keeping for Canadians

Easy health record-keeping for Canadians

New app replaces old immunization cards
June 3, 2014

The recent outbreaks of influenza and measles across Canada remind us of the dangers of infectious diseases and the importance of vaccinations. But it can be difficult to keep track of immunization records, especially for multiple family members. A new app developed by the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute (OHRI), Immunize Canada and the Canadian Public Health Association (CPHA) can help.

Launched in March, ImmunizeCA is the first national, bilingual smartphone app that puts vaccination information at your fingertips. So far, approximately 30,000 users have downloaded it. ImmunizeCA allows users to record and store their immunization information, access vaccination schedules by province, manage vaccination appointments, read evidence-based and expert-reviewed information about vaccines and receive alerts for outbreaks in their area.

The app was modeled after ImmunizeON, an Ontario-based version that came out in 2012 and was developed by Dr. Kumanan Wilson, senior scientist at OHRI, and Cameron Bell, a McGill University engineering student. Wilson, also a professor of medicine at the University of Ottawa, developed the app for CPHA and designed its interface and functionality, which are based on Wilson’s research into vaccination hesitancy and policy. The project was carried out in a facility funded by the Canada Foundation for Innovation. 

The app developers hope ImmunizeCA will empower individuals to manage their own immunization health information and in the process, improve Canada’s vaccination rates, prevent the spread of vaccine-preventable diseases and in the end, reduce health care costs.