CANet | VIRTUES COVID-19
Healthcare Web App

CANet’s VIRTUES platform plays a defined role in COVID-19 patient care, enabling patients and healthcare professionals to better monitor, triage, and manage their treatment while limiting face-to-face interaction.

CANet | VIRTUES COVID-19
Healthcare Web App

CANet’s VIRTUES platform plays a defined role in COVID-19 patient care, enabling patients and healthcare professionals to better monitor, triage, and manage their treatment while limiting face-to-face interaction.

CANet | VIRTUES COVID-19
Healthcare Web App

CANet’s VIRTUES platform plays a defined role in COVID-19 patient care, enabling patients and healthcare professionals to better monitor, triage, and manage their treatment while limiting face-to-face interaction.

Client Challenge

The Cardiac Arrhythmia Network of Canada (CANet) is a multidisciplinary and multi-sectoral research and development network that focuses on arrhythmia research, and technology development to improve arrhythmia health in Canada.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, CANet had an existing mHealth application, VIRTUES, in clinical trials for the health monitoring of Canadian arrhythmia patients. As the pandemic progressed, CANet took decisive action to adapt the digital solution to address the greater needs of Canadians and enable Canada’s healthcare system to scale with telehealth services related to COVID-19. The digital solution:

  • Enables patients to monitor and track symptoms
  • Allows nurses to alert and triage patients recovery
  • Alerts clinicians to changing symptoms
  • Allows healthcare professionals to communicate care plans

Client Opportunity

With many of Canada’s telehealth solutions currently under tremendous strain, CANet identified an opportunity to support Canadian citizens and frontline healthcare professionals with a digital solution. CANet approached Clearbridge Mobile to help adapt CANet’s VIRTUES platform to have a more defined role in COVID-19 symptom tracking thus enhancing healthcare professionals’ ability to monitor, triage, and manage COVID-19 patients care. The project had several essential requisites. 

  • Enter the market at an exceptionally rapid rate of fewer than 4 weeks
  • Address the operational impact to call centres, hospitals, and doctor offices due to an exponential increase in the number of patients seeking care
  • Ensure the solution abides by Health Canada’s stringent security standards to protect patient health records and data in accordance with the Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA) of Canada
  • Create a user experience that empathizes with all users including patients, nurses, and clinicians

Client Opportunity

With many of Canada’s telehealth solutions currently under tremendous strain, CANet identified an opportunity to support Canadian citizens and frontline healthcare professionals with a digital solution. CANet approached Clearbridge Mobile to help adapt CANet’s VIRTUES platform to have a more defined role in COVID-19 symptom tracking thus enhancing healthcare professionals’ ability to monitor, triage, and manage COVID-19 patients care. The project had several essential requisites. 

  • Enter the market at an exceptionally rapid rate of fewer than 4 weeks to be one of the first to support and address the pressing needs of patients as the pandemic unfolded
  • Address the operational impact to call centres, hospitals, and doctor offices due to an exponential increase in the number of patients seeking care, to reduce operational inefficiencies and costs
  • Ensure the solution abides by Health Canada’s stringent security standards to protect patient health records and data in accordance with the Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA) of Canada
  • Create a user experience that empathizes with all users including patients, nurses, and clinicians

Our Solution

1. Seamlessly Integrate with CANet’s Team to Leverage expertise 

With this particular project, time was of the essence and CANet needed to release the solution as quickly as possible to address the immediate needs of patients. We worked closely with CANet to leverage existing expertise and technologies to accelerate our time-to-market.  

2. Address operational impact 

With the COVID-19 pandemic in full effect, CANet identified an urgent need for hospitals experiencing a rapid escalation of patients seeking healthcare. This influx of patients was causing strain on the existing systems and healthcare workers. We created features to offer patients a secure self-serve option directly from the app where they can share symptoms and other related health data so healthcare professionals could efficiently prioritize individual needs, direct patients to the most appropriate level of care, and offer advice for monitoring symptoms and next steps.  

3. Security-minded design and development 

CANet needed to maintain the same strong security standards offered by its other telehealth solutions, complying with PHIPA and Canadian privacy laws. The digital solution was penetration tested to identify any vulnerabilities and to ensure the highest level of security for Personal Identifiable Information (PII) and medical data.

The Impact on Frontline Healthcare Professionals

With VIRTUES, frontline healthcare professionals benefit from the digital solution in many ways. Specifically, VIRTUES streamlines the patient assessment process making it faster to understand patient needs and identify high-risk patients, while limiting face-to-face interaction. The digital solution can also improve the visibility of the overall virus penetration in a given area by: 

  • Keeping a record of patients experiencing symptoms
  • Prioritizing those symptoms
  • Displaying patterns in the symptom progression of individual patients

The Impact on Canadians

While a majority of COVID-19 cases don’t require hospitalization, it’s essential to monitor symptom progression and catch the ones that do as the most dangerous symptoms of disease progression are “silent”. For Canadians who feel they are at risk of COVID-19 or have already contracted the virus, the VIRTUES platform enables them to:

  • Record symptoms directly on the VIRTUES platform
  • Avoid long wait times with telehealth call centres
  • Only visit a hospital or doctor's office if they are advised

With certain cases, healthcare professionals working with the VIRTUES platform can deliver medical tools like pulse oximeters and thermometers directly to the patient’s home, so patients can monitor their health while effectively limiting as much face-to-face interaction as possible. Again, alleviating strain on hospitals, doctors’ offices, and call centres, but also ensuring that Canadians get the care they need quickly and efficiently

The Results

The VIRTUES platform is both vital to managing the spread of the virus today, but will also prove to be essential in monitoring reemerging cases as we begin to reopen our economy. VIRTUES is already in use with a CANet-funded study providing remote management to patients who live with either a pacemaker or implantable cardiac defibrillators (ICD). 

The digital solution is highly scalable in the sense that one healthcare professional can successfully manage 15 to 100 cases; if you put the solution into the hands of 1000 nurses, then 100,000 patients are accounted for. The immediacy and scalability of the platform holds tremendous value for enabling our frontline healthcare workers to act quickly, and administering treatment in the safest, most efficient way possible. 

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