Montreal-based Dialogue is launching a free tool to give Canadian access to the latest public health information and resources pertaining to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak.
The tool is a virtual automated assistant called Chloe, which aggregates the latest information on the virus from federal, provincial, and territorial health authorities. The tool will prompt users through a set of questions to identify their location and determine potential risks, travel history, and pre-existing conditions that could be linked to COVID-19. The tool is available for all users in all of Canada’s provinces and territories.
“The more informed the public is, the more likely it is to take preventative actions to stay healthy.”
Along with updates, Dialogue’s app will provide users with contact information for local health public units, prevention tips, and a list of affected countries and travel safety advisories. Chloe’s service system is also open-source in order to allow Canadian health and government agencies to contribute the most recent content as new information becomes available.
Dialogue’s chief technology officer Alexis Smirnov said the initiative is aimed to support public health authorities and ensure Canadians have the best information in order to slow the spread of COVID-19 in Canada.
“Having helped the public during the H1N1 and SARS outbreaks, I’ve seen first-hand how the lack of accurate and timely information can impact the containment and mitigation of infection,” said Dr. Daniel Lalla, a physician at Dialogue. “The more informed the public is, the more likely it is to take preventative actions to stay healthy or consult with healthcare providers sooner to increase chances of full recovery.”
The COVID-19 outbreak was discovered in Wuhan, China in December, and has since been declared a public health emergency of international concern by the World Health Organization. As of March 10, there have been 79 confirmed cases in Canada, according to the Government of Canada’s public health bulletin.
The outbreak has already had an impact on Canada’s tech community, with large conferences like Collision, Shopify Unite, True North and Startupfest either scaling down or cancelling the in-person portions of their events this year due to concerns over the outbreak.
The app launch follows shortly after Dialogue announcing a partnership with insurance provider Canada Life to make virtual healthcare a standard benefit for employers with Canada Life group benefits plans.
Image source CNW Group/Dialogue Technologies