Curatio provides free apps that helps patients connect with each other and access expert programs to help them stay healthy at home.
The COVID-19 pandemic has given people around the world a sense of what it feels like to be isolated at home. But as Lynda Brown-Ganzert points out, this is what it is like for millions of people living with an illness.
“I hope that because of the pandemic, people will have more empathy for the type of isolation and lack of social support that so many others face. But for many patients and families, the pandemic also means they’re missing out on their usual community supports,” says Brown-Ganzert, founder and CEO of Curatio, a free mobile app that connects patients with each other and provides expert health information.
The pandemic has temporarily cancelled or drastically changed services that patients and their families rely on, such as in-person caregiver support groups, post-surgical consultations, and cardiac rehabilitation classes at local community centres. “In talking to patients and families and clinicians, we really recognized a gap and thought we could help,” says Brown-Ganzert.
Curatio connects patients inside a secure social network, where they can chat with others who share their condition, learn about their condition from health care experts, join support groups, and track their health. Privacy and regulatory compliant, Curatio is used in 102 countries and is available in 15 languages.
Coaching, tracking tools, and real-time monitoring
To keep patients healthy at home and socially supported during the pandemic, Curatio is leading the Stronger Together: Social Infrastructure for Community Health project, in partnership with Cloud DX, Simon Fraser University, the University of British Columbia, the University Health Network, Pacific Blue Cross, Wellness Garage, OnCall Health, Zu.com, and Age-Well.
The project provides patients with a 12-week, personalized program that includes learning modules, peer support, coaching, and daily tracking tools. Programs are available for patients with respiratory disease, prostate cancer, cardiovascular disease, multiple myeloma, and type 2 diabetes (or who are pre-diabetic). There are also programs for patients recovering from stroke, parents of children living with a physical disability, adults with a physical disability, or for parents needing support through the COVID-19 pandemic. The programs are all evidence-based and developed in partnership with clinicians and medical experts.
In some cases, the program will include real-time patient monitoring from Cloud DX. For example, a patient recovering from a stroke can have daily checks of their vital signs with the results sent to their health care provider. Participants will also be supporting a University of British Columbia study into the patient experience to help researchers understand how to better support patients in the future.
A place to connect with others
“Patients can get curated, evidence-based, trustworthy information to help them reach their health goals, which is really hard to do when you’re at home,” says Brown-Ganzert. “Another benefit is social support. Patients tell us how lonely and isolating it can be when you’re living with a condition. It really helps to connect with others who understand what you’re going through and to have a place where you feel like you belong.” Stronger Together is looking for patients to join the program for free. “Space is limited, so the sooner people sign up, the better,” says Brown-Ganzert. “We want to provide patients with a safe place and give them power around navigating their own health journey.”