The Health Council announced the release of HealthIQ, a simple online tool that will help us as a community in our efforts to progress from phase one through phase four of COVID- 19 restrictions.
Each member of the public is encouraged to go to HealthIQ.bm and enter information about how they are feeling. In addition to tracking our community’s health status and symptoms that may be associated with COVID-19, the tool will help our public health teams to identify risks and resources needed to keep our communities safe. You can submit information on a mobile device or computer.
The Bermuda Health Council worked with a keen and insightful 18-year old Bermudian developer, Mr. Gabriel Jones, and a local senior technologist, Mr. Lee McArthur, to launch the online tool. The tool was made in Bermuda and made specifically for Bermuda. HealthIQ is also part of a coordinated strategy, in line with education platforms and communication tools, to use technology to stay in front of the disruptions caused by this pandemic.
Dr. Ricky Brathwaite, CEO of the Bermuda Health Council, noted: “When talking with the developers, we knew we needed something easy to use, while at the same time powerful for our COVID fight. We also wanted to make sure that there was no unnecessary invasion of privacy and only asked questions that would be helpful to our country’s efforts. The use of a map in the software allows us to better identify locations where partners like the Third Sector Coordinated Crisis Response Effort team can focus resources. We are excited to see the potential it can have on the health of the community, not only in the short term, but also in the long term.”
As the community is seeking clarity on how long or what will be the key that opens up each phase of the COVID state-of-emergency restrictions, the Health Council knows that robust population data will support the opening of those doors. Data will come in the form of testing, in contact tracing, in calls to the helplines, and in admissions to the hospital. It will also rely on public health data from the tens of thousands of Bermuda’s residents who have insights on their own and their family’s health that social distancing will not allow us all to see.
Dr. Brathwaite also states: “We see this tool as providing us with a leading indicator of disease and giving us tens of thousands of eyes so that we can all stay safe. We need a collective effort to crash any COVID- 19 waves.”
The goal is to have each of our residents enter their information and update it often. Keeping your data up-to-date is critical. The tool does require some contact information so that more targeted information can be gathered. For example, the tool asks whether you have been tested for COVID-19. By knowing how many people have been tested by postcode, we can then look to let our communities know when testing may be done at a location nearby. Also if you have a pre-existing condition, the tool can help the response teams to provide extra resources to keep you out of harm’s way such as giving you priority for delivery of groceries or access to a doctor. We have to do everything we can to protect our most vulnerable.
HealthIQ goes hand in hand with the diverse set of public health actions that are taking place and relies on each community member participating for us all to be successful. We need all 64,000 represented in this data so all of our 64,000 can move forward together.
Learn more about this tool, the Health Council’s COVID-19 efforts, and the most current scientific research by visiting the Health Council at www.bhec.bm or by following us on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.