Newsroom

News Release

National app puts immunization records in your hands

March 20, 2014

Ottawa – When was your last tetanus shot? Can you locate your children's vaccination records? Do you need information on travel vaccinations? Thanks to the first national, bilingual smartphone app that literally puts vaccination information into Canadians' hands, people across the country can easily and accurately manage their vaccinations and those of their family.

This free, secure app allows people to store, manage and easily access their immunization information, as well as receive reminders about vaccine updates based on their provincial/territorial vaccine schedules. ImmunizeCA was developed as a collaboration between the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Immunize Canada and the Canadian Public Health Association, with funding from the Public Health Agency of Canada. It is available for iPhone and Android operating systems, including Android-enabled BlackBerry smartphones. Download the app at the iTunes app store (PCs require iTunes) and Google Play

"We’re really excited to release the ImmunizeCA app, designed specifically for Canadians,” said Dr. Kumanan Wilson, senior scientist at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute and professor of medicine at the University of Ottawa. “We think we’ve created an attractive, user-friendly way for people to manage their own health information, while providing simple but scientifically sound answers to many vaccine questions. We hope Canadians find it to be a valuable tool for navigating this important aspect of their health.”

ImmunizeCA is based on ImmunizeON, an Ontario-only version of the app that was launched by the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute in November 2012. Dr. Wilson and Cameron Bell, an electrical engineering student at McGill University, developed the app as a 21st-century complement to the paper-based cards that serve as official vaccine records in Canada.

“ImmunizeCA is another example of how researchers at The Ottawa Hospital are innovating to improve the health of Canadians,” said Dr. Duncan Stewart, CEO and scientific director of the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, vice-president of research at The Ottawa Hospital and professor of medicine at the University of Ottawa. “If this tool can improve vaccination rates and prevent the spread of infectious diseases, it will not only improve the health of Canadians, but also significantly reduce health-care costs.”

Public health experts across the country have reviewed the app in support of the project, and Federal Minister of Health Rona Ambrose officially announced the app on March 20, 2014.

Quotes from our partners


“Our Government is committed to investing in innovative technology. This mobile app can help Canadians make the best decisions about their families’ health. Canadians can keep track of their immunizations electronically and quickly access information from trusted sources,” said Minister Ambrose. “We are proud to work with the Canadian Public Health Association, Immunize Canada and the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute and their partners, to help Canadians improve their health outcomes.”

“Recent outbreaks of influenza and measles across Canada show us that infectious diseases can still be a threat if your vaccinations aren’t up to date,” said Ian Culbert, Executive Director of the Canadian Public Health Association. “It is imperative that we all maintain our vaccinations, from infancy to your senior years, and the ImmunizeCA app helps us, right at our fingertips.”



Fast Fact


Immunization is proven to save lives. The World Health Organization estimates that more than 2.5 million deaths a year are prevented because of public vaccination programs.

Key features of the ImmunizeCA app

  • Convenient, easy-to-use tool to help keep Canadians and their families healthy.
  • Allows people to track immunizations and access credible vaccination information anytime at their fingertips.
  • Allows people to track immunizations and access credible vaccination information anytime at their fingertips.
  • Great for families, travellers and senior citizens.
  • Offers appointment reminders based on provincial and territorial vaccination schedules
  • Local outbreak alert notifications.
  • Bilingual, accurate health information.

From park bench to national app


The idea for the app came from a conversation Dr. Wilson had with a parent at an Ottawa park about why she could do her banking on her smartphone but not have her vaccination records stored there. In the summer of 2011, Dr. Wilson floated the idea of creating an immunization app to Cameron Bell who had previously done some work for him on another project. Three months later, Bell presented Dr. Wilson with a beta version of the app. ImmunizeON, the first smartphone app for the general public developed by researchers at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, was launched in November 2012 as a free app for use on iPhones.

With funding from the Public Health Agency of Canada, and the collaboration of the Canadian Public Health Association, Immunize Canada and the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, the ImmunizeON app was expanded nationwide to become the ImmunizeCA app. It was developed with the support and participation of public health practitioners nationwide.

Dr. Wilson and Cameron Bell have remained integral in the development of the ImmunizeCA app.

Links


Public Health Agency of Canada: News release
Canadian Public Health Association: News release
Immunize Canada: ImmunizeCA app

About the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute


The Ottawa Hospital Research Institute (OHRI) is the research arm of The Ottawa Hospital and is an affiliated institute of the University of Ottawa, closely associated with the university’s Faculties of Medicine and Health Sciences. OHRI includes more than 1,700 scientists, clinical investigators, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and staff conducting research to improve the understanding, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of human disease.

Media contact


Paddy Moore
Communications and Public Relations
Ottawa Hospital Research Institute
613-737-8899 x73687
613-323-5680 (cell)
padmoore@ohri.ca

Public Health Agency of Canada
Media Relations
(613) 957-2983