Taking CANImmunize to the next level

New company to expand and improve upon digital vaccine-tracking platform for Canadian families

October 1, 2019

CANImmunize, an "By digitally connecting the public to their immunization information we can both empower and better protect Canadians and also help build one of the best immunization systems in the world,” said Dr. Kumanan Wilson.award-winning vaccine-tracking platform developed by researchers at The Ottawa Hospital, is transitioning into a startup company. The popular app-based platform will continue to digitally transform the delivery of immunization services while remaining free of charge to users.

“Immunization and digital technology are some of humanity’s greatest achievements, so I’m very excited to be able to continue to combine these to improve public health,” said Dr. Kumanan Wilson, a physician-scientist at The Ottawa Hospital and professor at the University of Ottawa.

CANImmunize Inc. will continue to work with various federal, provincial and municipal partners on a contract basis. For example, partnerships with Ottawa Public Health and Toronto Public Health allow residents to report their children’s vaccinations and avoid school suspensions. CANImmunize Inc. is also exploring partnerships with employers that require vaccine reporting.

What does this mean for existing users?

  • Existing users will have to consent to their data being moved from The Ottawa Hospital to CANImmunize Inc. if they want to continue using the platform. For users who have provided consent, their data will be transferred to CANImmunize Inc. on January 6, 2020. 
  • Existing users can consent to the new policy through the CANImmunize website (login required), the CANImmunize mobile app (after downloading the latest version) or via an email which will go to all users.
  • If users do not consent, their data will not be transferred to the new company, and they will no longer be able to use new versions of the platform or have access to features such as public health reporting. Users will still be able to provide their consent after January 6, 2020 at which time their data will be transferred, and they will be able to resume using the platform.
  • All users also have the option of downloading their records and deleting their account.

New Privacy Policy and Terms of Use

CANImmunize Inc.’s new policy continues to apply the highest standards for protecting privacy and user information.

  • The full policy can be viewed here.
  • As part of the transition, CANImmunize Inc. will focus on supporting account users. Users who downloaded an earlier version of the app without creating an account will need to download the new version and create an account if they wish to continue using CANImmunize. The non-account-based version of CANImmunize will discontinued in the Fall of 2019.

 Users can contact with any questions about the CANImmunize transition.

The CANImmunize story: from playground conversation to startup company

It all started with a simple conversation at an Ottawa playground in 2011. Dr. Kumanan Wilson and another parent wondered why they had to track their children’s immunizations on archaic “yellow cards” when they could manage money, music and many other routine tasks on their phones.

This conversation inspired Dr. Wilson to team up with Cameron Bell, an engineering student at McGill University, to create a free digital vaccine-tracking platform for families. CANImmunize has now been downloaded hundreds of thousands of times. The platform received a Connected to the Community Award from the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association in 2015 and was recognized by Canada’s Health Standards Organization as a Leading Practice in 2019.  

Dr. Wilson will serve as CEO of CANImmunize Inc. while continuing to work as an internal medicine specialist and senior scientist at The Ottawa Hospital and professor at the University of Ottawa. Several members of the CANImmunize team will transition to the new company.

“By digitally connecting the public to their immunization information we can both empower and better protect Canadians and also help build one of the best immunization systems in the world,” said Dr. Kumanan Wilson.

Dr. Wilson and his team will also continue to work closely with Algonquin College. Several Algonquin students have contributed to CANImmunize and Algonquin students also created the related Immunity Warriors digital comic to educate young people about vaccination.

CANImmunize has received financial support from a variety of organizations over the years, including the Public Health Agency of Canada. All research at The Ottawa Hospital is also supported by The Ottawa Hospital Foundation.

The Ottawa Hospital: Inspired by research. Driven by compassion 
The Ottawa Hospital is one of Canada’s largest learning and research hospitals with over 1,100 beds, approximately 12,000 staff and an annual budget of over $1.2 billion. Our focus on research and learning helps us develop new and innovative ways to treat patients and improve care. As a multi-campus hospital, affiliated with the University of Ottawa, we deliver specialized care to the Eastern Ontario region, but our techniques and research discoveries are adopted around the world. We engage the community at all levels to support our vision for better patient care. See for more information about research at The Ottawa Hospital.

Media contact
Jennifer Ganton,
Director of Communications and Public Relations
Ottawa Hospital Research Institute
613-798-5555 x 73325
613-614-5253 (cell)