CO-Away: Evaluation of a digital platform for Indigenous self-governance, determination, and data sovereignty

Katapally, Tarun Reddy | $200,000

Ontario Western University 2021 CIHR Other

With the 2nd wave of COVID-19, cases are currently rising across northern Indigenous communities, with the active caseload more than doubling in northern Saskatchewan reserves in mid-November 2020. More critical to this project, an Elder and youth member of our Advisory Council recently tested positive, reiterating the dire need for scalable, innovative platforms such as CO-Away to minimize the impact of subsequent COVID‑19 waves in Indigenous communities in Saskatchewan. CO-Away is a culturally appropriate digital epidemiological platform to monitor, mitigate, and manage Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreaks. The CO-Away platform consists of two key components – a frontend virtual care smartphone application (app), and a backend digital decision-making dashboard. The app provides three key precision medicine services that are specific to each citizen: 1) continuous risk assessment of contracting COVID‑19 via the virtual doctor feature; 2) evidence-based public health communication; and 3) Citizen reporting of food availability, access to public services, and COVID‑19 symptoms and test results – these culturally-responsive features have been co-created with Ile-a-la-Crosse Metis decision-makers based on imminent community needs and preferences. The data from the virtual care app is transferred in real-time to a digital decision-maker dashboard, which is securely accessed by the Metis Mayor of Ile-a-la-Crosse. The dashboard will enable the Mayor’s office to assess both individual and community risk, including direct risk of COVID-19, as well as indirect effects such as food insecurity. The primary purpose of this three-year project is to evaluate the implementation of CO-Away for COVID‑19 rapid response, while readying the CO-Away digital infrastructure for other existing and emerging health crises in Indigenous communities.

With funding from the Government of Canada

Please complete this short survey to help us understand our impact. Thank you!

Give Feedback