We have been learning about how COVID-19 has been impacting our healthcare professionals and the hospitals. Most of us understand that the message of “staying home” and physical/social distancing is necessary to minimize the spread of this highly infectious virus. But what if you’ve developed a cough? Feeling shortness of breath? Maybe you’re questioning yourself wondering if it’s seasonal allergies or common cold? Okay, but what if it’s not? It’s hard to tell at the moment. At what point should you be going seeking help? You can start with 19check.com a free online health assessment tool.
19check.com (named after COVID-19) recently launched to help Canadians identify the symptoms of COVID-19 and to determine next steps in efforts to help answer questions and to help alleviate the growing stress on hospitals and emergency rooms. The site offers a quick, clear and concise online questionnaire so anyone can check from home to see if they are a carrier. People experiencing severe symptoms of illness are advised and directed appropriately. It also connects those experiencing mild signs of the illness to medical professionals via teleconference for further consultation at no cost to help assess the next steps.
Developed by Cathy Tie, a 23-year old Torontonian who published her first research paper at 16, was named a Thiel Fellow, and founder of San Francisco based genetic screening company Ranomics. In 2018, Forbes named her to the Healthcare “30 under 30” list and her credentials have already made an impact here in North America. An example, in 2019, she founded Locke Bio, which allows patients to get prescriptions from medical professionals online and have medication delivered right to their doors throughout Canada.
While we are all inundated with articles about this virus, we have found the site to be a great resource of information from fact-based and trusted sources on this site as well. Very handy is the real-time updates on cases in Canada. Tie tells us they’ve also published multiple articles on the 19Check website to help make people aware of useful information related to COVID-19. Some of their resources include Health Canada, CDC, and other informative websites dedicated to public health.
While the landscape is quickly changing with this virus as we’ve seen in other countries, Tie tells us how they are keeping a close eye on the situation and how they continue to ramp up to help the public as well as the healthcare system. “We believe that an online telehealth assessment tool is key in reducing the number of in-person hospital and clinic visits, which are often places for infections between patients. We are working hard to recruit more medical staff to be on our platform, which will allow us to take on more patients each day, and continue to help reduce the number of people who need to leave their homes to seek medical treatment. We also have pharmacy partners who are able to fulfill and mail prescriptions for patients on our platform who discover that they may need a prescription medication after their video consultation.”
Tie is currently based in San Francisco and has been in lockdown since March 17. Fortunately, she tells us she’s in an industry where she’s able to work from home and operate her company as usual. “We have allocated resources and staff towards helping out with the COVID-19 crisis through the launch of 19Check,” said Tie. “We will continue to provide these services for free until the crisis is over. We’re grateful to make an impact on peoples’ lives through our work.”
You can do your own online COVID-19 health check anytime: 19check.com