Introducing icanbewell, the only Canadian, evidence-based, bilingual mobile app for preventive care


Manage episode 280685827 series 2122065
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For this special series HIROC is partnering with the Association of Family Health Teams of Ontario (AFHTO) to highlight the work of several amazing primary healthcare teams.

Family health teams provide comprehensive primary care and are based on a collaborative model where physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses, dieticians, social workers and many more disciplines work together.

In this episode we speak with Dr. Cleo Mavriplis, a family physician and professor. In 2017, Dr. Mavriplis started working with an interdisciplinary team of family physicians, nurse practitioners, and students from the University of Ottawa, Faculty of Engineering on an app called icanbewell. The programming team was comprised of engineering and computer science students led by Professor Liam Peyton. The students are funded by CREATE-BEST, an NSERC grant that brings programming students and health care providers together to create the best health smartphone apps.

The app launched this year and is the only Canadian, evidence-based, bilingual, mobile application for preventive care.

What’s unique about the app is that it has a patient interface and a healthcare provider interface and both are visible to each group. Healthcare providers can search by age and gender for options on applicable preventive measures for a particular patient, and they can also access teaching materials for patients. Patients can use the tool in a similar way to learn about self-assessment and general prevention guidelines.

To see the app go to:


“We’re working with the computer science people to make an interface that would be acceptable to transgender and non-binary people.” – CM

“Fifty to 70% of all illness and disease in Canada and in the world are really due to preventive causes…studies show that if you advise people and do some intensive training that you can get 30% of people you’re talking to quit smoking for example or change their lifestyle.” – CM

“When we did the study, people said, “Oh, I didn’t know Canadian health information is different,” and that’s why the app is important and it’s trusted.” – CM

“We understand now that prevention and all these measures do work if we do them. Also, the emphasis is on helping marginalized or vulnerable populations. We’ve seen that we’re only as healthy as our most vulnerable.” – CM

“We’re working with the computer science people to make an interface that would be acceptable to transgender and non-binary people.” – CM

“It’s been a gut feeling for me that I wanted to be very democratic and transparent...I’m kind of glad that we’ve stuck with the two interfaces on the same app.” – CM

Mentioned in this Episode:

The Bruyere Academic Family Health Team

University of Ottawa – Faculty of Computer Science

McGill University Satellite Faculty of Medicine

Canadian Family Physician

Helen Monkman

Ontario 211

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