This is a time of fear and panic. Work-from-home policies have been issued to limit contact and prevent the spread of disease, and grocery stores have line-ups as concerned civilians stock up on non-perishable goods, disinfectant wipes, and toilet paper. We have no intention of contributing to this widespread alarm, but we do feel a responsibility to help the community in every way we can. Our team is following guidance and best practices being put out by Health Canada including the aforementioned work-from-home policy.
A key piece of advice to keep in mind is embracing the concept of social distancing to alleviate the spread of infection. Social distancing simply means limiting physical contact and only travelling or commuting when necessary. Given how quickly the virus has spread, even if you have not been diagnosed with COVID-19, you are still encouraged to self-monitor.
Here is more from the Government of Canada on self-monitoring:
- monitor yourself for symptoms of respiratory illness such as fever, cough, difficulty breathing
If symptoms develop:
- stay home
- limit contact with others
- contact local public health, and follow their instructions
If you have travelled outside Canada, it is important to monitor your health when you return to Canada. While abroad, you may have come in contact with the novel coronavirus. PHAC asks that you monitor your health for fever, cough and difficulty breathing for 14 days after you arrive in Canada. If you have these symptoms, call the public health authority in the province or territory you are in to inform them. They will provide advice on what you should do.
Symptoms of COVID-19 including fever, cough, and difficulty breathing, can take anywhere from 1 to 14 days to develop after infection and in some individuals will be very mild and unnoticeable.
Dot Health focuses on helping patients track, access, and share their own health information for better, faster care. On our part, we have made available a symptom tracking feature on our application - for free - to help people self-monitoring for symptoms of the virus.
The symptom tracker is a simple, self-reporting tool that helps you record when a particular symptom occurred, how severe it is (on a scale of low, medium, and high), and compares it to any initial symptom entry to analyze if your illness is improving or worsening. Some examples of symptoms can include but are not limited to sore throat, fatigue, anxiety, irritability, etc.
Currently, the app has a section specifically tailored to keeping track of Coronavirus symptoms under the Coronavirus (COVID-19) title. When you log in or sign up for a new Dot Health account, you can tap the large “+” button add select “Log your symptoms” there you can scroll through to see a list of common symptoms. We recommend monitoring and logging your symptoms regularly - whether it’s on an hourly or daily basis.
Experiencing symptoms that are associated with COVID-19 may not mean that you have in fact been infected. However, it’s important to keep track of your symptoms regularly before you see a health professional. If these symptoms develop and worsen, you have a few options:
- See a doctor virtually. There are a number of providers that offer telemedicine services. One of our partners at Dot Health is a Toronto-based virtual care company, Maple that can connect you to a doctor from your smartphone within minutes.
- Contact your local healthcare facility. If you will be physically travelling and have symptoms that indicate a COVID-19 infection, please let your healthcare provider know before coming in, be extra careful when travelling to limit contact with others.
Please note: Dot Health is not a healthcare provider. We are a technology company that operates in the healthcare space. Talk to a doctor or trained medical professional if you have specific questions about your health.
To track your symptoms quickly and easily, you can download the free Dot Health app on your smartphone:
Working to prevent the spread of this infection is a community effort. During this period of deep uncertainty, please look out for each other, stay mindful and check in on vulnerable people in your community. Stay happy, healthy, and safe!
The Dot Health Team
P.S. If you’re looking for good, relevant, factual reading material on COVID-19 while you practice self-isolation, here are some of our favourites: