WELL Health Technologies announced today it has secured a $10 million private placement investment from a long-term focused major Canadian institutional investor.

While the TSX-traded company has been primarily focused on consolidating and modernizing assets within the healthcare sector, WELL is innovating on the medical front as well.

Today WELL announced a partnership with McMaster University and the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) to introduce the digitization of the sentinel surveillance program of FluWatch, a program administered by PHAC to monitor the spread of the flu and other flu-like illnesses in the community.

The FluWatch surveillance system has been in place for over two decades; however, the new “Flu Automated Surveillance Tool” (FAST) will facilitate real-time surveillance of patients presenting flu-like symptoms and automated reporting of results to PHAC to enable better assessment and decision-making, resulting in more timely results and better health outcomes for all.

FAST was developed by McMaster’s Department of Family Medicine, and has been clinically proven as effective in capturing an accurate picture of the actual incidence of flu in a surveillance region.

“FAST can be adapted easily to increase the frequency of surveillance at any time, or to extend surveillance to other areas of concern such as COVID-19”, said Dr. David Price, Professor and Chair of McMaster’s Department of Family Medicine.

“It also electronically connects a virtual network of surveillance sentinels led by the Public Health Agency of Canada, making it possible to communicate and implement changes to surveillance across the network within less than a 24-hour period if necessary.”

McMaster is partnering with WELL Health Technologies to make FAST available to OSCAR users in Ontario in the coming weeks, and to OSCAR users outside of Ontario commencing in 2021.

“This collaboration exemplifies the commitment that both McMaster and WELL have to improving health systems and outcomes for all through the creation and deployment of innovative health technologies,” said Hamed Shahbazi, Chairman and CEO of WELL.

“A digitized and automated FluWatch system that can track where people are experiencing flu-like symptoms is necessary in order to be pro-active in taking steps to prevent or contain outbreaks.”