I’m Ready HIV self-testing research program collaborates with Esri Canada
The company, whose software was behind the famous Johns Hopkins COVID-19 dashboard, will map the participant demographics and reach of HIV self-testing in Canada through the I’m Ready program.
An Esri Canada map showing the approximate geographic locations of I’m Ready participants across Canada as of November 2021. Larger blue circles indicate more respondents in a given location.
TORONTO–December 1, 2021—This World AIDS Day marks the beginning of a new partnership between Esri Canada’s new public health program and the I’m Ready HIV self-testing research program, from the REACH Nexus research group at MAP Centre for Urban Solutions, St. Michael’s Hospital, Unity Health Toronto. COVID-19 underlined the value of visualizing health data using maps to help with health decision-making, and demonstrated the potential that visualization has to help end Canada’s HIV epidemic. Now, I’m Ready will work with Esri Canada, a company with a long history in data mapping and location intelligence, to visualize their results and get HIV self-testing to everyone in Canada who needs it.
Launched in June 2021, I’m Ready recently released their first-quarter data summary. The summary captured participant data from June through August 2021, and highlighted that 1,579 participants consented and entered the study; 1,100 participants ordered 2,653 HIV self-test kits for delivery or pick up; 496 participants shared at least one test results; and 3 HIV-positive test results were submitted, all from people who are part of populations that are disproportionately affected by HIV.
Noted REACH Nexus Director, Scientist at MAP Centre for Urban Health Solutions and I’m Ready Principal Investigator Dr. Sean B. Rourke, “World AIDS Day is a perfect time for us to begin this partnership—it honours those we have lost and pushes us to do everything we can with science and technology to end Canada’s HIV epidemic. Now that we have I’m Ready’s first-quarter results and can start to see its real-life impact, we’re eager to scale up this initiative so we can get testing and care to everyone who can benefit—especially those populations who are most affected by health inequities. The analysis and visualization of our work by Esri Canada, together with other health systems information, will give us key location-based intelligence about the actions we can take to make this happen.”
Dr. Alexander Watts, Industry Manager of Public Health with Esri Canada, said, “Esri Canada has worked with all levels of government and all kinds of businesses, and we’re excited to bring our expertise to the Canadian public health system, especially as we embrace a digital health future. When we have an improved understanding of where people have reduced access to health services, we can better address challenges related to health inequity in Canada.”
Esri Canada is currently working on preliminary I’m Ready data dashboards. Keep an eye on readytoknow.ca for more information about these once they become available.
About REACH Nexus
The team behind the I’m Ready research program, REACH Nexus is an ambitious national research group working on how to address HIV, Hepatitis C and other STBBIs (sexually transmitted and blood-borne infections) in Canada. Our focus is on reaching the undiagnosed, implementing and scaling up new testing options, strengthening connections to care, improving access to options for prevention (PrEP and PEP) and ending HIV stigma.
REACH Nexus is part of MAP Centre for Urban Health Solutions at St. Michael’s Hospital, Unity Health Toronto, and is funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.
About Esri Canada
Founded in 1984, Esri Canada provides geographic information system (GIS) solutions that empower people in business, government and education to make informed and timely decisions by leveraging the power of mapping and spatial analytics. These solutions enable organizations to better manage their resources, plan their future and collaborate within and beyond their organization. Esri Canada’s products and services help advance successful digital transformation. The company serves 12,000 organizations from 16 offices across Canada and is based in Toronto. In 2019, Esri Canada achieved Platinum Club status with the Canada’s Best Managed Companies program by retaining its Best Managed designation for seven consecutive years or more. More information can be found at esri.ca. Follow Esri Canada on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and LinkedIn.
About Unity Health Toronto
Unity Health Toronto, comprised of St. Joseph’s Health Centre, St. Michael’s Hospital and Providence Healthcare, works to advance the health of everyone in our urban communities and beyond. Our health network serves patients, residents and clients across the full spectrum of care, spanning primary care, secondary community care, tertiary and quaternary care services to post-acute through rehabilitation, palliative care and long-term care, while investing in world-class research and education. For more information, visit www.unityhealth.to.
Manager, Communications and Public Affairs, REACH Nexus
PR Specialist, Esri Canada