Recognizing the value and unmet need of digital syndromic surveillance for the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada, we launched a non-profit called Flatten on March 23, 2020, focused on building a robust self-reporting syndromic surveillance tool. The tool consists of symptom, clinical, socio-demographic, and COVID-19 exposure/testing result data, combined with real-time mapping methods.
The tool was launched in the form of an online survey. We received a significant amount of media attention, which helped to dramatically increase the number of survey submissions. The survey was translated into French, and has since been recognized as an official self-assessment tool to support efforts by the director of public health in the City of Montreal, Quebec We continue to build relationships with public health authorities both across Canada and internationally, as with the case of the City of Mogadishu, Somalia. The tool delivers rapid preliminary surveillance data to relevant stakeholders. This helps them implement actionable policies and mobilize resources to optimize their response to COVID-19.