Fire Fighting in Canada

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New physician-monitored health and wellness platform for firefighters

May 22, 2020
By FFIC Staff

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Wouldn’t it be great if a health and wellness surveillance app could help to identify health issues in firefighters in their early stages?  You might want to keep reading.

The Aivia Health project began in early 2017 when Dr. Louis Hugo Francescutti, an emergency room physician, university professor, and injury reduction advocate, and Altitude Logic, a Canadian software development firm, were invited by Surrey Fire Service and Surrey Firefighters Association Local 1271 to come and discuss growing concerns over firefighters being vulnerable to cancer, occupational disease, and PTSD as a result of their continued exposure to toxins and stressful situations (see report).

After nearly two years of intense collaboration between project stakeholders and industry experts, the result was unique and ground-breaking app that allows firefighters to manage critical aspects of their health and wellness while physicians monitor their profiles and provide ongoing proactive guidance.

From physical attributes including heart health and fatigue to mental health, including stress, depression, anxiety and burnout, a firefighter’s trends are monitored by the physician to enable continuous improvement and early diagnoses.

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By default, a firefighter’s health and wellness profile is private and is not shared with physicians. However, individuals may opt-in to physician monitoring. The involvement of physicians in the system is to provide medical guidance only and are not meant to replace one’s family physician.

Additionally, a firefighter’s health and wellness data cannot be accessed by their employer, the union, or anyone other than themselves and the physician (if physician monitoring is enabled). While aggregated data and trends can be viewed by all participating members of the organization, it is anonymized, and cannot be used to identify individuals.

“Much of the benefit comes from ongoing physician engagement and medical guidance,” says De Roche. “The goal is to identify early indications of cancer and disease and facilitate early diagnoses and treatment.”

Nearly 400 Surrey Fire Service members are actively engaged with the system. And while benefits are clear for firefighters, management can use anonymous, aggregated data to identify concerning trends and address them in a timely manner.

Aivia Health is now available for use by other fire services across Canada. Using a community model, new platform participants will be required to pay a fee for the service and will contribute to enhancements that will be enjoyed by all users of the system.

Aivia Health is showcasing the power of technology to harness the power of prevention. Addressing a health concern before it becomes a crisis, be it physical or mental, means longer, healthier lives for firefighters.

For more information about Aivia Health, please contact hello@aiviahealth.com, or call 780-240-6788.


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