Ontario’s household decision makers are now empowered with community level COVID-19 data monitoring


With the goal of filtering information for individual Ontarians about how COVID-19 is affecting their community, the talented team of physicians, epidemiologists, data scientists, engineers and designers who developed www.howsmyflattening.ca have released an updated version of the website at this critical juncture of the pandemic.

“As the COVID-19 crisis crests again, Ontarians need a clear view of the state of the pandemic in their communities. In this website redesign, we have filtered the most important information that citizens need to understand community risk and make decisions about their households and businesses.”

– Dr. Ben Fine, a physician-scientist with Trillium Health Partners, and one of the HowsMyFlattening project leads, spoke about the evolution of the website.

To make local COVID-19 monitoring easy, the website remembers Public Health Units (PHUs) of importance to each user – and can deliver the same data by email at 11am each morning.

The updated website has been divided into two modes: Personal Mode, a mobile-forward experience designed with household decision makers in mind, and Geek Mode, which operates like the original site with a vast amount of data analysis and visual dashboards for data junkies who crave it.

Featuring data organized by PHU, and broken down by Case Incidences per 100k people, the tables also include Rt value, percent positivity, the percentage of tests completed in less than 24 hours, and the total number of ICU beds that are occupied. An up or down arrow beside each figure shows if things are trending up or down over the previous seven days.

The website has some serious data intelligence behind it. Initially developed as an interactive visual dashboard to support decision-making in government and hospitals, the team realized that providing this resource to “the people of Ontario” was the next logical step.

“As a household decision maker, I now get a tailored view of regions of Ontario that matter to me and my family. As a scientist, I get to drill down deep into the data and trends in “Geek Mode”. It’s a win-win for me.”

–  Morgan Lim, an assistant scientist with Trillium Health Partners who joined the project to help make HowsMyFlattening accessible for scientists and nonscientists alike.

#HowsMyFlattening is an open and transparent collaboration initiative that monitors Ontario’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Co-led by Professor Laura Rosella of the Dalla Lana School of Public Health (DLSPH) with Trillium Health Partners’ Dr. Ben Fine and IHPME Adjunct Professor and alumni Ali Vahit Esenoy. It is supported by several DLSPH and IHPME students and alumni as well as a team of volunteer physicians, data scientists, engineers and designers. The project is funded by the University of Toronto COVID-19 Action Initiative and donations from the public and organizations such as HIMSS Ontario.

SOURCE How’s My Flattening

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