In 2002, GermWatch was introduced to monitor illnesses during the
Olympics. In partnership with the Utah Department of Health, the
University of Utah Health Care system, and other organizations and
clinicians, GermWatch has continuously improved to help physicians
and consumers track and treat illnesses. Recent funding from the
Intermountain Innovation Foundry provided the opportunity to invest
in a robust infrastructure to substantially improve the service and take it
to the next level.
Some key improvements to GermWatch’s quality, content, and data
- Additional data sources: In addition to testing data, the system
now collects and analyzes data from iCentra, Intermountain’s
Electronic Data Warehouse (EDW), TeleHealth, emergency
department notes, primary care notes, and facility visit data.
- Expanded illness monitoring: In addition to respiratory illness,
the service now offers tracking for gastrointestinal illnesses.
- New trend analysis and predictability tools: Using syndrome
analysis, GermWatch provides public health surveillance with
the ability to identify trends and predict illnesses such as flu,
EV-D68 virus, RSV, pandemics, and bioterrorist events.
- Mobile access: GermWatch is now featured on Intermountain’s
Health Hub app.
- Targeted mapping: Heat maps now target 61 areas by ZIP
code to predict local outbreaks and see how illnesses are
- Growing reach: The service generates 40 reports and more
than 671 emails to clinicians, infection control specialists, administrators, and public health professionals.
Clinicians and consumers benefit from GermWatch
Over the past 15 years, the number of clinicians subscribing to GermWatch’s email updates has grown from 20 to more than 430.
Clinicians enjoy access to trending and predictability tools, expanded breadth and depth of information in an easier format,
additional illness information, more educational offerings, dashboards, business intelligence, and mobile access.
Consumers also benefit from improved activity indicators and maps, mobile access, and important education on common illnesses
to help them know actions to prevent illness and when to seek care.