STIs are a significant public health concern and have been on the rise in Canada. Gonorrhea rates have almost tripled with a 182% increase over the past decade1. Between 2009 and 2018. Chlamydia’s overall rate of infection increased by 41%. These and other STIs are widely preventable and curable in most cases. However, access to testing and the stigma associated with them precludes millions of Canadians from being tested regularly despite the Public Health Agency of Canada’s recommendation that sexually active Canadians test regularly2. These numbers present a clear public health challenge that Switch Health’s 21st century approach can help address.
“Switch Health’s at-home STI Panel Collection Kit is a critical step in managing a serious public health crisis,” said Dr. Gregory Taylor, Chief Medical Officer at Switch Health and former Chief Public Health Officer of Canada. “The COVID-19 pandemic proved that Canadians want decentralized solutions; particularly in remote and regional communities where access to testing and treatment is limited, not to mention the approximately five million Canadians who do not have a family physician. Using telehealth technology in this way helps reduce the long wait times our medical system continues to struggle with, but most importantly, it provides access and reduces the stigma that surrounds common STIs which will lead to better outcomes for the patient. STIs can have painful and irreversible effects if not treated and managed.”
Switch Health’s STI Panel Collection Kit is a target amplification nucleic acid probe test that detects Chlamydia trachomatis, Neisseria gonorrhoeae and Trichomonas Vaginalis. It will be available fall 2022.
For more information on Switch Health:
ABOUT SWITCH HEALTH
Switch Health is an industry leader in decentralized diagnostic solutions for public and private sector partners, including at the federal and provincial level in Canada. Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, organizations and individuals have relied upon Switch Health to provide 21st century health technology services and logistics that are reliable and trusted to help communities across Canada return to normal again.
Drawing on these experiences, Switch Health is applying its approach of patient first, end-to-end digital testing-solutions in areas such as sexual health and other infectious diseases. Switch Health is offering this digital specimen collection and testing in over 200 languages from the comfort of peoples’ homes with the guidance of trusted healthcare professionals and the delivery of results through Canada’s top laboratories, including Bio-Test Laboratory which was recently acquired by Switch Health in early 2022.
2 CMAJ April 19, 2021 193 (16) E549-E559
SOURCE Switch Health Inc.
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