You probably aren’t going to read this entire blog post.

And that’s totally fine. But here’s a recent example of why you should always read beyond the headlines:

Last week, WHO Chief Scientist Dr. Soumya Swaminathan was quoted out of context. In Swaminathan’s original statement, the warning in regard to mixing COVID-19 vaccines was given to those who are already fully vaccinated and may be deciding for themselves if they need an extra “booster” dose (CBC News, 2021). The media’s representation of Dr. Swaminathan’s statement, however, failed to provide context as headlines along the lines of “WHO Warns Against Mixing and Matching COVID-19 Vaccines” flooded the internet. 

With one thing leading to another, false rumors about mixing and matching vaccines had essentially spread across the globe. What was initially given as a warning, had quickly escalated into a chaotic situation of broken telephone in which Canadians were beginning to doubt their own country’s vaccination strategy—which includes mixing and matching vaccines (CBC News, 2021). In a tweet following the press conference, Dr. Swaminathan clarified that mixing vaccines is completely safe and that public health agencies, not individuals, should make decisions on mixing and matching COVID vaccines, based on available data (Reuters, 2021). 

TLDR: “Context is extremely important.”

According to infectious disease specialist Dr. Isaac Bogoch, if there’s one thing to take away from this situation, it’s to always remember that “context is extremely important.” In his interview with CBC News, Bogoch states that WHO officials “were really referring to people who had already received, for example, a full course of a vaccine series and then were, you know, for lack of a better word, choosing their own adventure and trying to get additional doses of a vaccine” (CBC News, 2021).


CBC News. (2021, July 14). What the World Health Organization really said about mixing COVID-19 vaccines | CBC News. CBCnews.

Reuters. (2021, July 12). WHO warns individuals against mixing and matching COVID vaccines. Reuters.

About the Author

Bairavie Piravakaran (she/her) is a second-year undergraduate at the University of Toronto Scarborough. As a Psychological & Health Sciences student, she values the importance of sharing credible information and making health resources more accessible to the public. Her interests in population health, research, and design are also reflected in her non-academic pursuits—she currently with the Young Leaders of Public Health and Medicine (YLPHM) as a Social Media Manager for the Scarborough Chapter and is a Health Promotion & Analytics Member at Critical Health Innovations Lab (CHIL). At EMPOWER Health, Bairavie works closely with the Marketing Team in order to plan and execute strategies that help inform the public about current health-related topics.

A Letter To Students

Dear Students,

Heading off to university or college for the first time can be overwhelming, to say the least.  Whether you’re moving into residence or staying at home, it’s a big transition from high school.  It’s a time of excitement, nerves, anticipation, nostalgia and new beginnings!  Even after first year, there are some huge milestones.  Maybe you’re moving out for the first time, getting your first apartment with friends or taking on a new academic challenge…

At iamsick, we are a team of recent graduates (and a few students!) so, trust us, we know the feeling.  We thought it would be nice to share with you some of the nuggets of wisdom that we picked up in our early years of school.


Ryan, Ph.D – Medical Biophysics

Experienced in: all-nighters

Academia is a safe place for you to discover, explore and pursue your passions.
Worry less about grades, and more about the experiences and memories that will become the foundation of your ambitions.
Audit courses that interest you, join clubs, and pursue leadership roles.
Remember that the best way to learn is by doing, and it’s never too late to pivot and change.


Erin, B.Comm – Management

Experienced in: heavy textbooks

Whenever you can, get the e-book version of your textbooks.  It’s nice to have a hard copy, but sometimes it’s just not worth it to lug that weight around.  And get a good backpack.  Your spine will thank you.


Da, MSc – Molecular Genetics

Experienced in: making time for reading for pleasure

Read The Willpower Instinct by Kelly McGonigal.  It’s all about how the majority of things we don’t get done is due to a lack of willpower.


Crystal, Master of Health Informatics

Experienced in: living with roommates

If you’re going to have roommates in residence (or after), make sure you sit down and discuss some ground rules.  Set boundaries and, most importantly, set up a cleaning schedule!


Rebecca, HBSc – Computer Science

Experienced in: savvy grocery shopping & commuting from off-campus

If you commute, ask around about good places to nap or rest.  Even if you sleep enough, if you’re hours away from home and have a headache, you’ll be glad someone pointed out those quiet places.

When you move into your own place, prioritize groceries.  This may seem obvious, but it’s really easy to forget until you’re starving and only have noodles you stole from your parents and the same sad-looking apple they gave you at Frosh.


Francis, BASc – Computer Engineering

Experienced in: extracurriculars

Don’t stress too much over the schoolwork.  It isn’t the most meaningful part of your school experience.  Have fun.

As back-to-school approaches, don’t forget to add to your school-prep check list!  Wherever you’re headed, can show you your healthcare options after-hours or in the language of your choice.  When the campus clinic is closed, you can find the nearest emergency room, walk-in clinic, diagnostic lab or pharmacy.  We’ve even created shortcuts for many of the university and college campuses across Ontario:

Ontario Universities (A-Z)

Algoma University –
Brock University –
Carleton University –
Guelph University –
Lakehead University –
Laurentian University –
McMaster University –
OCAD University –
Queen’s University –
Royal Military College of Canada (RMCC) –
Ryerson University –
Trent University –
University de Hearst –
University of Ontario Institute of Technology –
University of Ottawa –
University of Ottawa – St Paul University –
University of Toronto Mississauga –
University of Toronto Scarborough –
University of Toronto St. George –
University of Waterloo –
University of Windsor –
Western University –
Wilfred Laurier University –
York University –

Ontario Colleges (A-Z) 

Algonquin College –
Ontario Agricultural College –
Conestoga College –
Durham College –
Fanshawe College –
George Brown College –
Michener Institute –
Mohawk College –
Seneca College –
Sheridan College –

Visit us at or download our free app, available on Blackberry, iPhone and Android.  Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @iamsick_ca to keep up with our newest features!

We know it’s not the same as having Mom nearby, but it’s the next best thing.  Wishing you the best of luck in the upcoming school year.


The Team

eHealth Conference: Then and Now

This week, the team attended eHealth Conference 2015. Our team attended a booth on the exhibition floor. It was after speaking to Ryan, our president and one of the original co-founders, that we found out and the eHealth Conference have a history together!

In honour of COACH’s 40th and Conference’s 10th anniversaries, let’s take a walk down memory lane and visit eHealth Conference 2013.

Throwback Thursday: 2013 Apps Challenge

The eHealth Conference has a history of organizing app competitions. Before their collaboration with Hacking Health in 2014, the conference team hosted the Apps Challenge. The challenge is where health IT innovators can go head to head and showcase the best they have to offer. was a runner-up winner of the 2013 Challenge. The encouragement and feedback we received at eHealth Conference 2013  motivated us to take on the roller-coaster ride that digital health startups face.

eHealth2013 - are the runner-up winners

#eHealth2015: today

A lot has changed since then. Our team has grown, our features have expanded, and we’re learning everyday.

During the conference, our team got to meet many ehealth professionals from across Canada. We were pleasantly surprised at how many people have heard of and used our website and app!

We also learned that the need for better healthcare navigation is a universal problem. After speaking with delegates from different provinces, we feel even more motivated to expand our platform to include the rest of Canada.

It was encouraging to see so many professionals and organizations dedicated to improving healthcare using technology.

We look forward to connecting with you following the conference. If you were not able to make it to the conference, please feel free to reach out at team[at], or through our Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook pages.

Erin’s Story

We like to hear from our users. has been around for some time now, and we enjoy reading how the website and mobile apps have helped users find healthcare, when and where they need it.

This week, we would like to share Erin’s story. Erin is an intern at, and has been with us since September. One day, she found herself unexpectedly using our smartphone app to help her roommate find a doctor. Let’s see what she has to say…

My roommate had been sick for days and was getting worse.  I didn’t think there were any clinics open nearby on a Sunday but I didn’t want to take her to the emergency room to wait in the waiting room.  I wasn’t expecting much but I pulled out the app, turned on the “Only show me what’s open” filter and actually found a clinic that was open for a few hours on Sundays, just a few blocks from our condo!

Thankfully, Erin’s roommate was able to see a doctor before it got too serious. It’s stories like these that drive us to improve our products.


Erin and her roommate.

We love hearing back from our users. You can helps us improve our platform and introduce new features designed to help you. Please feel free to rate and review our mobile apps in their respective app stores, or email us at with your feedback.

If you have an story you would like to share, email us at or comment below!