Introducing Our Healthbox, increasing equitable access to health care tools

One in ten Canadians living with HIV do not know their status. Twenty-one Canadians die of opioid toxicity daily. The health care systems we have in place leave too many Canadians outside the reach of care.

This needs to change.

Our Healthbox is a new smart, interactive vending machine that aims to be an integral solution to meet Canadians where they are and connect them with the health care tools they need and wouldn’t otherwise have access to. Our Healthbox dispenses HIV and COVID-19 self-test kits, harm reduction and sexual health supplies, as well as everyday essentials many of us take for granted.

It also acts as a community services directory that can help link citizens with local care and service providers.

Anyone 16 years of age and older (18+ in Quebec) can access Our Healthbox’s supplies so long as they consent to the anonymous research program by registering and answering a few questions about themselves. There will be 25-30 Our Healthbox units in strategic regions within the next year, with a goal to install at least 100 units across Canada in the next three years.

Our Healthbox is a program by REACH Nexus and the MAP Centre for Urban Health Solutions at St. Michael’s Hospital spearheaded by Dr. Sean B. Rourke, with funding supported by Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), St. Michael’s Foundation and the Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research (CANFAR).

Our Healthbox was recently unveiled at the International AIDS Conference, and we were able to catch-up with Sean for more details. Watch the video below.