Bearcats health app leverages AI to automate student immunization verifications

At the beginning of the 2024 spring semester, the new Bearcats Health App was launched for students at the University of Cincinnati.

The app was developed to accurately assess the immunization status of students.

University Health Services Covid Watch Manager Mo Durojaiye and Associate Professor-Adjunct Giselle Weller joined many other members of the team in a partnership with Digital Technology Solutions to automate many of the manual tasks associated with verifying each vaccination listed on an individual student’s required immunization form. 

Durojaiye, who has a doctorate in public health and serves as a public health lead for the university, joined UC during the COVID-19 pandemic. The university's public health efforts included the development of a COVID Check app, powered by SalesForce, to support the university’s safe return-to-campus during the pandemic. 

The universitywide partnership behind the app included subject matter experts from many university offices including College of Allied Health Sciences Associate Professor-Educator Michelle Chyatte, Durojaiye and Digital Technology Solutions' Software Development Team led by Assistant Vice President of Integrated Data, Engineering & Application Services Josette Riep.

"Our staff applied the skills and experience we gained from implementing the COVID Check App along with knowledge we gained leveraging AI to help UHS manage this process more efficiently. Together, we took that digital foundation to the next level in the Bearcats Health App," Riep said.

The app rolled out to the general student population in January. Students required to turn in their immunization records see an immunization task in their Bearcats Portals

“When fully realized, the Bearcats Health App will allow us to optimize disease immunity and quickly gather invaluable decision-influencing data as new threats become evident,” Calhoun said.

“The University of Cincinnati celebrated a record enrollment of over 50,000 students in 2023. The growing student population continues to encourage a strategic focus on innovation to advance the UC community,” Vice President and Chief Digital Officer Bharath Prabhakaran said.

“The Bearcats Health App is a great example of digital transformation at UC and also of what we can accomplish collaboratively across areas as one UC.”

When fully realized, the Bearcats Health App will allow us to optimize disease immunity and quickly gather invaluable decision-influencing data as new threats become evident.

Dr. Dustin Calhoun UC Chief Medical Preparedness Officer

Even with this existing framework, building the Bearcats Health App required the support of many subject matter experts across the university. Durojaiye created and led a committee that included representatives from the COVID Check App team, Enrollment Management, the Digital Technology Solutions' Catalyst Student Information System Team, Health Sciences Program, Student Affairs and University Housing, among others. 

Durojaiye and Riep’s teams worked together to translate the committee’s recommendations, such as information about medical rules, immunizations, and health, into code for the app. 

The Bearcats Health App was rolled out to health science students in October 2023.

"We learned a great deal from the initial launch and we are now able to use this knowledge to position Bearcats Health App to be the most efficient immunization database for the university," Durojaiye said.

The new Bearcats Health App uses optical character recognition and artificial intelligence features to securely scan, digitize, and validate required student immunization and screening records.

"This project represents a great step forward in campus safety," said Dustin Calhoun, UC's chief medical preparedness officer. "Our community is unlikely to see less infectious disease-related threats in the future."

Featured image at top: Students line up for Convocation. UC created a new app to help verify student immunizations. Photo/Jay Yocis/UC Marketing + Brand

Login screen for Bearcats Health App

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