CO-Away is a digital epidemiological platform, with a frontend smartphone app and a backend decision-making dashboard that leverages the approach of SMART Platform in integrating real-time ethical surveillance, integrated knowledge translation, and policy and behavioural interventions. CO-Away is being designed to address population health risks, including child and youth mental health crises during multiples waves of COVID-19. The DEPtH Lab will launch CO-Away in the remote Indigenous community of Île-à-la-Crosse, Saskatchewan, before scaling it up across different jurisdictions.

Food Equity and Environmental Data Sovereignty (FEEDS)

The FEEDS project aims to develop and implement a sustainable platform for real-time decision-making to mitigate climate change-related impacts on human health. FEEDS takes a participatory action, citizen science approach which enables early detection and warning of climate change impacts on food insecurity and sovereignty. Utilizing the Smart Platform, this community trial integrates Indigenous Knowledge with western methods. This project is led by Dr. Jasmin Bhawra.

Global Matrix 4.0: Cross-Country Policy Advocacy

Global Matrix 4.0 is the fourth edition (2022) of cross-country evidence synthesis, knowledge translation, and policy advocacy to promote child and youth active living across the globe. Global Matrix 4.0 is led by Active Healthy Kids Global Alliance and as part of this initiative, country-specific teams from more than 50 countries develop Report Cards by appraising current evidence using rigorous methods. Dr. Katapally leads the development of the India Report Cards for the Physical Activity of Children and Youth.

SMART Adults

Smart Adults was the foundational pilot that provided vital evidence to scale up the Smart Platform. In 2017 and 2018, we engaged with adult citizen scientists across the life course to test various aspects of the Platform, from citizen engagement and compliance strategies to real-time assessments and interventions. We developed a deep understanding of evidence-based approaches that apply to various adult cohorts (18-35; 36-65; >65) in terms of recruitment, retention, continuous engagement, and data management, and sovereignty, which are critical factors for the success of digital health innovations. Based on the evidence generated from Smart Adult pilots, we have expanded the Smart Platform to youth in urban, rural, and remote areas.

SMART Response

Smart Response is the most advanced edition of the Smart Platform and it’s purpose it to develop virtual care applications and digital decision-making dashboards to address population health crises. As part of Smart Response, I am leading a team of data scientists, epidemiologists, and community stakeholders, to identify and address health crises that are of importance to communities. CO-Away is an example of a project that resulted from Smart Response. By involving citizen scientists and patients as equal partners, Smart Response is developing virtual care applications. As the strength of Smart Response is to adapt to the changing community needs and stakeholder priorities, it is being developed as a versatile platform that will advance community entrepreneurship and capacity building.

SMART Indigenous Youth Mobilization: Learn how we engage with Indigenous Youth in rural and remote areas.

Utilizing the Smart Platform, this 5-year community trial is being conducted in partnership with Indigenous communities in rural and remote regions of Saskatchewan. The trial involves the embedding of a culturally, linguistically, and geographically appropriate land-based active living initiative into the school curricula in collaboration with on-reserve school administrators, Elders, and community leaders. The youth and educators are the citizen scientists in this initiative, where they interact with researchers in real-time using smartphones to provide their perception of their evolving behaviours in concert with the land-based program. The focus of the intervention is on holistic wellness, including physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health. Knowledge translation, citizen empowerment, and community engagement are the three pillars of this trial.  Community partners are not only consulted continuously, but also co-own the data, determine changes to the intervention, and collaborate in knowledge dissemination. The project is informing Indigenous self-determination and governance.


Smart India is our global social innovation project that engages youth in India to address key gaps in active living evidence to inform active living policy and practice. Smart India contributes to the global report cards on the physical activity of children and youth, and thus far, two India report cards (2016 and 2018) have been produced as part of this project. It is being implemented by Active Healthy Kids India, a not-for-profit organization that I co-founded to raise funds, bring together stakeholders, and implement social innovation initiatives that engage youth citizen scientists as partners.


Smart Youth is an ambitious project of engaging a representative sample of youth in a provincial jurisdiction as citizen scientists to address one major public health issue – youth mental health. Smart Youth has been piloted in the high schools of Regina, and the evidence generated from a representative sample of youth in Regina is being used to inform the scale-up of Smart Youth across the province. Smart Youth also engages educators as citizen scientists to understand school policy and program implementation. The ultimate goal of Smart Youth is to develop a longitudinal digital health program that addresses mental health issues among youth in real-time.

SMART Toddlers

This is a prospective community trial that investigates the effect of different policy, program, and physical environment settings across the four childcare settings in Regina on active play among early years children (2-5 years). Early childhood educators, parents, and toddlers are citizen scientists in this project.