Advancing Care – How the possibilities of digital health are closer to becoming a reality for Canadians

This year’s Advancing Care Peer Leader Symposium was a reminder to us about why collaboration at all levels of health care is so important. Conversations between health leaders, from across the country and beyond, continue to be an essential step in delivering more efficient and effective health care for patients and clinicians through the use of digital health tools. Opening with a compelling patient experience, it laid the foundation of this year’s theme: Optimizing the Use and Value of Digital Health. Continue reading

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Paper examines gap between desire for and use of digital consumer health solution

Eight in ten Canadians want online access to their personal health information. Four per cent have it. We took those statistics as our starting point for investigating the current use of consumer health solutions, as well as enablers and barriers to their widespread adoption. Continue reading

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Finding a smaller, more targeted audience may be the key to success in social media

Having just started tweeting, I was excited to join Infoway’s recent Public Health Social Media Challenge Expert Q&A Session. Teams from our Public Health Social Media Challenge were given the opportunity to pose questions to our panel of experts. They asked some challenging questions and received some great advice. Continue reading

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Canadian Nurses are prepared to be leaders in digital health

In May 2014, Canada Health Infoway (Infoway) in partnership with the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) released the results of the first ever quantitative survey which measured nurses in direct practice access, use and perception of using digital health tools in their practice.    Continue reading

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Put your audience first when devising a social media plan

I recently had the pleasure of hosting our second Expert Forum. For one hour, teams participating in our ImagineNation Public Health Social Media Challenge presented their social media initiatives to receive feedback from a group of experts. The Public Health Social Media Challenge is designed to inspire public health organizations in Canada to use social media in creative and innovative ways to reach out to and connect with their audience. Continue reading

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Remote Patient Monitoring could improve the quality of life for patients

Although Canada’s health care system faces many challenges ahead, there is also tremendous innovation happening that is transforming the way health care is delivered. Through the use of technology, for example, health care can be brought closer to the patient — it can be accessed at the touch of a tablet or specialized device, such as a blood pressure cuff or wireless scale, through which health care providers monitor changes in a patient’s condition and coach them on how to manage their health — and before it deteriorates, requiring a trip to the emergency room. Continue reading

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Mobile health apps and the demand for personalized care (Part 3 of 3)

There are a number of legitimate concerns that have been raised around the rapid explosion of health apps. A key barrier to the widespread adoption of health apps continues to be worries around privacy, security, and liability issues related to accessing, storage and ownership of health data.  Health information is considered highly sensitive and private, and there are valid questions regarding liability should inappropriate access to information take place, or if health information is inadvertently released due to technical issues. There is also ambiguity around the regulation of health apps themselves, particularly when they offer medical information or health-based services. Continue reading

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New study finds the benefits of e-booking

Digital health is making a significant impact to Canadians and is resulting in better delivery, quality and access to care. e-Booking is one of the tools that is adding convenience and increasing productivity to the health care system. It allows patients to book their own medical appointments online at any time and without the assistance of office staff. Patients receive online confirmation and alerts about their appointments, allowing the office staff to focus on higher-value tasks. Continue reading

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Tips for developing a successful quality plan

I had the pleasure of being the guest speaking at a recent webinar hosted by the Consumer Health and Innovation team at Canada Health Infoway. The webinar focused on how teams, who are part of the e-Connect Impact Challenge, can develop a successful quality plan. Your first question may be, “What is a quality plan?” A quality plan or a quality improvement plan is a systematic approach to making changes that lead to better patient outcomes, stronger system performance and enhanced professional development. It draws on the combined and continuous efforts of all stakeholders to make better and sustained improvements. During the webinar, I focused on the top five tips to keep in mind when developing a quality plan. 1. Develop a clear aim statement Your aim statement should be simple and concise. What exactly are you trying to accomplish? You should follow four main steps while creating your aim statement. Clarity: Create unambiguous measurable results by including a specific number, or percentage, that you would like to reach. Time: Select a date by which you would like to reach this goal. Stretchable:  Make a point of realizing where you are now, where you would like to be three to [...] Continue reading

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Mobile health apps and the demand for personalized care (Part 2 of 3)

Last summer, researchers at the International Centre for Health Innovation (the Centre) performed an analysis of the most popular health apps to define the purpose of each app and to examine the value these apps may offer consumers outside of the traditional health system.1 The “Top 100” most popular apps were generated for both Android and iPhone operating systems for two categories, health and fitness and medical, which then underwent content analysis to find major themes. Continue reading

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