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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Perceptions around patient-provider interaction

Do computers in the exam room impact patient-provider interaction?  This is a topic of much debate, but less concrete evidence.  To add to the conversation, we analysed data from a survey conducted by Harris Decima to measure public attitudes and understanding of health information and communication technology (ICT).  The survey was in field in February and March 2014 and collected perspectives from 1,512 Canadian adults. Continue reading

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Mobile health apps and the demand for personalized care (Part 1 of 3)

This February, my colleagues and I at the International Centre for Health Innovation at the Ivey Business School at Western University released the report “It’s All About Me: The Personalization of Health Systems.” The report describes the emerging consumer-driven demand for a more personalized health system, and the steps health systems must take to meet this fundamental shift. Unprecedented access to health information and revolutionary medical discoveries are working together to generate this grassroots demand for personalized healthcare, and it is fascinating to me to see the role mobile health applications (health apps) are playing in this shift. Continue reading

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Innovations like the breathe app help those with asthma manage their condition

Canada Health Infoway’s website features dozens of stories and videos about the progress that’s being made with digital health solutions across Canada. The breathe app is our most recent video. An ImagineNation Outcomes Challenge participant, the breathe app is recognized as a unique tool that is helping asthma patients monitor and manage their condition. Created by the Ontario Lung Association with support from Infoway, the app is helping bring care closer to home. Check it out. Continue reading

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