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Transforming the Future of Canada’s Health Care

Three leading Canadian experts explore the tremendous opportunity to improve the health care system through innovative technologies.

Huda Idrees

Huda Idrees

Founder & CEO, Dot Health

Canadian health care is in dire need of a technology makeover. Patient-centered access to data isn’t a novel concept. And yet, in the year 2020, we live in a reality where it’s easier for you to track your fast food order or granularly analyze your coffee purchases than to have simple, digital access to your own health data. Lack of access to this data has profound impacts on the quality of care that our system can provide, but it also has a direct correlation to health literacy.

Research has proven time and time again that patients who are more involved in their own care journey have better outcomes. So why does health data still live in silos in individual hospital health records departments and why is it still primarily transferred via fax?

Some of the answers lie in the way health care is governed and how fees are collected for services rendered. Health care data is the core on which our system should be built and governed. But instead, we willingly fly blind. If the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that our system needs to come to terms with the fact that technology is, in fact, a friend and not a foe.

Dr. Teri Fisher

Dr. Teri Fisher

Physician, Founder & Host, Voice First Health

For the first time in our history, the way that we interface with computers is mirroring our most natural form of communication — our voices. We can now simply speak to computers and they can respond intelligently to what we’re saying. I believe that voice is the next operating system, the “vOS,” and that voice (smart) assistants will radically transform the way we experience the entire health care journey. From the home to the hospital, from the ER to the OR, and from the clinic to the ward, voice is about to revolutionize health care.

As just one example, consider the potential of using our voices as a new and extremely powerful vital sign — a health parametre that’s rich in data, can be obtained from a distance, and is entirely non-invasive.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. The voice era has arrived. Voice, our most powerful possession, is the new operating system of our lives and of our health care systems.

Dr. Alexandra T. Greenhill

Dr. Alexandra T. Greenhill

Founder, CEO & Chief Medical Officer, Careteam Technologies

Innovation in itself is neutral. It’s humans who define whether it does good or not. We have an opportunity to accelerate the trend to embed virtual health as the “new normal” of our health care systems, because the technology has been ready and so are the people — patients and clinicians alike welcome the change.

The COVID-19 pandemic has sped up a process that was already well underway, similar to how all the other areas of our lives were digitally transformed. The big difference in health care is that the intent to do better is not the same as real benefits. We need the clinical leadership and methods to ensure that these innovations are grounded in evidence and coordinated thoughtfully around each patient’s needs.

Virtual health collaboration platforms support the integrations of all the wonderful new inventions so we can finally have a health care system that acts as a system.