Think digital health isn’t making a difference? Think again.

Every day, more of Canada’s health care system goes digital. It’s a private, secure, effective way to make health care better, for all of us.
Scroll down to learn more.

How Technology is


Transforming Health Care

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Technology plays an important role in many aspects of our lives. Similar to the way technology has improved banking or the way we connect with family and friends, digital health is changing the delivery of care.

Digital health represents the many different ways that technology is facilitating a more connected health care team – a team that includes you. As part of a pan-Canadian initiative, a network of systems is being created to securely connect and share health information with authorized care providers. And increasingly, it can provide the tools and information to empower you to better understand and manage your health.

So, whether you’re in…

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or St. John's... city4Animation-a city4Animation-b

These systems will provide secure and timely access to vital health information, making it easier to take care of yourself and your loved ones.

Digital health is changing the delivery of care in Canada for the better

Digital Health and You

However simple or sophisticated, digital health tools are changing the ways in which you interact with your health care team, and improving the way you care for yourself and your loved ones.

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Confidence & collaboration

Online access to personal health information, such as lab results, current medications and other vital data, helps health professionals to provide safe and effective care and allows you to track your care, ease your anxiety and facilitate discussions and secure sharing with your family and health care providers.
Alexa
Alexa uses digital health to manage her health in partnership with her health care team. Find out more about her story.
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Treatment in emergency situations

Timely access to your health information by emergency department staff who aren’t familiar with your medical history ensures you and your loved ones receive appropriate and informed care in an emergency situation.
Dr. Kendall Ho
Hear Dr. Kendall Ho give an example of how secure, instant access to a patient’s health information in an emergency, provides a comprehensive patient picture that helps health care providers deliver treatment.
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Management of chronic conditions

For those with chronic conditions such as diabetes, digital health can make day-to-day monitoring and tracking easier.
Karla
As a nurse working with chronic disease patients, Karla explains how electronic portals are enabling patients to be a more active part of their care team.
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Accuracy and convenience

Electronic prescriptions and requests for renewals can reduce handwriting errors, make it easier to check for allergies or drug interactions, and, in some cases, even reduce the need for in-person appointments. With ready access to test results – like blood work– duplication of testing can be reduced, saving you time and getting you treatment sooner.
Brian
See how Brian benefits from his health care team’s use of electronic health records – making the process of getting his prescriptions filled more efficient and streamlined.
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Diagnosis and treatment

Electronic health records can help your health care provider make a timelier and better informed diagnosis by having easy access to a comprehensive picture of your health history.
Cheryl-Anne
Listen to Cheryl-Anne’s story as she explains the benefits of digital health tools when managing her cancer journey.
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Access for rural and remote communities

Telehealth is connecting patients in remote and rural communities to care through videoconferencing and other technology, reducing the need to travel.
Heather
Watch how Heather and her son Nicky are connecting with specialized medical care hundreds of kilometres away through video conferencing.
Yes, we’ve come a long way together, but our journey is far from over.

Canada’s Digital Health Strategy

Infoway, a not-for-profit organization funded by the federal government, is working with each of the provinces and territories and health care providers to improve the health of Canadians and the health system through innovative use of technology.

Building a Foundation for Transformation

In consultation with our partners, Infoway established the foundational requirements for securely capturing, storing, sharing, accessing and managing health information.

And while every province and territory is at a different stage of development, they are all working on these foundational elements according to their local priorities and needs.

Canada’s digital health infrastructure has three fundamental components:

Point of care systems

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Compatible systems that your health care providers use to send, retrieve and manage critical health information within their individual practices or organizations. An example is an electronic medical record in your family doctor’s office.

Connection

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Over time, this is what will deliver the most value. It allows for the secure exchange of critical information between authorized health care providers at different locations who are all caring for you.

Storage

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Core databases being built by the provinces and territories to securely share very specific clinical information so that authorized health care providers can retrieve and contribute pertinent information when they are treating you. Components include:
  • Information that securely identifies your health record;
  • Information that securely identifies your authorized care provider(s);
  • Diagnostic images like X-rays, MRIs and CT scans;
  • Laboratory results;
  • Medications;
  • and other clinical tests and records such as hospital discharge summaries, allergy and/or immunization reports.
Establishing these foundational components supports digital health solutions that benefit you, such as patient access to personal information through secure online portals, prescriptions being sent electronically to your pharmacy or consulting with your health care provider through secure messaging.

We’ve come a long way together, and here’s how we will continue the journey.

Technology is rapidly improving health care every day in Canada, but there is still a lot of work to do. In 2012, Infoway consulted more than 500 Canadians, clinicians, governments, health care administrators, national associations, and vendors, to better understand their priorities for health and health care, and the supporting role that technology will play. The result: five Opportunities for Action that will build on the foundation that has been laid, and continue to drive the digital health agenda in years to come. These opportunities are:
icon - bring care closer to home Bring care closer to home
icon - Provide easier access Provide easier access
icon - Support new models of care Support new models of care
icon - Improve patient safety Improve patient safety
icon - Enable a high-performing health system Enable a high-performing health system
Digital health is transforming health care delivery in Canada by connecting Canadians.
 

fb-iconShare Your Story

Technology is helping to transform health care across the country today – and we’re sharing real stories from Canadians to help showcase what’s possible through digital health. Be sure to check out these stories here.

We also want to hear from you! Do you have your own digital health story to share, or simply want to show your support for digital health in Canada? Join us on Facebook and tell us about it.