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Jennifer's Story: Being the Centre of Her Medical Team

Being the centre of a health care team that communicated well together helped her achieve Olympic gold. It's an approach she continues to use as a mom.


Aaron’s Story: Saving Time Through e-Booking

In this video provided by the University of British Columbia, Aaron is a busy student juggling many demands on his time, so he takes advantage of e-booking when he needs to make an appointment with his family doctor.

Dr. Matthew Chow’s Story: Access to Care through Telepsychiatry

Public investments in digital health have quite literally made my career as an e-Health leader. When I started my medical training, something as simple as video chatting was choppy and more of a gimmick than an effective communication tool.

I entered residency in a field that remained largely unchanged for more than 50 years. I saw patients in clinics and hospitals built decades ago. My professional life was tied to the city that I lived in. There were few opportunities to reach people in distant communities unless I was willing to deal with a grueling travel schedule.

Everything changed when our government made public investments in videoconferencing technology in clinics and hospitals throughout the province. Telehealth became available in nearly every small town and city. Suddenly the world was opened to me. I decided to build a career on this.

I became the medical director of telepsychiatry services at BC Children's & Women's Hospitals. I became an advocate for using digital solutions to address pressing concerns such as equal access to health care services no matter where you live.

I am a psychiatrist but I do not have a couch in my office. Instead I have computers, a tablet, and a smartphone. These tools and public investments in digital health allow me to build a career that will look nothing like those of the people who have gone before me. It's an exciting time for the medical community and patients in this country.

Dr. Alan Barkun – Testimonial

Director of the Division of Gastroenterology in McGill University and at the McGill University Health Centre.

My involvement with digital health is twofold: first, as a Gastroenterologist; and second, as the McGill University Health Centre's Medical Information Officer. My role as a Medical Information Officer is to ensure the McGill University Health Centre has all the digital tools it requires to properly manage the health of its patients.

As a healthcare practitioner (HCP), digital health has made a huge difference in how I care for my patients. For example, digital health records allow for an easy transfer of patient information between HCP's, technicians and healthcare institutions. Furthermore, it guarantees me access to a patient's health record continually and from anywhere in the world, which allows for a continuity of patient care that would otherwise be unfeasible. Likewise, the option of ordering medication electronically has significantly decreased the possibility of medical errors, seeing as the requested treatment is cross-referenced with all the other medications the given patient is on. If not for digital health, it would be almost impossible to successfully manage the many treatments certain patients are on.

The reason I devoted part of my career to digital health is because I believed it would lead me to improve the quality of care for a large number of patients, more than I could operating on them one at a time as a Gastroenterologist. Through digital health, I believe we have the power to not only improve the care of a single patient, but rather the healthcare system as a whole and every patient it benefits.

Trevor’s Story: Streamlining Communication

My father was diagnosed with a terminal multiforme glioblastoma tumour in April of 2012.
The diagnosing, hospital visits, chemotherapy, radiation, MRIs and all other tests were overwhelming in the beginning. So much information was being thrown our way that we were barely keeping our heads above water. The IT services provided to us at Sunnybrook Hospital throughout this long process has been able to alleviate much of the stress and pain of going through the struggle. Constant e mail communication between our oncologist and social worker has made communication between the hospital and us an ease.

Sending information when we needed, and not having to sit on hold for hours has streamlined the communication process. When things began taking a turn for the worse, we were able to book all of our necessary appointments online at a variety of hospitals without having to sit in an emergency room or see a doctor who knew nothing of my father's condition.

Being able to check online the status of radiation rooms beforehand saved us hours of waiting. When commuting from Brampton to Toronto during rush hour, we were glad that we did not have to sit inside a hospital because a machine was delayed because we had that information beforehand, had we lost those precious hours, multiplied by the amount of times we had to go for chemotherapy, I would have spent days and days less with my father, and I am glad to have had that time.

Tracie’s Story: Gaining Support through an Online Community

On July 15th, 2012 I lost my partner of 23 years to bladder cancer on what was to be our wedding day. The following day my mom, the other closest person in my life was hospitalized and I lost her less than two months later. With few family members or friends to support me emotionally, I looked for a way to deal with my grief. Searching the internet I found the Virtual Hospice Society which I credit with saving my sanity and possibly my life.

I instantly found strangers who were also dealing with pain and loss and were so ready to welcome me and most importantly, understood the raw emotions and fear that I was feeling.

Through the tears and sorrow I formed friendships and soon found myself welcoming newcomers and offering them the same support that was given to me. The love, the unique bond, the understanding never ceases to amaze me and the friendships that I have found bring me strength when I feel like I can't go on. We are united as one in a way that others may not understand. We share the laughter, the tears, the good days and the bad and know that at any time all we have to do reach for our keyboards and someone will be there who will virtually hold us close and wipe away the tears. What a blessing this site has been.

How Technology is Transforming Health Care

Hear stories from other Canadians.