Public needs more information about virtual care
November 18, 2020
TORONTO – A large survey of Canadians has found that while they overwhelmingly approve of virtual healthcare – as it helps reduce barriers and improve access to care providers – nearly six in 10 Canadians feel they don’t know enough about digital health apps and services.
As Canada’s digital health agency, Infoway is committed to working with its partners to address these gaps through activities like Digital Health Week.
Canada Health Infoway, in conjunction with the research firm Environics, conducted one of the largest consultations ever about digital health in Canada. The project, called A Healthy Dialogue, reached more than 58,000 Canadians, including those underserved by the health system.
It gained insights about how technology has affected the public this year and how it may impact their care experience in the future.
The research shows that Canadian need more information about digital healthcare solutions and what they can provide, during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.
The research reveals:
- An overwhelming majority (92%) of Canadians want technology that makes healthcare as convenient as other aspects of their lives.
- More than half (53%) of Canadians who have used health technology in the past year say it helped them avoid an in-person visit to a provider or an emergency room.
- Of those Canadians who received virtual care during the pandemic, 91% were satisfied with the experience, 86% agreed that virtual care tools can be important alternatives to seeing doctors in-person, and more than three-quarters (76%) are willing to use virtual care after the pandemic.
- At the same time, nearly six in 10 Canadians feel they don’t know enough about digital health apps and services.
“We’ve gone from talking about ways to further integrate digital health into everyday health care to living it. The events of the past year have accelerated our digital health progress significantly and have proven to Canadians just how important and helpful digital health can be,” said Michael Green (pictured), president and CEO of Infoway.
Green asserted that Digital Health Week, on this week, is one way to educate the public about virtual care and other healthcare technologies.
“Digital Health Week is an important time to celebrate our progress and acknowledge the hard work of all those who have made it possible,” he said.
A Healthy Dialogue is part of Infoway’s commitment to contributing to digital health research in Canada. To support healthcare organizations, clinicians, policy maker and patients, families and caregivers, Infoway conducts research into the value of digital health solutions as well as clinicians’ and Canadians’ attitudes and perceptions.
To learn more about the results from A Healthy Dialogue, please visit https://www.infoway-inforoute.ca/en/component/edocman/resources/reports/3850-a-healthy-dialogue-executive-summary. To learn about Infoway’s other research initiatives, please visit www.infoway-inforoute.ca/en/what-we-do/research-and-insights.
About Digital Health Week – #ThinkDigitalHealth
Digital Health Week was created to celebrate how digital health is transforming care across the country and to increase awareness about the value and benefits of digital health for all Canadians. Digital Health Week is supported by 60+ organizations. Join the conversation and share your story. #ThinkDigitalHealth.
About Canada Health Infoway
Infoway helps to improve the health of Canadians by working with partners to accelerate the development, adoption and effective use of digital health across Canada. Through our investments, we help deliver better quality and access to care and more efficient delivery of health services for patients and clinicians. Infoway is an independent, not-for-profit organization funded by the federal government. Visit www.infoway-inforoute.ca.