Government & Policy
Tech industry recommendations for healthcare in Ont.
December 1, 2021
MISSISSAUGA, Ont. – TECHNATION, Canada’s national technology industry association, along with leading-edge tech leaders from across Canada, held its “Virtual Digital Health Day” on November 30, with a focus on Ontario’s Digital First Health Strategy. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, technology has enabled a transformation in the way we access healthcare in Canada.
According to a recent study done by the Canadian Medical Association Journal, Ontario saw an almost 80 per cent decrease in primary in-person healthcare visits during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, virtual consultations with doctors skyrocketed across Canada. There is no turning back, only an evolution to incorporate this more comprehensively into the overall continuum of care.
“The pandemic has forced every jurisdiction to think differently – there is no turning back,” said Angela Mondou (pictured), president & CEO of TECHNATION. “Given the ever-increasing expectation of digital healthcare service delivery, and the Ontario Government’s ‘Digital First’ strategy, our members recommend a collaboration approach to accelerate digital transformation and deliver the healthcare demands of Ontarians.”
A 2018 study showed that around 40 per cent of Canadians track one or more aspects of their health using connected care technologies, with 68 per cent saying smart digital devices have allowed them to maintain or improve their health condition. Proponents of digital health believe that if they can measure an aspect of their life on a regular basis, they can improve it.
“Digital health technology has played a vital role in helping Ontarians get access to care and health information. Our members bring Canadian innovation and global insights to solve real problems, but we feel we can offer more,” said David Thomas, TECHNATION Health board chair and vice president, TELUS Health. “We believe that together with government we can be more proactive in using technology to transform health and wellness and gain greater insights for future improvements.”
Prior to the pandemic, Ontario launched the Digital First for Health strategy, to bring the patient experience into the 21st century. Having been provided the opportunity for input into the Digital First for Health Strategy throughout the process, TECHNATION Health is eager to continue with tangible next steps toward a renewed and more resilient healthcare system, powered by innovative technology.
The Virtual Digital Health Day allowed TECHNATION to engage with Ministers, Members of Provincial Parliament, and top ministry officials, to present opportunities to drive continuous improvements in the healthcare system.
Ontarians continue to look for more efficient and digital ways of accessing healthcare which has created new challenges for the government. TECHNATION will specifically focus on ways these challenges can be addressed including:
- Expand digital health leveraging lessons learned from the innovative solutions enabled over the last
year to accelerate Ontario’s transition to a truly digital first approach
- Define the role predictive analytics, artificial intelligence, and machine learning play in transforming
the digital healthcare industry
- Identify trends in Ontario’s digital health and the challenges and transformation opportunities present
in the digital health landscape.
TECHNATION’s Digital Health Day coincided with the release of a new white paper on Canadian National Health Interoperability Standards that examine the progress made towards interoperability in Canada and best practices. To read the white paper, click here.
TECHNATION is the industry-government nexus for technology prosperity in Canada. As a member-driven, not-for-profit, TECHNATION unites Canada’s technology sector, governments and communities to enable technology prosperity in Canada. TECHNATION champions technology prosperity by providing advocacy, professional development and networking opportunities across industry and governments at all levels; connecting Canadian scale-ups with global tech leaders; engaging the global supply chain; and filling the technology talent pipeline. TECHNATION has served as the authoritative national voice of the $210 billion ICT industry for over 60 years. More than 43,200 Canadian ICT firms create and supply goods and services that contribute to a more productive, competitive, and innovative society. The ICT sector generates more than 666,500 jobs and invests $7.5 billion annually in R&D, more than any other private sector performer. For more information, visit www.technationcanada.ca.