Research & Development
BC team receives grant to study virtual health equity issues
November 9, 2022
OTTAWA – The Health Research Foundation (HRF) of Innovative Medicines Canada is pleased to announce that Dr. Megan MacPherson (pictured) and her research team were awarded the HRF Research Team Grant in Virtual Care. Dr. MacPherson is the regional practice lead for research and knowledge translation for Virtual Health at Fraser Health in British Columbia.
“On behalf of the HRF Board, I extend my congratulations to Dr. MacPherson and her team. Results from her research will help inform policy and standards of practice to promote equitable access to healthcare, which aligns directly with the HRF’s longstanding commitment of supporting research-driven decision-making in Canada,” said Mel Cappe, chair of the HRF Board of Directors.
While the COVID-19 pandemic gave rise to virtual care as an innovative alternative to in-person visits with healthcare providers, it also revealed access inequities, particularly for underrepresented groups. Through the HRF Grant, Dr. MacPherson and her team will explore opportunities to improve virtual patient-provider messaging for underrepresented older adults, including visible minorities and those living with disabilities.
“I’m extremely grateful to The Health Research Foundation for the opportunity to advance this important research. Since roughly 30 per cent of the Canadian population will be older than 65 by 2068, ensuring equitable access to virtual health services for older Canadians is a key component of our healthcare system that needs to be addressed,” said Dr. MacPherson.
Patient-provider virtual messaging, such as texts, apps, or emails, can help monitor older patients at home following hospital discharge, which can reduce transfers, exposure and other safety and health risks. However, equitable access to this kind of virtual care can only be achieved if research and evaluations are representative of diverse older adults, which Dr. MacPherson and her team will capture as part of their research.
“Our industry is proud to support research that will improve equitable access to innovative healthcare solutions for Canadians,” said Pamela Fralick, president of Innovative Medicines Canada. “Improving access to virtual care can help alleviate the increasing pressure on our healthcare systems, and I’m looking forward to seeing the impact of Dr. MacPherson’s work.”
About the Health Research Foundation
The Health Research Foundation (HRF) of Innovative Medicines Canada is a non-profit organization that invests in Canadian academic health research and promotes the value of research-driven health innovation in Canada. The HRF is one of the leading private health foundations in the country and its contributions help prevent illness, treat disease, and improve Canada’s healthcare systems. The organization is committed to addressing health challenges through research excellence, stakeholder partnerships and the advancement of public policy.
About Innovative Medicines Canada
Innovative Medicines Canada is the national association representing the voice of Canada’s innovative pharmaceutical industry. The association advocates for policies that enable the discovery, development, and delivery of innovative medicines and vaccines to improve the lives of all Canadians and supports the members’ commitment to being a valued partner in the Canadian healthcare system. The association represents 50 companies who invest nearly $1.4 billion in R&D annually, fueling Canada’s knowledge-based economy, while contributing $8 billion to Canada’s economy. Guided by the Code of Ethical Practices, all members work with governments, private payers, healthcare professionals, and stakeholders in a highly ethical manner.