This week is Digital Health Week, a yearly acknowledgement of the transformative power of digital health technologies to support the delivery of health care.
That such a transformation is desired by patients and caregivers is not in doubt. Canada Health Infoway notes that 80% of patients want access to their own records and other digital health solutions. This enthusiasm was confirmed recently in a survey commissioned by the Canadian Medical Association which found:
- Three-quarters of Canadians would like to see more technology as part of the health care system
- 7 in 10 Canadians would take advantage of virtual physician visits and many believe that it would lead to more timely care, convenience and overall care.
- Over half (56%) would likely wear a mobile device that monitored their health continuously.
Despite these figures, digital care has been relatively slow in coming to Ontario and the rest of Canada for a variety of reasons related to the challenges of putting the proper infrastructure in place, privacy and security concerns and some resistance from health care providers and patients.