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Policy report

Healthcare at our fingertips: enabling a digital health environment for Canadians

A 'Canada Next: 12 ways to get ahead of disruption' report

8 Jan 2019

Summary and recommendations:

In one century, advancements in research and technology have helped humankind to add an average 28 years to our lives. Over the past decade, healthcare consumers have become empowered by the volume and ease of access to health information. Yet the operating model for delivering healthcare has not fundamentally changed. The current model favours institutions rather than consumers, with less than 10 percent of Canadians taking advantage of e-services.

With stronger healthcare data usage, we have the opportunity to make our system more patient-centric by improving the accessibility and national portability of healthcare services.

If a publicly funded Canadian health system were created today, it would improve service delivery using humancentered digital tools. In fact, Canadians are eager to adopt digital health solutions that could dramatically improve the system. To realize a system that enables equal access by delivering a consumer-driven model, federal, provincial and territorial governments must leverage existing performance data to:

  • establish fee structures that fairly compensate physicians for their remote and virtual services, providing for stronger accessibility and portability
  • develop a national strategy for the adoption of healthcare innovations that enable ideas and invention, and that improve the patient experience
  • develop a federal, provincial and territorial policy framework for the adoption of digital healthcare solutions so that all Canadians can use their individual health data in partnership with their health professionals to identify personalized health solutions.
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