Digital health systems need to interact with each other across all care settings so that Canadians’ health information moves with them through the system.
This was the message behind Digital Health Week, an annual campaign amplifying innovation and inspiration at the intersection of healthcare and digital transformation.
Headquartered in Vancouver, Digital – Canada’s Global Innovation Cluster for digital technologies – is at the forefront of DHW’s mission. The organization accelerates the development and adoption of digital technologies that keep Canadians healthy through a combination of co-investment, cross-sector collaboration, IP creation, and digital talent development.
Digital has been collaborating with local and national firms to help shape the future of health in Canada. In celebration of DHW, Digital highlighted some recent successes in the field.
For example, in Canada up to 50% of all healthcare involves a wound, amounting to an annual spend of $4 billion on direct wound care costs. And without regular care, patients can face infections that drive hospitalization and even death. Wound care is complex and has a high error rate due to antiquated measuring tools.
With support from Digital, the Telewound Care Canada project sought to develop and deploy a technology solution that enables patients to access wound care from their own home.
Another project supported by Digital recently saw the BC-based Intelligent Network for Point-of-Care Ultrasound consortium develop a bedside tool for doctors that combines machine learning, handheld ultrasound devices, and a cloud-based platform to create an integrated and intelligent point-of-care ultrasound network.
The solution allowed rural physician users to leverage clinical expertise via telemedicine to lower barriers for safe and effective ultrasound usage and adoption.
And Firstline, a clinical decision support platform for infectious diseases, spearheaded a project that unified Alberta Health Services, Horizon Health Network, Massive Change Network, National Collaborating Centre for Infectious Diseases, Nova Scotia Health Authority, Saskatchewan Health Authority, Vitalité Health Network, and more—with an ultimate aim to “to connect hospitals worldwide, permitting them to pool their knowledge and build guidelines together.”
Technology developed through the Firstline project is being used by the World Health Organization to combat antimicrobial resistance, which threatens to kill 10 million people globally by 2050.
And on that note, up next is World Antimicrobial Resistance Awareness Week, a global campaign to raise awareness and understanding of AMR and promote best practices among stakeholders to reduce the emergence and spread of drug-resistant infections.