All posts related to "technology"

Digital Health in Canada

In recent years, public and private health organizations in Canada have invested in digital health technologies as a way to improve patient experiences, outcomes and quality of care.

Digital Health Care imagery

According to Valuing Canadians’ Secure Access to Their Health Information and Digital Health e-Services, a study commissioned by Canada Health Infoway, there are four main types of digital health services:

  1. e-View – Secure online platforms that allow citizens to access their personal health information
  2. e-Visit – A patient e-service that allows patients and/or their caregivers the ability to communicate with their healthcare team through secure e-mail or SMS messaging
  3. Virtual visit – A patient e-service that allows patients and/or their caregivers the ability to meet with their health care provider via a face-to-face virtual encounter, through functions such as video calls
  4. e-Rx Renew – A patient e-service that allows patients and/or their caregivers to renew prescriptions

What are the benefits of digital health?

Digital health is beneficial for health systems and Canadians, particularly those living with arthritis. For example, digital health services allow you to:

  • Avoid or reduce in-person visits to a healthcare provider’s office, helping you conserve energy and avoid prolonged periods of sitting in the car or public transit.
  • Increase productivity at work, as you are not taking time off work to see your healthcare provider.
  • Renew prescriptions online and see a history of past prescriptions.
  • Access care faster in rural and remote communities.
  • Access your digital health records, such as lab results. Many people with an inflammatory arthritis who are on a biologic or methotrexate get monthly blood tests. Monitoring these test results helps track disease activity and check that medications are not causing any issues.

In 2018, Canada Health Infoway conducted a national study on the value of digital health technology and found that Canadians collectively save $119 to $150 million every year from their use of virtual care and e-Services. Health systems save $106 to $134 million by reducing administration costs and helping Canadians avoid unnecessary in-person appointments, trips to the emergency room and medical errors.

How can I access these services?

The Connecting Patients for Better Health: 2018 report provides the latest availability, use and citizen interest in accessing their health information online as well as digitally enabled health services (e-services). The report is based on the results of four public opinion surveys conducted between February and March 2014 – 2018. There is an increased demand for digital health services. The number of people surveyed who accessed medical records electronically doubled, from 7% in 2016 to 15% in 2018.

Canada Health Infoway, a non-profit agency sponsored by the federal government, is working towards improving access to digital health services in Canada. Many health care centres are also working independently to provide their patients with online services. Consider asking the receptionist to see if any e-services are available at your healthcare provider’s office. Here are some examples of digital health services currently available in Canada:

e-View

In some provinces, patients have access to their medical records and or lab results online:

Virtual visits

e-Rx Renew

Other digital resources for arthritis

  • Arthritis ID is an app for patients that provides information to help detect, treat and manage arthritis. There is an interactive arthritis screening tool and questionnaire that will help you determine indications of a type of arthritis.
  • JointHealth™ Medications Guide enables patients to have a meaningful conversation with their rheumatologist and pharmacist about available therapy options, side effects and route of administration.
  • JointHealth™ Education courses help people living with arthritis learn to have more meaningful, fact-based conversations with their rheumatologists, other health care team members, families, friends and employers.
  • The Biosim•Exchange is an information hub for consumers to get the latest biosimilars news to help patients learn more biosimilars and their place among inflammatory arthritis treatments.
  • Arthritis Research Canada’s ANSWER: Decision Aid for Patients aim to help you decide if methotrexate is the right treatment option for you. You should use this tool only if you have rheumatoid arthritis and if your doctor has suggested methotrexate as a treatment option.

CRA Interview Series 2015 – Dr. Majed Khraishi: What’s App Doc?

Canadian Rheumatology Association (CRA) and Allied Health Professions Association (AHPA) Interview Series 2015

Today’s feature interview – Dr. Majed Khraishi: What’s App Doc? Making sense of health information technology applications in clinical practice

ABN reporters from Canada’s arthritis consumer organizations interviewed leading health professionals and researchers during last month’s CRA and AHPA annual meetings.

Beginning March 9, feature interviews will be posted on the ABN YouTube channel http://bit.ly/ABNYouTube. Please help us raise awareness about the important work going on in Canada by sharing the interviews with your organizational and social networks.

About Dr. Majed Khraishi

 

picture of Majed Khraishi

Picture from Nexus Clinical Research

Dr. Majed Khraishi is the Medical Director at Nexus Clinical Research in St. John’s. He is also a Clinical Professor of Medicine (Rheumatology) at the Memorial University of Newfoundland (MUN). After graduating from Ain Shams University in Egypt, he did his Internal Medicine Residency at Memorial University of Newfoundland. He then moved on to do a Fellowship in Rheumatology at the University of Toronto after practicing as a general internist for two years. He is involved in medical education and clinical research and completed a sabbatical at Stanford University in 1995-1996 researching the GI side effects of NSAIDs in rheumatoid arthritis. His interests are the therapeutics of rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, psoriatic arthritis, and systemic lupus erythematosus. His accomplishments include being a principal investigator in over 60 pharmaceutical-sponsored therapeutic clinical studies in rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, psoriatic arthritis and chronic pain. Continue reading