A Healthy Dialogue

Consulting with Canadians on the future of digital health.

Learning about Canadians’ needs, expectations and concerns about the delivery of health.

Through 2019–2020, Canada Health Infoway engaged Environics Research to conduct a year-long Canada-wide consultation about the future of health care, called A Healthy Dialogue. It was one of the largest national public consultations on digital health in Canada.

We reached more than 58,000 Canadians online and in-person via surveys, polls, idea boards, focus groups and interviews with those underserved by the health system, along with in-person focus groups with Indigenous people in their communities. The outreach solicited feedback about Canadians’ needs, expectations and concerns about the delivery of health care services in the future and the role of digital health technology in improving care.

Some highlights from our results are outlined below. To learn more, read the executive summary or contact us to request the full consultation report.
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8 in 10 Canadians who used health technology in the past year report that they were better able to manage their health and had a better quality of life

What Canadians want from technology

want technology that makes health care as convenient as other aspects of their lives.
want technology that puts them in greater control of their health.
say they would use technology tools to help manage their health.

COVID-19 has presented health care challenges for many Canadians, but technology has helped improve access. Nearly 7 in 10 Canadians who sought medical assistance during the pandemic had a virtual visit.

9 in 10 Canadians who used health technology in the past year report it saved them time.

Digital health technologies like virtual visits can reduce the need for in-person care, saving time and decreasing risk for vulnerable groups. Technology can also help reduce barriers and improve access to health care, but nearly 6 in 10 Canadians feel they don’t know enough about digital health apps and services.

What Canadians say

agree that technology can solve many of the issues with our health care system.
say it helped them avoid an in-person visit to an emergency room or a health care provider.
> 80%
are open to sharing their anonymized health data to benefit the health system and others.
9 in 10 Canadians say the COVID-19 pandemic has shown them that virtual health care tools can be important alternatives to in-person visits.
Many Canadians received virtual care during COVID-19 pandemic. Of those, 91% were satisfied with the experience.
As digital health solutions continue to expand across Canada, more than three-quarters of Canadians are willing to use virtual care after the pandemic ends. Canada’s health care system is a point of pride for many. In fact, 80% of Canadians believe that investing in health technology should be a top priority for government.
The Healthy Dialogue consultation reached:
  • More than 58,000 Canadians
  • More than 50,000 online forum participants
  • 6,921 national survey participants
  • 243 focus group and interview participants across Canada

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