Canada’s health system is a source of pride for most Canadians. We see health care in Canada as a reflection of who we are as a country, embodying our aspirations of innovation, fairness, caring, efficiency, equality and standards of living.
According to a study published by the Fraser Institute in 2019 (using data from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development), Canada ranks second in health care spending as a percentage of GDP in the group of countries with universal health care — just behind Switzerland and just ahead of France. So, in theory, we should expect to be pretty close to the top in terms of health system performance. But we are not.
Clearly, we can do better.
One way to improve our performance is through accelerating the adoption and use of innovative technologies. Technological innovation is widespread in Canada — we have a world class innovation ecosystem. Canada is investing in developing and retaining talent in many fields including artificial intelligence and quantum computing, and the health care sector can take advantage of this. We need to examine how technology can address some of our problems, and we need to implement and adopt solutions with greater speed, efficiency and effectiveness. Our health system needs to be prepared to identify and adopt technologies as they are developed and enter the market.
Driving Technological Advances
Infoway will coordinate, facilitate and lead activities on a pan-Canadian level to ensure a robust pathway from ideation to adoption to measuring outcomes.
We will bring organizations together to collaborate, exchange knowledge, share best practices and leverage existing resources between innovative health technology areas that have the potential to make a positive impact on health outcomes.
Infoway will focus on three areas under the umbrella approach of Continuous Innovation:
- Continuous Foresight. This is an end-to-end process for identifying new health care technologies and mapping them onto an Infoway Radar that estimates time horizons for relevancy and potential health care impact.
- Innovation Planning and Convening. Driving technological innovation requires collaboration and Infoway brings together industry and health care stakeholders to accelerate the adoption of key technologies.
Currently, our focus areas include:
- Measuring Innovation. It’s important to understand the impact of the technologies in which Canada is investing. Infoway measures the impact technologies have had on health outcomes, including patient and provider experiences, population health, access to care, equitable delivery of care and cost management.