(Toronto, ON) - Canada Health Infoway (Infoway) has established an Emerging Technology Group to identify and guide the use of information and communications technologies (ICTs) in health care innovation, announced Richard Alvarez, President and CEO.
The group will be led by Infoway's Chief Technology Officer, Dennis Giokas, who has nearly three decades of experience in the information management and information technology field.
"This is a natural evolution for Infoway now that we have achieved the significant milestone of making the core elements of an electronic health record (EHR) for 50 per cent of Canadians available to clinicians," Alvarez said. "We are moving our thinking beyond the EHR to a broader set of innovations. Our Emerging Technology Group will help us leverage the EHR platform and identify technologies with the potential to provide significant benefits to our health care system and to the health of Canadians."
Through its Tech Watch agenda, the group will identify and evaluate emerging technologies, and mature technologies that haven't been fully applied, that look most likely to bring benefits to our health system. Cost advantages and risks will also be factored in. The most promising solutions will be promoted.
"Information and communications technologies are continuing to change rapidly, so it's vitally important to identify opportunities that benefit health care," Giokas said. "Among other things, we will be looking for cost-effective solutions that can help reduce wait times, manage chronic diseases, or make physician hospital order entry more efficient. We will assess and promote the most viable of these solutions to our stakeholders."
"Tech Watch complements Infoway's role as a national leader in health technology standards and strategic investment," said Dr. Peter Rossos, Chief Medical Information Officer for the University Health Network and SIMS Partnership in Toronto. "The focus on emerging solutions that directly benefit patients and providers at the point of care will improve communication, clinical best practice, health outcomes, patient safety and access to care. ICTs will allow us to conquer long-standing barriers to effective patient-centred interdisciplinary care, health promotion, patient engagement, complex care and chronic disease management."
Canada Health Infoway is an independent, not-for-profit organization funded by the federal government. Infoway jointly invests with every province and territory to accelerate the development and adoption of information and communications technology projects in Canada. Fully respecting patient confidentiality, these secure systems will provide clinicians and patients with the information they need to better support safe care decisions and manage their own health. Accessing this vital information quickly will help foster a more modern and sustainable health care system for all Canadians.
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