The review, which will be conducted in collaboration with ITAC, aims to ensure certification continues to:
- Represent the interests of key stakeholders including the jurisdictions, health care providers and vendors alike;
- Be aligned with national and international standards, while addressing local requirements where necessary;
- Support innovation and investment, as well as the export of health software products and services.
"Central to Canada's progress on the digital health front has been the market and the digital health community's ability to evolve, foster innovation and adapt to changes quickly," said Richard Alvarez, President and CEO, Canada Health Infoway. "Taking stock of certification offerings and needs to ensure they continue to reflect today's priorities and goals is essential to ensuring new needs are being met."
The breadth of digital health tools in Canada is rapidly expanding with the convergence of voice, video data and mobile devices into the traditional digital health market. As evidenced by the clinicians and patients who use them, digital health is leading to faster, more-informed diagnoses that are producing better outcomes for an untold number of Canadians.
As these products evolve, so do the complexities involved in investing in them, and industry's desire to respond to market needs. A common theme Infoway and ITAC has been hearing from the digital health community is a question about how certification services can be broadened to address emerging trends such as remote patient monitoring, as well as be part of global efforts to have common testing and certification of digital health solutions.
"Our members remain dedicated to responding to the needs of the marketplace and by association, adding value for their customers," said Karna Gupta, President and CEO, ITAC. "Collaborating with Infoway on this review will not only put us in a better position to address a need we are hearing from the marketplace, it will bring broad representation to the table, ensuring all voices are heard, which is essential."
When Infoway launched its certification service five years ago, it was put in place at the request of jurisdictions to help customers be assured that the privacy, security and interoperability standards they need for their EMR, EHR and Consumer Health solutions were in place. To date, more than 25 products have either been certified, or are in the process of certification, with continued support for the program growing year over year. The program was designed to work with the vendor community and the digital health marketplace, and to evolve over time to address emerging needs, trends and best practices.
The review will be managed by a multi-stakeholder steering committee, which in turn will consider the privacy, security, interoperability and safety dimensions of product testing and certification.
The review, which will include stakeholder consultations, will be completed in the spring of 2014.
About Canada Health Infoway
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.
The Information Technology Association of Canada (ITAC) is the voice of the Canadian information and communications technologies (ICT) industry. ITAC represents a diverse ICT community spanning telecommunications and internet services, ICT consulting services, hardware, microelectronics, software and electronic content. ITAC's community of companies accounts for more than 70 per cent of the 572,700 jobs, $155.3-billion in revenue, $6.2-billion in R&D investment, $30.4-billion in exports and $11-billion in capital expenditures that the ICT industry contributes annually to the Canadian economy. The ICT sector currently represents 4.9 per cent of Canada's gross domestic product (GDP) and accounted for 9.4 per cent of all real GDP growth since 2002. ITAC is a prominent advocate for the expansion of Canada's innovative capacity and for stronger productivity across all sectors through the strategic use of technology.
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