In order to access specialized care, residents of remote and rural areas are often forced to travel long distances, which can mean significant cost, inconvenience and, in some cases, aggravation of underlying medical conditions.
Canada Health Infoway's (Infoway's) Telehealth investment program supports jurisdictional projects that will give patients in remote communities better access to timely, relevant health care services. These improvements result from electronic solutions that facilitate the delivery of health information and services between patients and their authorized health care providers regardless of location.
Infoway's investment strategy will directly contribute to increased utilization and expansion of Telehealth services throughout Canada, with an emphasis on areas of need such as aboriginal, official language minority, northern and remote communities.
|The chief information officer for
British Columbia’s Interior Health
Authority, a TeleHome Care nurse,
and a thoracic surgeon talk about
their programs and how they
benefit patients in remote areas
of the province.
|Dr. Ed Brown, CEO of the Ontario
Telemedicine Network (OTN)
explains how Telehealth is bringing
quality care to patients across his
Investment has focused on the following dimensions:
- Geographic – programs that increase telehealth solutions coverage to northern, remote and rural communities.
- Cultural – programs that increase telehealth solutions coverage to Aboriginal (First Nations and Inuit) communities.
- Clinical – programs that provide innovative telemedicine (telepathology, teleopthalmology, teleoncology, telestroke etc.) and telehomecare solutions.
How will Canadians benefit?
In 2010, Infoway commissioned an independent pan-Canadian study to describe telehealth use in Canada and the benefits achieved to date.
As outlined in the report, Telehealth Benefits and Adoption: Connecting People and Providers Across Canada, telehealth has delivered a number of benefits for clinicians, patients and the health care system. The report highlights that telehealth is:
- Growing and on its way to becoming a mainstream way of delivering care
- Reducing travel by patients, families and health care providers
- Making it easier for Canadians in rural and remote areas to access specialized care that they need
Blog: Telehealth Benefits
Use of telehealth in Canada good for patients, providers, and environment too.
A Framework and Toolkit for Managing eHealth Change: People and Processes.