(NC) Digital health awareness is at an all-time high — it’s top of mind for some 75 per cent of Canadians.
In growing numbers, we’re online booking appointments, getting prescription renewals, viewing our health information and consulting with our doctors. This is according to the 2016 Connecting Patients for Better Health. The report, commissioned by Canada Health Infoway, captured perspectives from some 6,000 adults over three years by way of four public opinion surveys.
Key among the findings was the fact that Canadians report that digital health improves their knowledge of their health (77 per cent), improves their confidence in self-management of their health (69 per cent), and supports more informed discussions with their doctor (74 per cent).
While the actual availability of online tools is lagging behind interest level, access is growing and options are increasingly being integrated into the healthcare system.
In Ontario for example, Telehomecare is designed for older persons coping with chronic conditions like congestive heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. A program of the Ontario Telemedicine Network (OTN), Telehomecare puts remote patient monitoring technology in the home and couples it with health coaching by phone.
Telehomecare can be life changing. “Enabling people to monitor their vital signs and better manage their care at home means we have helped to reduce unnecessary emergency room visits and hospital admissions by more than 50 per cent for these patients,” says Laurie Poole, vice present of telemedicine solutions at OTN. “And that means less worry and stress for patients and their caregivers.”
The free program provides easy-to-use equipment like a weight scale and blood pressure device to help patients monitor changes that could mean their condition requires more attention and management. The information is shared with the patient’s physician to better inform care.
For more information about Telehomecare and to find out how to access it, call 1.855.991.8191 or visit www.ontariotelehomecare.ca.
Attention editors: This article is for distribution in Ontario only.