The Canadian universal healthcare system is ranked the number one out of the most well-developed public health care systems in the world. This impressive top ten list includes Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Germany, United Kingdom, Japan, Australia, the Netherlands, and Switzerland. There are many reasons why Canada ranks so highly, such as the low prescription costs and the declaration of the Canada Health Act, which states that prescription drugs administered in Canadian hospitals are to be provided at no cost to the patient.
One of the biggest projects is the concept of a digital healthcare cloud. Here, patient information will be stored electronically for easy access by both healthcare providers and the patients themselves. People will be able to monitor their own health records, make appointment requests, get prescription refills and see test results online. Services are also going to be available to work in conjunction with these online systems. Cloud DX is a personal health station that can be delivered to a patient’s home. Vital signs can be taken and then uploaded to the cloud. This data can then be monitored remotely by physicians, caregivers, and the rest of the care team. If necessary, a doctor can arrange for a nurse to make a house call to follow-up. By omitting the need for an elderly person to expose themselves to an emergency room and doctor’s office, it also reduces their risk of infection.
Canada’s growing network of electronic health records is leading the charge for the next steps of data analytics and data visualization. Care teams will have more information before making decisions regarding issues such as public health monitoring and preventing chronic illnesses.
The idea of health reform, including access to data analytics and statistics, as well as the desire to lower overall healthcare costs, will increase the interest in a new outcomes-based funding approach for care teams. Instead of a fee-per-service model which can be open to abuse or neglect, this new funding model would mean hitting specific performance targets and making adjustments for individual patient cases.
Technology can also make rehabilitation and palliative care easier. Pepper is Canada’s first emotionally supportive robot for sick children and is widely loved for his entertainment value. Unlike a machine, Pepper is able to provide authentic companionship because he recognizes human emotions and can adapt accordingly.