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The Future of Healthcare

At the end of 2015, I had the opportunity to attend the Future of Health Conference hosted by the MaRS Discovery District in Toronto.

The topic was the changing nature of healthcare: virtual care, digital health, and telehealth. We had a chance to learn about the challenges and successes of the Ontario healthcare system and network with 50+ healthcare leaders in Ontario. 

The Top 5 Take-Aways: The Future Of Healthcare


5. Silos stop innovation.

Healthcare entrepreneurs, researchers, organizations, patients, and practitioners need to collaborate to improve our system. There is a lot of room for improvement and we are going to change the healthcare system through collaboration and teamwork. This is why we host RehabTO, a free monthly event to bring together healthcare practitioners, affiliates, patients and companies building innovative solutions for the industry.

4. Look outside healthcare to inspire change.

Rueben Devlin, the President & CEO of Humber River Hospital, the first digitized hospital in North America, discussed his experience building a facility that utilizes technology to improve patient outcomes and practitioner efficiency. In 2000, when they started planning the new hospital, he looked to the flight industry to understand how to move a lot of people through an area in a short amount of time. Pulling up to Humber River Hospital you won't see signs for 'Air Canada' or 'West Jet' but you will see signs for all the various departments within the hospital so everyone arriving at the hospital will know exactly where to go before they've even entered the building.

3. Broken crayons still color.

We don't have to wait for perfection to test out innovation. Michael Bidu, Founder & CEO of Interface Health Society, discussed the future of digital health - how digital technologies, accelerated innovation and demanding consumers are changing our thinking about the nature of healthcare.

2. Personalized vs. Generalized Care.

Research has an important role to play in moving innovation into our practice and can help us deliver personalized medicine by ensuring the right information is delivered to the right person at the right time. Dr. David Jaffrey the Executive VP of Technology & Innovation at the UHN, discussed the role of qualitative research in healthcare innovation and technology.

1. Better patient outcomes do not necessarily mean fewer visits.

But rather better engagement in care decreased the risk of re-occurrence, better self-management and decreased use of resources (ie: imaging). Patients are central to their care. Technology and innovation, along with consumer interest, are driving an era of new thinking - the nature of healthcare will change from 'patient' to 'consumer'.

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