As health care goes digital, the most vulnerable risk being left behind
Comprehensive data reform will be neither easy nor inexpensive. But the cost of inaction is arguably much greater.
Comprehensive data reform will be neither easy nor inexpensive. But the cost of inaction is arguably much greater.By Vivek Goel and Rohinton Medhora Op-ed published in the Toronto Star
Canadians have grown accustomed to having personal and community health information at their fingertips, via devices and apps that literally put our health in our hands. For the most part these are welcome innovations. But what if you’re someone who has no access, or limited access, to technology? It’s a conundrum with growing implications for social equity and community health.
At the best of times, obtaining the full range of our personal health data (as opposed to the quick vital statistics available through fitness apps) can be challenging. Clients must navigate a variety of different systems, often using a different portal for each provider. That’s not a surprise given a system organized around providers rather than patients, as Canada’s is. It’s a system that can and should change, to put patients at its centre.
Vivek Goel is president and vice-chancellor of the University of Waterloo. Rohinton Medhora is the president of the Centre for International Governance Innovation.
The University of Waterloo acknowledges that much of our work takes place on the traditional territory of the Neutral, Anishinaabeg and Haudenosaunee peoples. Our main campus is situated on the Haldimand Tract, the land granted to the Six Nations that includes six miles on each side of the Grand River. Our active work toward reconciliation takes place across our campuses through research, learning, teaching, and community building, and is co-ordinated within the Office of Indigenous Relations.