Thursday, May 11, 2023
Images of Sanjeev Gill, Anil Arora (Chief Statistician of Canada), and Vivek Goel (President of Waterloo) at the Ottawa event.

On May 4, WatSPEED hosted an executive dinner and roundtable discussion in partnership with Statistics Canada, the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI), and the Institute of Public Administration of Canada (IPAC). Leaders from government, private sector, and academia gathered in Ottawa to address the critical issue of trust in the complex world of health data. 

The event featured presentations from David O’Toole, president and CEO of CIHI; Maura R. Grossman, a research professor at the David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science; and Anil Arora, Chief Statistician of Canada. The presentations and resulting discussion included a call for a principles-based approach to the gathering, usage, and linkage of health data that spans the public and private sectors; the benefits and risks of using synthetic data to enable trust; the need for transparency and a clear value proposition; and the need for a patient-centric approach to utilizing health data.  

Following these presentations, Vivek Goel, University of Waterloo President and Vice-Chancellor, and Chair of the Pan-Canadian Health Data Expert Advisory Group, led a guided discussion centered on building trust as a central component to the advancement of a modernized health data strategy.  

"It was my pleasure to moderate a frank and illuminating discussion on the potential of Canadian health data to transform patient care in this country,” said Goel. "Building trust is critical for ensuring the long-term success of Canada's health data strategy, and we are committed to advancing Canada’s health data ecosystem and improving health for all Canadians.” 

Over the last year, WatSPEED has taken a leadership role in bringing together senior government and business leaders for meaningful conversations. One clear theme that has emerged from these discussions is the need to build an alliance between industry, academia, and government to address the need for upskilling and reskilling the Canadian workforce to navigate ongoing disruption. 

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