Manager of Digital Health and Innovation
I work with anything related to how we can use technology to enhance the patient or clinician experience. We’re in the Region of Waterloo, where there are so many opportunities for innovation by creating intentional partnerships that will allow us to access the latest technologies.
Sometimes partners can have beliefs about technology. I’m here to help health partners overcome aversions to technology and show them how they can help patients. There’s a big misconception that the older population isn’t interested in technology. Honestly, as long as it’s catered to what they need, they will use it.
It’s a challenge to keep up with the new technology, but there are benefits to playing catch up as well. We can learn from other industries, and we have a chance to see how technology can mature, and we know what works and what doesn’t work.
Electronic Medical Records (EMR) are another example of how technology can make a big difference. In my previous role, I worked with primary clinicians to help them use EMR’s for more than booking appointments. I went in and worked one-on-one with clinicians to help them overcome their pain points. It helped them to streamline their processes so they could see more patients. That program has expanded since, we’re seeing great uptake, and we’re seeing primary clinicians who have a willingness to learn new technology and take some risks.
EMRs can give primary care clinicians a virtual second set of eyes in their electronic medical records to help them provide better care. Clinicians are spending full days just seeing patients. The EMR can act as a reminder or can alert a physician to different tests they may want to run. The patients directly benefit. And if the patient ends up in hospital, the doctor receives a report so they can follow up. There’s no need to worry about fax machines or medical couriers.
Digital health spans just about every type of patient. I really love seeing how we can take ideas and do great things. The bigger the problem, the more I want to fix it. The weirder the solution, the more I want to try it.
We need to look at how we can design consumer health through a persuasive design lens. What principles from the private tech sector can we apply to the consumer health sector to get people more engaged in their care than they are now?
Some patients are already there now. Health care is shifting. Patients are bringing information to the doctor because they want to make informed decisions. They’re not just doing what their doctors tell them to do.
I don’t want to get stuck in the problems of today; I want to see the solutions of tomorrow. I abide by the 80/20 rule: I want to spend no more than 20% of the time talking about the problem. The other 80% of the time needs to be spent looking at the solution. It can be easy to be stuck just talking about the problem. That’s fine, it can be emotional, and there’s a lot at stake. But we can’t dwell on the problems. We need to spend time coming up with solutions.