It is hard to believe it was back in the fall of 2013 when our David Farnes launched the Canadian Mobile Health Advisory Board. The concept grew out of a frustration he (and others) had with the slow adoption of mobile technologies by the public sector in Canada.
Creating a new initiative aimed at driving adoption of mobile technologies by the Canadian Healthcare sector was an idea David shared with a few close friends and colleagues, notably Keith McIntosh with whom he worked with at the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association. Keith, now with Rx&D, has been a valued supporter. Among other things he introduced CATA to Dr. Shurjeel Choudhri who joined and supported the mHealth initiative since day 1. Dr. Choudhri is one of our strongest advisors.
David regularly thanks me for offering a home to the initiative. But I/we thank him for seizing upon the concept immediately and then launching the Advisory Board under the CATAAlliance umbrella. Yes we did introduce David to a number of stakeholders, some of whom now sit on the Board – including Paul Dufour (University of Ottawa) and Bill Pascal (former CTO of the Canadian Medical Association). I was working with TELUS on their community leadership at the time and that led to an introduction to Dave Wattling (TELUS Health) who, like Dr. Choudhri, was quick to seize upon the notion of an initiative that would truly drive mHealth in Canada. Dave and his colleague Fraser Edward have been very active participants on the Advisory Board.
Through David’s leadership, we have been successful in pulling together players from across the ecosystem – mHealth champions with different perspective on our healthcare system. The team has identified barriers to, and enablers of, mHealth in Canada. We have validated and refined our thinking by engaging and collaborating with other stakeholders in Canada and abroad. Some of our accomplishments thus far:
Launching an awareness campaign which included the creation of a living book of mHealth case studies and innovation:http://www.cata.ca/Communities/MHAB/documents.html
Beginning an asset mapping exercise as a means to compile a database of Canadian mHealth players and influencers: http://survey.epenso.com/survey/s?s=CATAmHealthassetmap
Creating the TELUS award for mHealth Innovation:http://www.cata.ca/Media_and_Events/Press_Releases/cata_pr02211401.html
Organizing a very successful Mobile Health Roundtable in Ottawa:https://drive.google.com/a/cata.ca/file/d/0B9rFEx2UkGOGU1djSnBPc3FTdTQ/view?usp=sharing
Submitting advice to the Advisory Panel on Healthcare Innovation created by Minister Ambrose:https://drive.google.com/a/cata.ca/file/d/0B9rFEx2UkGOGWlJ4N2dpb1h4aUE/view?usp=sharing
For example, are you part of the mHealth case study book? It is a very cool concept and now using to help spread the word about Canadian innovations in healthcare.
The comprehensive mHealth initiative has received strong positive feedback. As Stephen Saunders (CGI) likes to remind us, it is working and it has already created value to CGI. We have been able to attract new participants, including Donna Rubin (OANHSS), thereby expanding the scope of participants on the Advisory Board. CATA has successfully made strategic introductions and fostered business development – for existing players, start-ups and healthcare professionals!
++ Action Item: please reach out to David Farnes and get involved in 2015 mHealth as we further our advocacy, research and business development activities. Let's turn up the volume together!