Does Canada need a mobile enabled healthcare system?
October 6, 2014

Last month I had the honour of providing a keynote presentation to MobileHCI 2014, the 16th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction with Mobile Devices and Services. MobileHCI is the premier forum for innovations in mobile, portable and personal devices and with the services to which they enable access. The quality of papers that were presented and the level of discussion were outstanding.

Much of my presentation focused on mobile adoption in the healthcare sector in Canada. mHealth adoption is not where, in my view, it needs to be in order to address our aging population and the corresponding need to move away from institutional care in favour of extending care into the community. We must find solutions that will allow patients to remain in, or quickly return to, their homes and be supported by community care leveraging technology that, quite frankly, exists today.

At the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance, we have a mobile health initiative underway with a focus of Turning up the Volume on awareness of mobile health solutions. Our mission is to drive adoption and eliminate barriers to mHealth. CATA’s Mobile Health Advisory Board is leading the charge.

We are indebted to the organizers of MobileHCI who were gracious enough to allow me to lead a panel discussion about the challenges and enablers to mHealth. Joining me on the panel were Dr. Shurjeel Choudhri, Senior Vice President and Head, Medical and Scientific Affairs at Bayer Inc.; Fraser Edward, Business Development Director at TELUS Health; and Stephen Saunders, Chief Architect of CGI Inc.’s Global Health IT Practice.

It was wonderful to engage with an audience that is designing for the future. We spoke with people from diverse areas, including academics, hardware and software developers, designers and practitioners. A diverse group with a common desire to examine the challenges and potential solutions for effective interaction with and through mobile devices, applications, and services – in healthcare!

Are you interested in a mobile enabled Canadian healthcare system? Join us as we build a compelling case about the true value mHealth solutions can bring. Please contact me for detailsat dfarnes@cata.ca.

David Farnes
Advisor at Magnet Mobile Media Inc.