Letter to The Honourable Deborah Matthews Minister of Health and Long Term Care Queen's Park on using mobile apps to understand calorie and nutritional information and become better prepared to order healthier choices
October 11, 2013

CATAAlliance

October 10, 2013

The Honourable Deborah Matthews
Minister of Health and Long Term Care
Queen's Park
Toronto, Ontario
M7A 2C4                                                                               

Dear Minister,

The purpose of our letter is to inform you that the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance (CATAAlliance) has recently created a Mobile Health Advisory Board (MHAB), which believes that the quality of health care services delivered to Ontarians would be enhanced significantly through increased use of mobile technology to deliver those services; and this would drive better patient outcomes and cost savings throughout the health care system. The mandate of the Board is to identify barriers, obstacles, opportunities and enablers impacting the use of mobile technology in the delivery of health care; and to develop strategies to drive adoption of mobile technology through collaborative work with public and private sector partners.

Our goal is to bring together a diverse range of stakeholders to participate on MHAB. Our intent is to be collaborative and inclusive and we have already confirmed participation by Bayer Canada, CGI, TELUS Health and others. We are working closely with learning institutions as well as individual practitioners. We would welcome participation by your officials.

We note the plan to introduce legislation that would require large chain restaurants to include calories and other potential nutritional information on their menus.  This is an excellent initiative and one that could be enhanced greatly if people could, for example, use a mobile app to understand the calorie and nutritional information and become better prepared to order healthier choices. This is but one example of how mobile technology could drive health and wellness in the Province. Using mobile technology for remote patient monitoring is another example where we could transform the delivery of healthcare to aging populations and reduce the burden placed on our long term care facilities. 

The focus of our new Board is to spur adoption of mobile technology in the delivery of health care. This is consistent with the priority CATAAlliance places on innovation and we would respectively suggest that promoting the use of mobile technology to deliver health care services is also consistent with Ontario’s action plan to build a quality system that is more responsive to patients and delivers better value for taxpayers.

Once again Minister we would like to extend an invitation to your officials to participate in whatever capacity you deem appropriate and we would encourage you to follow our progress.

I wish you much success in your portfolio.

Yours Sincerely,

David Farnes
Executive-in-Residence 
& Principle Health Care Spokesperson
CATAAlliance
dfarnes@cata.ca

613-769-3283

Copy: Mr. Saäd Rafi, Deputy Minister