October 24, 2011 -- Shirley Fenton, a senior representative of the National Institutes of Health Informatics (NIHI) and a research associate of the Computer Systems Group, University of Waterloo, notes that stakeholders in the healthcare field share with i-CANADA a “community of communities” approach to the quest for better quality service, and that working together “is the way Canada has to go.”
Ms. Fenton said that “as a not-for-profit national organization devoted to development of excellence in Health Informatics and eHealth in Canada, NIHI is familiar with the need to bring together experts from many fields to deliver better and more efficient patient-care. The notion of i-CANADA is very important.”
“i-CANADA’s coalition of civic, corporate and academic leaders fits perfectly with the model of the Health Sector community,” said i-CANADA Chair Bill Hutchison. “I-CANADA’s goal is to have Canada acknowledged as the world’s leading Intelligent Nation, because many Canadian communities, large and small, have been recognized internationally by ICF as among the world’s leading Intelligent Communities. The most successful Intelligent Communities demonstrate a balanced blending of economic, social and creative sector opportunities and benefits and Shirley Fenton’s participation in i-CANADA ensures important representation from the healthcare sector” said Mr. Hutchison.
“By sharing best practices with i-CANADA, “We can ensure that the human and social side of health keeps step with the technological side” added Ms. Fenton.
“In addition to using technology to obtain and analyze patient information, there is another important role. We all face the same issue across the country: getting the care to people, whether they live next door or a thousand kilometers away. Access to healthcare services and information is especially crucial to patients as well as those who are caring for them.
“As a country we are committed to equal access to health care for all citizens. Using information technology to do this is essential. Being able to see a patient by using high definition video across a broadband network could make a life-or-death difference.
“Waterloo, which was voted as the “Top Intelligent Community” in the 2007 international competition by the Intelligent Community Forum (ICF, New York), is very good at collaboration using a community-of -communities approach. Windsor is another good example of a Canadian community that has put much effort into working together,” said Ms. Fenton, referring to the Windsor-Essex bid to be awarded one of the Top Seven Intelligent Communities of the Year by the ICF in 2011.
Ms. Fenton will present her views on a Panel at the i-CANADA conference “The New National Dream”. At the conference will be other global leaders like Finland’s Communications Minister Suvi Linden, who has declared that Broadband is a fundamental right. For details on the joining the conference see:
An Intelligent Community is one that uses Broadband Connectivity, Innovation, a Knowledge Workforce, Digital Inclusion, and Marketing and Advocacy to achieve above-average rates of economic growth, job creation, social diversification and environmental innovation, attractive results that encourage an increasing number of civic leaders to adopt i-Community strategies.
I-CANADA is backed by Canada’s largest high-tech organization, the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance (CATA). The Chair of the i-CANADA Governors Council is The Honourable David Alward, Premier of New Brunswick. The Council consists of Mayors, CEOs of major corporations, and Premiers.
i-CANADA is dedicated to the creation of smart communities across the country, in which Canadian communications are the rails of light carrying knowledge and ideas between the shining communities of a global intelligent economy. Its goal is to work with at least 30 Canadian communities, rural and local, to transform them into Intelligent Communities. ‘First the community, then the country’, is the motto that i-CANADA uses to visualize the evolution of Canada into one of the world’s Intelligent Nations.