Understanding the issues facing Healthcare application interoperability

Last week, Ken Stevens, the VP of Healthcare at Intelliware attended the Apps for Health and Education Conference at Mohawk College.  The conference was led by Duane Bender, Director, Digital Health Applied Research at Mohawk.  Duane’s group has been a stalwart supporter of Healthcare interoperability, leading regular “connectathons” and most recently hosting test environments for all major Ontario provincial healthcare infrastructure.

Professionals from the healthcare, technology, and education came together to discuss current and emerging trends in health, technology, medical education, and entrepreneurship. Keynotes were provided by The Chief Executive Officer of eHealth Ontario, the Director of Global Health Informatics Program, Telus Health’s Vice President Strategy Innovation and the CEO of Ontario Telemedicine Network.

On behalf of ITAC (Information Technology Association of Canada) Dr. Stevens introduced a survey initiative designed to gain a better understanding of issues facing healthcare application interoperability.

Dr. Stevens’ announcement:

Canada has a problem.

We’ve got all these great innovative apps, but no way to connect them to the existing infrastructure.

We’ve been trying to fix this over the past many years, but mostly what we’ve produced so far are province-centric specifications, unique to each province, and these specs have been overly complex and burdensome to implement. 

What we need are simple, easy to use, standards that are the same right across the country.  Ideally aligned with the U.S..  This will not only lower the cost of building shared Electronic Health Records, but it will also level the playing field for innovative new entrants.

If you care about this, join our vendor-lead initiative that’s happening right now.  I invite you to complete a 10 minute survey that you can find on itac.ca.  Look for the big banner at the top that says “Canadian National Vendor Interoperability Survey.” 

I am confident that if we the vendor community can get our act together and speak with one voice to the provinces, they will listen.  Governments care about innovation.  They care about exporting Canadian know-how.  And they care about having a thriving Healthcare IT Industry in Canada.

To participate in the survey visit https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ITAChealthsurvey

If you have any questions, feel free to contact Dr. Stevens at ken.stevens@intelliware.ca or 416 576 4096.

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