(NC) Does the idea of digital health have your wires crossed? Read on to bust the three most common myths and find out why digital health is the way of the future for all Canadians.
Myth 1: Digital health is only for the young and tech-savvy.
Fact: Canadians of all ages are embracing their online lives. In fact, 90 per cent of Canadian households have internet access and 74 per cent of Canadians over age 55 own a smartphone or tablet.
The truth is that there is a lot that digital health can offer older adults with chronic conditions who need regular health care, but who also want to receive that care at home. This can mean remotely tracking an individual’s condition, text-based medicine reminders or connecting through video conferencing. As a result, digital health options can help improve quality of life and reduce the number of emergency room visits and hospital stays.
Myth 2: The quality of care offered in a virtual visit with the doctor is not as good as a face-to-face visit.
Fact: Sometimes meeting in-person with your doctor is essential, but there are many times when a virtual visit can provide the same standard of care. In 2018 there were more than one million telehealth consultations, including virtual technologies, across Canada.
Digital services and telehealth options can also save time and money. Studies have shown that more than $420 million in avoided expenses and more than 280 million kilometres in travel was saved by using telehealth to access specialized care, such as for mental health and for stroke patients in rural and remote communities.
Myth 3: Digital health is too complicated and is just for health care providers.
Fact: Half of Canadians report they can access at least one digital health service, such as making an online appointment with a physician, consulting with a health care provider or viewing their health information, such as lab results. Most people who are able to view their test results online do not find them confusing. A study showed that 76 per cent of patients who first saw their lab results online were confident they understood them. Overall, people who saw their lab results online were no more anxious than those who did not see their results online.
Canadians are ready for a future where they have access to their personal health information and digitally-enabled health services anytime, anywhere, from the device of their choice. This is at the heart of the Access 2022 movement that Canada Health Infoway is leading to empower patients and improve health outcomes. To learn more about digital health and join the movement, visit www.access2022.ca.