New survey insights released to mark Digital Health Week 2020
November 16, 2020 (Toronto) — Canadians and health care providers have met the unprecedented challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic head-on by embracing change in the way health care is delivered — from in-person to virtual. This week is Digital Health Week and to mark the occasion Canada Health Infoway (Infoway) is sharing research conducted in partnership with Environics that digs into this substantial shift and what Canadians want for their digital health future.
This latest research project, A Healthy Dialogue, is one of the largest public consultations about digital health ever conducted in Canada. The consultation reached more than 58,000 Canadians — including those underserved by the health system — who shared how they thought technology would impact their care experience.
The research reveals[i]:
- An overwhelming majority (92%) of Canadians want technology that makes health care as convenient as other aspects of their lives.
- More than half (53%) of Canadians who have used health technology in the past year say it helped them avoid an in-person visit to a provider or an emergency room.
- Of those Canadians who received virtual care during the pandemic, 91% were satisfied with the experience, 86% agreed that virtual care tools can be important alternatives to seeing doctors in-person, and more than three-quarters (76%) are willing to use virtual care after the pandemic.
“We’ve gone from talking about ways to further integrate digital health into everyday health care to living it. The events of the past year have accelerated our digital health progress significantly and have proven to Canadians just how important and helpful digital health can be,” says Michael Green, President and CEO of Infoway. “Digital Health Week is an important time to celebrate our progress and acknowledge the hard work of all those who have made it possible.”
While technology can help reduce barriers and improve access to health care, the research also found that nearly six in 10 Canadians feel they don’t know enough about digital health apps and services. As Canada’s digital health agency, Infoway is committed to working with its partners to address these gaps through activities like Digital Health Week.
About Infoway’s Commitment to Research
A Healthy Dialogue is part of Infoway’s commitment to contributing to digital health research in Canada. To support health care organizations, clinicians, policy maker and patients, families and caregivers, Infoway conducts research into the value of digital health solutions as well as clinicians’ and Canadians’ attitudes and perceptions. To learn more about the results from A Healthy Dialogue, please visit https://www.infoway-inforoute.ca/en/component/edocman/resources/reports/3850-a-healthy-dialogue-executive-summary. To learn about Infoway’s other research initiatives, please visit www.infoway-inforoute.ca/en/what-we-do/research-and-insights.
About Digital Health Week — #ThinkDigitalHealth
Digital Health Week was created to celebrate how digital health is transforming care across the country and to increase awareness about the value and benefits of digital health for all Canadians. Digital Health Week is supported by 60+ organizations. Join the conversation and share your story. #ThinkDigitalHealth.
About Canada Health Infoway
Infoway helps to improve the health of Canadians by working with partners to accelerate the development, adoption and effective use of digital health across Canada. Through our investments, we help deliver better quality and access to care and more efficient delivery of health services for patients and clinicians. Infoway is an independent, not-for-profit organization funded by the federal government. Visit www.infoway-inforoute.ca.
[i] A national survey of about 6,900 Canadians was conducted from December 2019-February 2020, pre-COVID-19; a follow-up survey was conducted in June 2020 with about 2,200 of the original 6,900, to see if their views had shifted since the pandemic began.