Since Joule’s creation almost three years ago, we have been working to prepare physicians for the future that is already upon us.
There is a plethora of research and content available in mainstream media that makes the point that the future is here. In Thank you for Being Late, Thomas L. Friedman makes the point that the exponential rates of change in all aspects of our lives, have caused humans to hit a point where we simply cannot keep up. Our ability to adapt to change is outpaced by change itself.
At Joule, we are of the mindset that Canada’s health care system is a laggard of technology innovation. In an industry where the fax is still widely in use and technology adoption is faced with numerous obstacles and more than some resistance, our focus is to help physicians do what African countries did about telecommunication generally—bypass the traditional in favour of adopting the latest available advances.
Therefore, we and many of our partners are focused on the potential of virtual care to reduce costs, increase access and improve health care.
Virtual health care services are technology-enabled and are provided independent of time or location. Patients can access a full range of health services to remain healthy, diagnose or treat an illness or injury, or manage an ongoing condition. The range of enabling technologies include video, mobile applications, secure e-mail and messaging, social platforms, sensors and more.
As consumers of the health care system, virtual health care makes sense from both a convenience perspective but also because it aligns with the fact we use technology in so many other aspects of our lives. This winter alone, I am sure anyone reading this can think of at least one occasion when they would have been happy not to have to traipse to their doctor’s office for a routine assessment. What about those in some of our most rural communities? Imagine connecting with a physician hundreds of miles away while remaining in the comfort of your community and maybe even your home.
It’s not just consumers that should see the benefits of virtual care. These solutions are convenient for health care workers who already feel stretched from the demanding schedules they have. Imagine the potential to reduce late appointments and protect patients from in-office infection transmission. Further, imagine the potential for increased patient compliance and reduction in patient re-admittance. Do you not feel the frustration ebb?
Joule is doing everything it can to help create space for virtual care in Canada—for the physicians it serves and for patients who we believe deserve equity of access to high quality care. Over the course of the year, follow us at joulecma.ca and on your preferred social media platform(s) to learn more about the bold advances and opportunities available to physicians and the health care system now.
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