For the first time ever in Canada, the number of seniors now exceeds that of children.
Healthcare, more than any other service, is expected to feel the biggest impact of this population wave.
Digital healthcare technology may be a key solution; however a new study commissioned by Telus Health reveals that those who would benefit most from healthcare innovation are also the least likely to adopt it.
Canadians ages 52 and older reported they were the most likely to access a healthcare provider (78 per cent), according to the survey. Although 58 per cent of those in the demographic agreed that digital health tools would help them connect with their provider, this group in fact ranked the lowest to actually use them (20 per cent).
“Not only is it increasingly important to educate Canadians about the impact technology can have on health outcomes but also to ensure we are maximizing the opportunity to put these digital health tools in place so all patients and their care providers can stay better connected,” says Dr. Susan Lea-Makenny, director and senior medical advisor at the INLIV Clinic.
Whether it’s to book appointments or send an alert when medications run low, three in four healthcare providers are using digital technologies to communicate with patients. Of those providers surveyed, 80 per cent use digital technology to communicate with other healthcare professionals. And 89 per cent of these professionals agree that accessible and secure information sharing platforms between individuals and healthcare professionals improve patient outcomes.
“Technology helps every generation stay connected for reasons related to health, safety and general companionship,” says Paul Lepage, President of Telus Health. “Today, it’s increasingly important that all Canadians speak to their doctors about how to incorporate technology into their care and improve their health outcomes.”
Even though 94 per cent of Canadians agree that electronic medical records allow doctors to provide improved quality of care to patients, nearly half are unsure whether their family doctor uses an EMR.