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Canada’s First Digital Health Evaluation Network

Published on: March 23, 2021
Result type: News

An initiative to advance evaluation in digital health and enhance the healthcare experience

Toronto, ON—  The new Canadian Network for Digital Health Evaluation (CNDHE) is an initiative to strengthen Canadian capacity to evaluate digital health interventions. Supported with Health Canada funding, the CNDHE is led by the Centre for Digital Health Evaluation (CDHE) at Women’s College Hospital, in collaboration with leading pan-Canadian Health Organizations – CADTH, Canada Health Infoway and Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) – as well as the Centre for Wise Practices in Indigenous Health.

As we look ahead to the recovery phase of the COVID-19 pandemic we know that virtual care will continue to play a large role in order to address wait times, lower health system costs and improve the patient care experience. However, while virtual care holds much promise, evidence on the impact of digital health interventions on access, quality and equity of care is lacking. To address this uncertainty, comprehensive and clinically relevant evaluations are needed.

Over the next two years, the CNDHE will develop a strategy for digital health evaluation across Canada and build the infrastructure necessary to evaluate the substantial federal and provincial investments made in digital health. The Network will create capacity for local researchers to leverage a standardized evaluation framework and tailor it to meet local needs. Through a collaborative network model, members will be able to identify opportunities for cross provincial and/or territorial evaluations when faced with similar issues and contexts.

Applying an inclusive approach, the CNDHE will incorporate researchers, decision-makers, policy-makers, patients and other stakeholders to facilitate both integrated knowledge translation and mentorship to build capacity in this emerging field.

Quotes

“Engaging and collaborating with our partners and key stakeholders, the CNDHE will enable Women’s College Hospital to spread and scale our work in digital health evaluation across Canada. We believe that digital health and innovative models of care can enhance the healthcare experience, for providers and patients alike, as well as enable improvements to the health system.” – Heather McPherson, President and CEO, Women’s College Hospital

“The use of virtual care and digital tools, such as connected devices and mobile health apps, surged during the pandemic. Now our approaches to assessing the value and appropriate use of these health technologies must keep pace. CADTH is proud to collaborate with the CNDHE to bridge the evidence gap, support digital innovation, and help ensure that all Canadians benefit from these emerging models of care.” – Suzanne McGurn, President and CEO, CADTH 

We are proud to be part of this collaborative effort to strengthen digital health research in Canada. Through our partnerships with our many stakeholders, including the provinces and territories, industry and researchers, we will contribute data that provides critical insights about Canada’s digital health landscape to inform policy decisions, accelerate the adoption of digital health, and fuel innovation.” – Michael Green, President and CEO, Canada Health Infoway.

CIHI is very proud to collaborate with our partners in using data to understand changes in our health systems, inform future policies and programmes and ultimately, support health system improvement.  As part of this initiative, we look forward to bringing our expertise in the measurement of health system performance and patient experience and to facilitating links to CIHI’s rich data sources to measure the uptake and impact of virtual care.” – David O’Toole, President and CEO, Canadian Institute for Health Information

Meaningful collaboration and partnership with First Nations, Inuit and Métis people is central to advancing the evaluation of digital health in Canada and healthcare more broadly. The Centre for Wise Practices in Indigenous Health is looking forward to leveraging its experience to work with FNIM community partners and to help build an integrated knowledge translation network that is based on the principles of respect, responsibility and reciprocity.” – Dr. Lisa Richardson, Strategic Lead in Indigenous Health, Women’s College Hospital.

About Women’s College Hospital

For more than 100 years Women’s College Hospital (WCH) has been developing revolutionary advances in healthcare. Today, WCH is a world leader in the health of women and Canada’s leading, academic ambulatory hospital. A champion of health equity, WCH advocates for the health of all women from diverse cultures and backgrounds and ensures their needs are reflected in the care they receive. It focuses on delivering innovative solutions that address Canada’s most pressing issues related to population health, patient experience and system costs.

For more information about how WCH is transforming patient care and leading health system solutions, visit www.womenscollegehospital.ca

About CADTH

CADTH is an independent, not-for-profit agency funded by Canadian federal, provincial, and territorial governments (except Quebec) to provide credible, impartial advice and evidence-based information about the effectiveness of drugs and other health technologies to Canadian health care decision-makers.

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

About Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI)

The Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) is an independent, not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing essential health information to all Canadians.

CIHI works closely with federal, provincial and territorial partners and stakeholders throughout Canada to gather, package and disseminate information to inform policy, management, care and research, leading to better and more equitable health outcomes for all Canadians.

Health information has become one of society’s most valuable public goods. For 25 years, CIHI has set the pace on data privacy, security, accessibility and innovation to improve Canada’s health systems. CIHI: Better data. Better decisions. Healthier Canadians.

About the Centre for Wise Practices in Indigenous Health

The Centre for Wise Practices in Indigenous Health (CWP-IH) is a multi-pronged program and team of Indigenous clinicians, Knowledge Keepers, and community leaders within Women’s College Hospital; committed to the health and well-being of all First Nations, Inuit and Métis individuals, families and communities.

We believe in a health system that acknowledges and respects Indigenous identity, strengths and sovereignty, while providing meaningful, culturally safe care, free of racism and discrimination—where Indigenous worldview(s) are recognized and valued.