5 Ways the Digital Age is Improving Health Care

Banking. Shopping. Travel bookings. Even movie tickets. These are all available online—and so is health care.

Canadians are taking personal health-care management into their own hands, which is easier than ever, thanks to technology.

Here are the top five ways technology is improving health care in Canada today:

1. Apps: Need help with your health? There’s an app for that. Think calorie and step counters, heartrate monitors, food diaries, guided yoga postures, workout playlists, allergy modifications, sleep trackers and more. All are designed to empower you to stay healthy—at the touch of a button, in the palm of your hand (or on your wrist if you’ve got a smartwatch).

2. Social media: Social media sites are connecting health care professionals, enabling them to share information globally and to collaborate on difficult cases. Patients are also taking advantage of Facebook groups for virtual support, tips, advice and empathy.

3. Electronic medical records: Doctors can access a patient’s entire history with one click, improving diagnosis rates and more efficiently determining the best course of treatment. Pan-Canadian initiatives are also creating a secure network by which health information can be shared with authorized care providers. So wherever you travel in Canada, your health information travels with you—virtually.

4. Online test results: A program recently launched called my results (available at myresults.lifelabs.com) allows patients to view their medical test results online—anytime, anywhere. Already available in B.C., Ontario is the latest province to reap the benefits.

5. Email: While we’ve long been used to emails at work, a growing number of doctors are now using email to communicate with patients. You can connect with your physician faster, more conveniently and likely avoid unnecessary trips to the clinic, hospital or emergency room.