New CMA online tool allows patients to manage their diabetes - The mydoctor.ca Health Portal enables physicians and patients to "discuss diabetes" online



    MONTREAL, June 9 /CNW Telbec/ - Canadian Medical Association President
Dr. Robert Ouellet today launched the first online diabetes tool specifically
designed for use by family physicians with chronic disease patients. The
mydoctor.ca Health Portal now allows patients to share important
diabetes-related information - such as blood sugar, weight and exercise
results - with their doctor in a secure, online environment.
    "The new diabetes tool in the Health Portal puts into action the CMA's
vision to empower patients to take more control of their health," said Dr.
Ouellet. "The Portal is a front-line example of how integrating technology
with health care delivery can improve the health of Canadians."
    As simple as banking online, patients will be able to enter the secure
portal and input diabetes-related health information for their physician to
access and monitor. Blood sugar readings, intensity and duration of exercise
completed and lab results can all be shared between doctor and patient, in an
easy-to-read, chart format.
    "The Health Portal acts as an extension of the care I provide to my
patients," said Dr. Jay Mercer, a family physician in Ottawa and Medical
Director for Practice Solutions, and a current user of the Health Portal. "It
helps me stay connected with my patients and lets them play a more active role
in managing their own health. With diabetes being such a prevalent condition
for Canadians, the new diabetes component is a welcome addition to the Portal,
and will surely help to improve patient outcomes."
    With over two million Canadians currently dealing with diabetes, the
addition of this tool was a logical choice for Practice Solutions, a CMA
company, to incorporate into the Portal.
    "Our goal is to equip physicians with the tools they need to provide the
highest possible level of patient care," said Larry Mohr, president and CEO of
Practice Solutions. "And with current research showing how pervasive diabetes
is in our country, as well as how electronic health tracking tools can improve
patient outcomes, there was no doubt that a diabetes tool was the next area on
which we should focus."
    The mydoctor.ca Health Portal also includes tools to manage asthma, blood
pressure and weight, a personal health record, an interactive health library
and secure messaging between physician and patient.

    For more information about the mydoctor.ca Health Portal and the diabetes
tool, visit mydoctor.ca/media for screen shots, a recorded demo, and
backgrounders.

    
    Facts about diabetes

    - Over two million Canadians have diabetes and that number is expected to
      reach three million by 2010.(1)
    - People with diabetes incur medical costs that are two to three times
      higher than those without diabetes. A person with diabetes can face
      direct costs for medication and supplies ranging from $1,000 to
      $15,000 a year.(1)
    - By 2010, it's estimated that diabetes will cost the Canadian healthcare
      system $15.6 billion a year and that number will rise to $19.2 billion
      by 2020.(1)
    - Online diabetes management programs may lead to improved patient
      knowledge, engagement and accountability, as well as better
      communication between patient and doctor.(2)
    

    About the mydoctor.ca Health Portal

    The mydoctor.ca Health Portal was launched in April 2008 as the first
physician-driven Canadian electronic patient health record platform (PHR). It
features innovative online tools for tracking chronic diseases. The portal,
created by Practice Solutions, a CMA company, allows physicians to register
their patients with any or all of the online tools to manage diabetes, asthma,
blood pressure and weight. Designed by physicians, the portal also provides a
personal health record, interactive health library as well as secure
messaging, ensuring a private channel of communication between patient and
doctor.

    About Practice Solutions

    Practice Solutions, is the leading provider of end-to-end technology and
practice management solutions for Canadian physicians, which includes its
popular PS Suite(TM) software bundle that manages billing, scheduling and
electronic medical records for a physician's practice. We are also experts in
consulting services, educational seminars, billing services, lease financing,
web portals for physicians and the publisher of physician and patient-oriented
magazines. Practice Solutions is headquartered in Ottawa and employs more than
160 professionals across the country.

    About the Canadian Medical Association

    The Canadian Medical Association is a national, voluntary association
that represents over 70,000 physicians across the country. The CMA advocates
on behalf of its members and their patients for access to high quality health
care. It also provides leadership and guidance to physicians.

    
    -------------------------------
    (1) The prevalence and costs of diabetes, Canadian Diabetes Association
    (2) Diabetes Connected Health: A Pilot Study of a Patient- and
        Provider-Shared Glucose Monitoring Web Application Journal of
        Diabetes Science and Technology, March 2009, Vol 3, Issue II
    




For further information:

For further information: Lucie Boileau, Media Relations, Canadian
Medical Association, (613) 731-8610, (800) 663-7336 ext. 1266, Cell: (613)
447-0866, lucie.boileau@cma.ca


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