Access, convenience and control drive Canadians' interest in virtual and
- Join @willfalk and @markcasselman on Twitter via #mHealth -
TORONTO, June 4, 2013 /CNW/ - Nearly two thirds of Canadians would
consider using virtual health (vHealth) options in their own care or
for someone they care for, according to PwC's report: Making Care Mobile: Shifting perspectives on the virtualization of
health care. The top motivators behind adopting vHealth and mobile health (mHealth)
include: convenient access to a physician, ability to obtain
information, and greater control over one's health.
The report defines vHealth as health care professionals collaborating
with their colleagues and with patients to deliver care remotely using
technologies like video conferencing and digital imaging. mHealth is
the use of wireless tools to deliver and access virtual care and health
information using devices such as a smartphone, tablet or wireless
"Canadians are ready for the digitization of their care and the next
wave of innovation for service delivery will need to put the patient at
the centre of the solution," says Will Falk, Manager Partner, Healthcare, PwC. "This means providing faster, more convenient access to care in the
ways in which Canadians want it."
Is there an app for that?
More than a third of Canadians believe that mobile health apps will make
health care more convenient in the next three years. "There are
countless mobile phone applications helping people manage their
everyday life - ranging from personal finances to planning social
activities. Canadians have clearly indicated their interest in
accessing health services and their health information in a similar
way." says Mark Casselman, director of mHealth, PwC.
Survey participants indicated clearly that they value the convenience
associated with improved access via virtualized service offerings.
Nearly 80% of respondents said they would be comfortable using a
virtual monitoring service for a chronic condition. Meanwhile, over
two-thirds of Canadians suggested they would be comfortable having a
post-surgical follow-up visit conducted via video conference.
"Obtaining the information is one thing, but understanding it is
another," says Casselman. "Citizens, patients, and representatives in
the medical community should be involved in the development of digital
health services from the beginning to ensure the content is reliable,
is easy to comprehend, and improves patient engagement and
communication with the care team."
Controlling your health at home
Key findings from the report include:
Seventy-nine per cent of patients said they would definitely, or are
likely to , use an e-mail service with their doctor
More than 80% of patients reported they would definitely, or are likely
to, use online prescription refill services
Eighty- four per cent of Canadians indicated they would definitely or
probably use an electronic results reporting service for routine lab
Falk says, "While it may never fully replace other service delivery
channels, e-mailing is so commonly used, Canadians believe it should at
least be an option."
The report highlights two main factors that would make users more
comfortable with email adoption: confidence in the security of the
system and tracked records of e-mail exchanges. "There needs to be a
balance between securing access and modernization with quality and
privacy. Only then will the health care sector begin to focus on full
mobility and virtual integration and network improvements," concludes
To obtain a copy of the report, visit http://www.pwc.com/ca/virtualcare. A copy of the report is also available from the media contacts. Join the
#mHealth discussion on Twitter.
The research for Making Care Mobile: Shifting perspectives on the virtualization of
health care report was conducted through a 'Choicebook', which took respondents
through an interactive experience. Over a three week period, nearly
2,500 Canadians participated to address the central question posed in
this project - What does the future of health care delivery look like?
Participants learned about vHealth and mHealth, explored important
questions related to the issues and thought through what services they
would be interested in after being presented with some of the
advantages, disadvantages and trade-off involves. For the purposes of
this report, the findings focus on the qualitative and quantitative
results stemming from the Choicebook.
Follow PwC on Twitter at @PwC_Canada_LLP and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pwccanada.
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