Notes from Moncton: Atlantic Breakfast Event on Telehealth and Virtual Care

Atlantic Breakfast Event: Telehealth and Virtual Care
Wednesday, March 20, 2019 from 8:30am-12:00pm

Digital Health Canada Atlantic Chapter digital health professionals recently met in Moncton for a half-day of networking, discussion, and learning featuring:

  • Payam Pakravan, Vice President, Strategy and Analytics, Ontario Telemedicine Network (Keynote)
  • Robin Laird, Director of eHealth, Clinical Operations, Health PEI (Moderator)
  • Krista Anderson, Virtual Care Lead, Nova Scotia Health Authority
  • Katie Heckman, Virtual Care Lead, Nova Scotia Health Authority
  • Krisan Palmer, Regional Manager and Clinical Lead for Telehealth, Horizon Health Networks
  • Karen Tulk , Regional Telehealth Coordinator, Western Health (Newfoundland and Labrador)

Keynote speaker Payam Pakravan started the day with a presentation on “Telemedicine Impacting Healthcare in Ontario: Progress, Lessons Learned and Strategic Imperatives”, sharing updates on provincial telehealth initiatives and strategic goals for 2019-2022.

After a quick networking break, panel discussion moderator Robin Laird set the stage with updates on telehealth in Prince Edward Island, followed by Krista Anderson and Katie Heckman presenting on the history (Canada’s first province-wide telehealth network) and current state of telehealth in Nova Scotia, including changing the name of the Telehealth Network to Virtual Care, to allow for the exploration of e-health technologies beyond telehealth. New initiatives in Nova Scotia include Mental Health and Addictions; Chronic Pain; Vascular Research and Surgery; Palliative Care; Gastroenterology (Medical Neighbourhood); Primary Health Care; and Language and Speech. Krisan Palmer spoke about telehealth in New Brunswick, including the new Horizon mobile app, and Karen Tulk discussed a case study in which telehealth was used to facilitate Autism Spectrum Disorder-related services for families in Newfoundland (read more about this study here).

The panel took questions from the full house, and shared their reflections on topics such as terminology (telehealth vs virtual health), how young physicians are changing entrenched doctor-patient communication channels, and how shared knowledge between jurisdictions benefits everyone.

In his closing comments, Digital Health Canada CEO Mark Casselman offered kudos to the Atlantic Chapter planning committee for building such a strong agenda, and to the speakers and panel members who shared their experience developing and delivering telehealth and virtual care in Atlantic Canada.

“It was such a pleasure to spend an engaging day with members and professionals from across all four Atlantic Canada provinces,” said Mark. “The passion and commitment to patient care and delivering the future of health services in Canada was inspiring! I look forward to continuing the conversation in Halifax this fall at the Atlantic Chapter Regional Event (September 24, 2019).”