Meet 2023 Board of Directors Election Candidate Saurabh Popat

Candidate name: Saurabh Popat
Title: Director, Business Development
Organization: TELUS Health

I am a diversified healthcare professional with approximately 25 years of healthcare experience including public policy, government relations, stakeholder relations and business development across the public (government), not-for-profit (professional association) and private (pharma, medtech, consulting, digital health) sectors. In addition, I have been involved in several leadership and governance roles throughout my career including serving on the Boards of Medtech Canada, the Canadian American Business Council (CABC) and The Empire Club of Canada. I had the privilege of managing the digital health portfolio in the office of the Ontario Minister of Health from 2016-18. This role enabled me to better understand the importance of digital health in healthcare delivery, patient outcomes and patient experiences. Since then, I have progressively engaged with the digital health community through professional and leadership roles as well as chairing digital health committees at Medtech Canada, and Diabetes Canada and leading digital health strategies at TELUS Health. In addition, I have been actively involved with Digital Health Canada and their team over the past several years through the support of their knowledge sharing and learning conferences such as UpOnDigital and Driving the Future of Digital Health, as well as Webinar Wednesdays and this year becoming a part of CHIEFS. I am passionate about advancing and advocating for value-based and innovative digital health solutions to improve quadruple-aim outcomes through multiple stakeholder and strategic channels and I look forward to serving and contributing to the Digital Health Canada Board. 

How long have you been a member of Digital Health Canada?

4-5 years

Why do you want to join the Digital Health Canada Board of Directors at this point in your career?

Over the past five years, in particular, my knowledge, contributions and networking across the digital health ecosystem have evolved. In my current leadership role at TELUS Health and given my past experiences across the public (government), not-for-profit (professional association) and private sectors (pharma, medtech, consulting, digital health), I believe that I can collaborate well and contribute towards advancing the strategic priorities of Digital Health Canada including empowerment, knowledge sharing, learning, advancement and advocacy. Advancement and advocacy is a specific area of expertise where I can help to amplify Digital Health Canada’s role as an important partner with key decision-makers across Canada to influence and shape the future of healthcare in a digital world. In addition, my private sector experience and diverse perspectives would help me serve on the Board well and contribute towards a more diverse Board composition. 

How does your experience align with the Digital Health Canada strategic plan and mandate?

I have been working, contributing and serving in progressive leadership roles across the healthcare ecosystem and various sectors for 25 years. This has enabled me to understand and appreciate a diversity of perspectives across health care. I believe that my experiences and background will be important to support the objectives of Digital Health Canada including advancing education and awareness of digital health across Canada, advocating with decision-makers for innovative and patient-centred digital health strategies, policies and programs and bringing a private sector perspective to the Board to help connect, empower and inspire digital health leaders and community members across the country.

What unique skills, perspectives and contributions would you bring to the Digital Health Canada Board?

Many of the skills that I have developed throughout my career in healthcare thus far will be an asset to support the strategic priorities and help the Board execute the plans to achieve the priorities. These skills include advocacy, stakeholder relations, government relations, service leadership, and strategic communications.

Do you or have or have you ever had any direct patient care experience (clinical)?

No, I do not have direct clinical patient care experience. However, as a patient myself as well as someone who has helped family members navigate and support their care, I have direct patient experience, which is an important element of improving quadruple-aim outcomes. In addition, I have observed firsthand, the value and importance of digital health innovation to support and advance patient experiences.

What segments within the Digital Health Canada community do you feel you will best represent?

  • Vendors
  • Leaders

With which Digital Health Canada committees, task groups or activities have you volunteered in the past five years? Describe your most significant contributions to Digital Health Canada’s mission.

  • Secured inaugural membership with Digital Health Canada for Abbott Diabetes Care from 2020-22 and sponsorship support for the UpOnDigital conference in 2020 to engage and support advocacy efforts.
  • Led support for virtual care Webinar Wednesday session (2021) to share knowledge of the value of virtual diabetes care
  • Contributed as part of the organizing committee for the Driving the Future of Digital Health virtual conference (Nov. 2022) to support knowledge sharing and learning
  • Led development of TELUS Health session at Driving the Future of Digital Health virtual conference (November  2022) to support knowledge sharing and learning of digital health and primary care
  • Secured TELUS Health support for CHIEF Executive Forum membership (Feb. 2023) to support advancement and advocacy with other digital health leaders
  • Secured TELUS Health sponsorship of UpOnDigital conference (March 2023) and eHealth conference (May 2023) to support knowledge sharing and learning
  • Leading TELUS Health symposium session at eHealth conference (May 2023) to support knowledge sharing and learning

What other board appointments or relevant leadership experiences have you had in the past five years?

  • Led development and introduction of Ontario HIMSS Chapter conference presentation (Nov. 2022)
  • Led development of TELUS Health session at Driving the Future of Digital Health virtual conference (November  2022)
  • Board Member, Empire Club of Canada (September 2022 – present) including hosting Ontario’s Health Minister (Feb. 2023)
  • Co-Chair, National Digital Health Committee, Medtech Canada (Jan 2021 – May 2022)
  • Co-Chair, Digital Diabetes Care Committee, Diabetes Canada (Jan. 2020 – May 2022)
  • Member, Health Policy Council, Ontario Chamber of Commerce (June 2020 – May 2022)

Please tell us why you feel Digital Health Canada members should vote for you.

Over the past 25 years, I have been privileged to have worked in a diversity of roles across the public (government), not-for-profit (professional association) and private sectors (pharma, medtech, consulting, digital health). This has given me a unique perspective in healthcare and has enabled me to gain a true appreciation and passion to advocate and advance the importance of digital health across Canada. I was honoured to be nominated as a candidate for the Digital Health Canada Board in 2022 and once again I am seeking to serve as a Board member to support the implementation of Digital Health Canada’s strategic priorities, particularly the advancement and advocacy of digital health. Furthermore, I believe that my private sector experiences would be an asset to the Board as well as contribute towards furthering the diversity of the Board composition. I look forward to collaborating, engaging and serving all Digital Health Canada members in a positive, meaningful and supportive manner. Together we can make a lasting impact for future digital health leaders and leave a positive digital footprint. Thank you for considering supporting my candidacy for the Board.

Do you currently hold the Certified Professional in Healthcare Information and Management Systems – Canada (CPHIMS-CA) credential?


What is your educational background? Please list all degrees and designations.

  • Certified Health Executive (CHE), Canadian College of Health Leaders, 2015
  • Master of Health Administration (MHA) University of Ottawa Telfer School of Management, 1998
  • B.Sc. Dalhousie University, 1995