A representative from the world’s leading authority on trust spoke at the the 2023 Driving the Future of Digital Health Conference, held virtually on November 7, 2024. Dana Singleton, EVP, National Health Sector Lead, Edelman, opened the conference by walking attendees through Edelman’s 2023 Trust Barometer Special Report on Trust and Health.
Trust as a key determinant of health
Trust is a key determinant of health, central to both individual and public healthcare decisions. The increasing politicization of post-pandemic public health—fueled by a widespread infodemic—is undermining trust in healthcare systems across the globe, leading to persistent inequalities of access and outcomes. The session examined the research and findings behind the pandemic-driven evolution in people’s orientation towards health and healthcare and the relationship between trust in the healthcare system and health outcomes.
“People who have ‘done their own research’ feel they are just as knowledgeable as doctors,” said Dana Singleton during the presentation. “I think this is where the dispersion of authority really hits home. It’s truly a massive perceptional shift in patient empowerment. I think this is very worrying for some of us. To follow doctors, empowered patients need confidence in the health system.”
Bridging the trust divide in healthcare
Immediately following the presentation a panel of experts, moderated by the opening keynote speaker, convened to talk about how we can work together on ‘Bridging the Trust Divide in Healthcare’. Panelists examined the healthcare trust divide—the gap between key health stakeholders—from multiple perspectives. What does patient empowerment look like in the digital world? Can patients be re-engaged after their trust in the healthcare system has been eroded? What steps might be taken to rebuild trust in healthcare today and sustain it in the future? Panelists included Asifa Lalji, Accessibility & Disability Advisor; Dr. Chandi Chandrasena, Family Physician and Chief Medical Officer, OntarioMD; and Laurel Austin, Associate Professor, Management Science, Ivey Business School.
“Digital health is going to be one of the tools we rely on to alleviate the burdens on the system,” said Asifa Lalji. “But you need to take a step back; if you want to empower the patient, you have to be patient-drive in everything you are doing. You have to look at how you are representing those voices in your planning, and bring them in as early as possible. The number of ‘aha moments’ that designers have when they actually talk to a patient is huge.”
Digital Health Canada events like Driving the Future of Digital Health are carefully curated to deliver intelligent conversations about important topics—like trust in healthcare—to our audiences. Each conference is treated as a fresh opportunity to widen the pool of people participating in conversations about digital health and innovations in health delivery. Bookmark our Event Calendar to find a Digital Health Canada event near you and join the next round of this important conversation.