are living longer and populations are on the rise. The ratio between
caregivers and patients continues to increase. If we hope to maintain
a reasonable level of health care, technology must be sensibly applied
as a matter of necessity and not as a matter of choice.
cost savings’ cannot necessarily justify the use of technology,
nor should this be the driving factor. In some cases, the application
of technology can increase the cost of health care delivery, but
at the same time, access to and quality of care can also increase.
Further investigation is needed to determine the costs and benefits
of technology. The real costs are not solely restricted to the health
care insurer or hospital. Additional costs are absorbed by the patient,
at times the patient’s family and Society as a whole.
efforts are required including inter-provincial/ territorial physician
licensing, interoperability of legislation and development of policies
and standards pertaining to clinical, educational and operational
telehealth interoperability. This is a time for leadership. Physician
licensing bodies, provincial and federal authorities and other stakeholders
need to engage in this process and take the risks required to make
we move forward, we have to keep in-mind that Telehealth is not
primarily about technology; it’s about people. Technology is only
the tool. It will be how the technology is applied that will define
the quality of our health care system in the years to come.