e-Health Conference 2016 Hacking health, sparking discussions, improving the patient experience

Since 2000, the annual e-Health Conference has built connections for members of the health informatics community. This year’s theme — reimagining health care delivery in Canada — provided the backdrop for the multi-day sessions to focus on innovators, innovation and improving the patient experience.

CIHI was one of the co-hosts, partnering with COACH: Canada’s Health Informatics Association and Canada Health Infoway. With more than 1,500 delegates, the conference brought together a full complement of vendors and high-profile speakers.

Sunday Symposium

This preview day offered delegates a chance to gather before the main forums and multi-track workshops began. Speakers included

  • Dr. Joshua Mandel, Lead Architect, SMART Health IT, Harvard Medical School Department of Biomedical Informatics
  • Duane Bender, Professor, Software Engineering Technology, Mohawk College, and Director, MEDIC Applied Research Program
  • Gavin Tong, Associate Managing Partner, Architecture and Standards Branch, Gevity
  • Eyrin Tedesco, Senior Clinical Lead, Telehealth Expansion Project, First Nations Health Authority

Sunday afternoon was spent in 3 separate tracks, one of which was led by CIHI. The panel, which was moderated by Kim Harvey, our director of Integration Services, included CIHI’s Dr. Cheryl Beach, client affairs manager for B.C., and Janine Kaye, manager of Portal Services, together with Martha Burd, director of Health Sector Information at the B.C. Ministry of Health and Dr. Jeff Poss, professor at the School of Public Health and Health Systems, University of Waterloo. The group led a lively discourse on health analytics and demonstrated how data visualization can lead to informed decision-making and clinical program management for health research and policy. 

Opening remarks

Following a blessing by Bob Baker — a Squamish cultural advisor and performer — the conference began on Monday with a video presentation from federal Health Minister Jane Philpott, in which she emphasized the importance of continuing the push forward on mental health and telehealth efforts. This segued into an address by B.C. Health Minister Terry Lake, who announced a home health monitoring partnership with Telus.

Other speakers included

  • Zayna Khayat, Co-Founder and Senior Advisor, MaRS Discovery
  • Marilyn Emery, President and CEO, Women’s College Hospital
  • Travis McDonough, CEO and Founder, Kinduct

Hacking Health

The final leg of the Hacking Health Vancouver 2016 challenge ran throughout the conference. This 8-week team effort to build an app wrapped up during the final 48 hours of e-Health. CIHI participated this year by contributing data to the development of Manage My Care, an app that allows chronic disease patients to better manage their own care. Manage My Care would report patient-generated information back to CIHI. Our joint efforts with the BC Renal Agency, BC Renal-Transplant, Bits in Glass and Appian made it to the top 10 finals — and were in good company. 

The following teams were the top 5 award winners:

  • Docto, a virtual endocrinologist app for those with type 1 diabetes, won the Patients Award and IBM Award.
  • Re+Boost, a smart-strap that counts the exercises performed by patients to help them fully adhere to their prescribed physio treatment, won the Hospital and Clinicians Award and the iUGO Health Award.
  • CalMed, a mental health app with artificial intelligence, won the Desjardins Award.
  • EMiT (Education for Medication in Transplant), an app that helps patients track their medications, log symptoms and review medication information supported by visuals, won the Gevity Award.
  • CareCrew, a mobile app to help families support seniors aging at home, won the People’s Choice Award.

To see the other teams and their app projects, check out Hacking Health’s sparkboard.

Hacking Health, which began in Montréal in 2012, is a social organization that pairs innovators with health care experts to build solutions to front-line health care problems through the use of emerging technology. It has grown into a worldwide effort with 33 chapters on 5 continents — including 15 cities and communities in Canada.

Reimagining health care: e-Health Conference 2016
CIHI participated in this year’s Hacking Health challenge by contributing data to the development of Manage My Care, an app that allows chronic disease patients to better manage their own care.

Sparking discussions in First Nations communities

CIHI is proud to be part of the project team for Care Planning Tools: Changing Practice Among Alberta First Nations Communities, which was awarded the Canadian Health Informatics Association 2016 Award in the Innovation and Care Delivery category.

First Nations communities’ health status is assessed and funded outside of the provincial standard. Implementing an innovative, integrated solution enables decisions that are based on standardized information that is comparable with provincial systems’ information.

An integrated solution was developed to allow the electronic capture of clinical data, providing just-in-time information of clinical outputs for immediate care planning. The goal is to reduce wait times for assessment and to increase access to and seamless delivery of health care services in First Nations communities, on par with the average Albertan.

To develop this pilot, CIHI worked with the First Nations and Inuit Health Branch of Health Canada, Momentum Healthware, the First Nations Alberta Technical Services Advisory Group, interRAI, Alberta Health Services and Alberta Health.

The project successfully met the initial pilot objectives for 6 First Nations communities, so the initiative is now being phased in among all 44 communities in Alberta, with a target completion of 2018. To date, this integrated solution has been deployed in 26 communities and has sparked discussion in First Nations communities outside of Alberta that are interested in adopting it. Consultations are currently taking place in other jurisdictions to define and develop an implementation plan.

This project has demonstrated excellent collaboration among First Nations representatives, provincial and community health services, and vendors to implement this integrated solution.

John Hirdes, Canadian Fellow and Board Member, interRAI; Adrian Dalloo, Manager, Home and Continuing Care Standards and Support, CIHI; and Lynn McNeely, Special Projects Lead, Home and Continuing Care Standards and Support, CIHI, receive the CHIA Award for Innovation and Care Delivery on behalf of the project team that included the First Nations and Inuit Health Branch of Health Canada, Momentum Healthware, the First Nations Alberta Technical Services Advisory Group, interRAI, Alberta Health Services and Alberta Health.


CIHI presented 2 e-posters at this year’s conference. Ellis Chow, a project lead with the Joint Replacement Registry department, presented Developing a Patient-Reported Outcome Measures (PROMs) Program in Canada. Jennifer Frood, a project lead in Emerging Issues, presented Measuring Patient Safety in Canadian Hospitals — this e-poster made it to the top 10 in the poster presentation.

CIHI’s Jennifer Frood, Project Lead, Emerging Issues, presented an e-poster: Measuring Patient Safety in Canadian Hospitals.

What’s in store for next year

As the 4-day event drew to a close, a taste of what’s to come was previewed — e-Health 2017 will be held in Toronto from June 4 to 7. Hope to see you there!