Canadian firms finding global success in healthcare interoperability
Canada is a recognized global leader in interoperability — the ability of distinct systems to readily exchange digital information and collaborate effectively. Interoperability is particularly beneficial in healthcare, because it drives improvements in system efficiency and access to care. To realize these benefits, however, requires overcoming concerns about the security and accuracy of patient and diagnostic information. Canada has met these concerns thanks to its world-class infrastructure, academic institutions, private investment and federal initiatives.
In partnership with the provinces and territories, the Government of Canada has long prioritized the development and adoption of electronic health records (EHRs), a key enabler of healthcare interoperability. Today, more than 86% of primary care physicians in Canada use EHRs. Digital strategies at the federal and provincial government levels, combined with innovations developed and implemented by Canadian firms, are beginning to realize the full potential of healthcare interoperability. And around the world, demand continues to grow for made-in-Canada interoperability solutions.
Ottawa‑based Macadamian Technologies has experienced a surge in international sales during the COVID‑19 pandemic. Much of the new demand comes from organizations trying to cope with the communications‑related challenges of the pandemic.
Timon LeDain, Macadamian’s Vice President of Customer Solutions
“In many countries, public health authorities require organizations to record the information needed to support things like contact tracing,” says Timon LeDain, Macadamian’s Vice President of Customer Solutions.
“To stay open, many businesses or organizations suddenly have to do something they’ve never done before: record health‑related information in a way that meets local laws governing privacy, consent and confidentiality.”
Early on in the pandemic, Macadamian recognized that its flagship offering, HealthConnect™, offered an ideal solution to the challenge. Designed as a digital platform‑as‑a‑service that streamlines the development of cloud‑connected healthcare applications, HealthConnect could be readily adapted to the particular needs of clients.
“One client, a long‑term care home, called us on Friday and we delivered a solution to them on Monday,” says LeDain.
“Our platform is functional enough to meet immediate needs and flexible enough to fine‑tune without service interruption.”
Macadamian works with Canada's Trade Commissioner Service (TCS) to navigate export markets. Currently, most of Macadamian’s clients are based in the United States and the company is determined to expand in other markets. At the MEDICA conference in Dusseldorf, Germany, Macadamian representatives worked with trade commissioners from across Europe to identify how best to promote HealthConnect to medical device and pharmaceutical companies. The company also participated in Export Café, the TCS match‑making service.
“The international market for interoperability solutions in healthcare is destined to grow significantly,” says LeDain.
“Every year, dozens of new digital tools are introduced that can improve healthcare services and system access. Unless they’re interoperable, however, they’re of limited value. Platforms such as ours solve that challenge.”
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