The Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal

Life sciences: two cases of technology transforming the health care sector

The vision TELUS Health president Paul Lepage presented before the Chamber set out the scope of possibilities of using information technology (IT) in health care. The innovative approach is transforming the life sciences ecosystem in Quebec and Montréal.

With close to 500 Montréal business people in attendance, Paul Lepage emphasized the need to modernize our health care system through technology. A leader in the development of IT for life sciences, TELUS Health offers innovative solutions that facilitate communication between health care providers and patients. To demonstrate the ability of technological innovation to improve health care delivery, Paul Lepage presented two inspiring international cases.

1. Telemedicine in Israel

Israeli public authorities wasted no time investing in digital health to more effectively manage chronic illness and reduce average hospital stays. Telemedicine allows physicians and patients to have access to their file and share information from their computer or smartphone. It is particularly effective for medical follow-up of children, and 60% of paediatric consultations are done through telemedicine. These innovations have significantly reduced health care expenses and average hospital stays, which are four days in Israel, compared with almost seven in Canada.

2. Electronic prescriptions in the U.S.

At the beginning of the 2000s, the U.S. launched an electronic prescription service. Physicians send patients and pharmacists the prescription. The pharmacist can then prepare the medication and notify the patient when it is ready. Because of this solution, the number of prescriptions processed at pharmacies has increased 30%. Not only do electronic prescriptions increase drug compliance, they also enable stricter control over the distribution of narcotics to avoid overprescribing. The effectiveness of this innovation had prompted a number of American states to make electronic prescriptions mandatory.

These cases show that bringing innovation to the health care system considerably reduces the cost of health care and streamlines processes. In Montréal, many companies are developing innovative products and technologies, and the health sciences sector is booming. We can leverage the strengths of this hub of activity to transform our health care system.

The Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal has put together an overview of the life sciences sector in Quebec and Greater Montréal.

A wealth-generating sector and a creator of prosperity for Quebec

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