Canada leads the world in web conferencing for medical care

Tuesday, May 31 2011

Like many industrialized nations, Canada has an efficient health care system. However, unlike most similar countries, it also has a large number of rural citizens, with 15 percent of its population living away from urbanized areas. This demographic intersection has resulted in Canada's strong emphasis on telehealth. In fact, according to a report from the government-funded Canada Health Infoway, telehealth has grown by 35 percent in five years.

CTV News reports on the study, which found that over 5,700 remote medical stations have been built in that time span. Traditionally, rural Canadians could only call a nurse for help with a medical problem. Now, they can apply to have health monitoring equipment installed in their home or have a web chat with a doctor.

This system is not just for doctor-patient conversations, either. Increasingly, doctors are collaborating with one another in Canada via video conferences. Rather than expensive travel arrangements for consultations, Canadian doctors can use government-funded telehealth facilities to ask questions outside of their specialty or get a second opinion quickly.