Digital health – a binary picture composed of zeros and ones. It’s able to describe everything in a person’s DNA genome map while defining clinical terminology codes for every symptom in a patient’s electronic chart – simply amazing, yet incomplete.

The latest evolution of digital health will encompass AI/machine learning and ever-advancing algorithmic rules for solving problems more effectively. This progression will continue to create a far more nuanced iteration of digital health that includes the human experience, including our hopes, fears, beliefs, values and even prejudices – thereby bringing our humanity (analog experience) into the realm of digital healthcare.

eSafety in Canada is a concrete tableau for examining risks associated with digital health as a means of expanding our understanding and improving our healthcare effectiveness. eSafety is an easily understandable nugget, a solid first step in awareness of human/analog health because it often invokes primal human emotions, personal fears and an overall lack of trust.

If you’re at the eHealth 2017 Conference in early June, I strongly urge you tune in on one of the following sessions:

  • The June 5th concurrent session by Dr. Chris Hobson of Orion Health entitled Addressing Safety and Privacy when adopting HIT. This session will share ideas on a process to successfully detect and address safety and privacy issues in advance of live use by clinicians and patients.
  • The June 6th panel discussion eSafety in Canada – Embedding Leading Practices into Real World Processes. Moderated by Elizabeth Keller, Ontario MD this panel includes several experts: Dr. Sarah Muttitt, Sick Kids ; Dr. Chris Hobson, Orion Health; Peter Bascon, eHealth Ontario and Suzanne Rochford, Telus Health

It is easy to visualise a world where digital health and machine learning algorithms are pervasive–in our homes, work and communities and reflected through all aspects of Canadian life including our healthcare landscape. Health informatics professionals (whether developing policies and plans or implementing and delivering solutions) can begin the journey towards understanding the synthesis of analog and digital health this June at eHealth.

We hope to see you there.