Guest Blog: Elliot Fung
A few months ago on this blog, I challenged our health care ecosystem to go beyond innovating and truly disrupt how we approach solutions in health care to improve patient experience and outcomes. The response was outstanding!
In late March, the Office of the Chief Health Innovation Strategist of Ontario announced that Alaunus (www.alaunus.com), a Waterloo based software company, was awarded $100,000 through the Health Technology Fund to pilot an innovative solution in the home care delivery model; improving patient care, choice, and reducing administrative costs. As part of a Health Innovation Team that includes a brain injury service provider, Health Quality Ontario, Wilfrid Laurier University and the WWLHIN, we hope to see some exciting and innovative improvements for patients and their caregivers through this pilot. Later this month, I am excited to join Alaunus at the Ontario Centres of Excellence Discover 2017 conference where I will be celebrating their success and meeting with more innovative health technology companies from across the province.
Another technology company in Waterloo, CloudDX was also awarded over $400,000 to pilot a way to better manage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease for patients living at home, with their Connected Health Monitoring Kit. At the same time that CloudDX is working on this pilot, the WWLHIN is excited to be piloting their Connected Health Monitoring Kit with 40 of our most complex home care patients, to help better manage their care and avoid having these patients have to visit the emergency department unnecessarily.
The WWLHIN is exploring the potential for these innovative technology solutions, as well as the dozens more that are developing within our robust innovation ecosystem through partners such as Communitech, Innovation Guelph, St. Paul’s Greenhouse and the Accelerator Centre.
However, we recognize that it’s not all about technology. Being innovative and finding solutions for all residents must involve partnerships with the community, non-traditional health care providers, patients and caregivers, municipalities and many more organizations to find ‘whole of community solutions’ to complex social issues.
Working together, the WWLHIN has partnered with health and social service providers (justice, education etc.) to impact community wellbeing through the Wellbeing Waterloo Region initiative. As a proud sponsor of Wellbeing Waterloo Region, we recognize that no one organization alone can address complex community issues such as reducing poverty, improving high school graduation rates or addressing addictions. This initiative provides a structured approach to working collaboratively on these issues using shared resources and common measurement. Together we will lead using a collective impact approach by identifying shared priorities and actions that will positively impact wellbeing.
Innovation can mean different things to different people, but most importantly, innovating to take actions that will improve the patient experience and outcomes will help to truly transform our system.
Elliot Fung is the Director of Innovation and Strategic Partnerships at the WWLHIN, is a passionate supporter of the local innovation ecosystem and after many months of trying, still cannot successfully flip a water bottle.