May 3, 2016

The Future of Healthcare Management

At the recent TELUS Health industry conference, Vincent Ng, Health Business Consulting Senior Manager at TELUS Health spoke about harnessing the power of technology to improve health care. He says a behaviour change is needed in the public to optimize our own health. Initiating a behaviour change is a very difficult task. However, if interactions with health care providers are enhanced, the desired behaviour is seen as the easy choice, and there is support for making the change along with a continuous, seamless capturing and sharing of data, change can be facilitated.

The health care field is using technology to assist with this behavioural change process. Some ideas are readily available now while others are still being tested and reviewed. Some are simple; others sound like they are from a sci-fi novel:

Smart Phone Apps


This app provides a personal mental health coach that helps with a health care plan and can connect the user with a licensed therapist. Self-help tools are always available as well. The app will track smart phone usage and will check in if there appears to be anything out of the ordinary happening (ex. no calls, texts may mean a depressive state). Information is shared with your physician.

Sensors & Monitors

Example: Propellerhealth

A device is added to a standard inhaler for asthma, for example. The sensor will collect and send data from the inhaler to your smart phone to help identify triggers and provide adherence reminders. Information can be shared with physicians.

Sensor Embedded Pills


This option seems like it is something out of a sci-fi novel but it is today’s reality. Pills are embedded with an ingestible sensor. The patient wears a patch that collects the data from the sensors and relays the information to physicians. Patients can track medications, schedules, reminders, and heart rate.

These technologies are all examples of how we can enhance and simplify our health care experience to lead to a behavioural change and ultimately an improved health outcome.

As with many technologies today, there are security and privacy concerns to be considered as well as the ethical use of the data collected. Always be an informed consumer.

TELUS Health is the administrator for e-claims and drug claims for various insurance companies.

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