A funding boost of $500,000 will expand a program to ensure health education materials are readily available to communities, patients and caregivers throughout British Columbia, announced Health Minister Terry Lake.
The University of British Columbia’s intercultural online health network (iCON) provides patients in multicultural communities throughout B.C. with access to health information and health professionals that help these patients manage and prevent chronic diseases like diabetes, hypertension and heart disease. UBC’s eHealth Strategy Office will use this funding to develop a strategy to expand this program to communities and health professionals in all areas of British Columbia.
“While there is no shortage of online medical advice out there, finding the best and most accurate health-care information with today’s technology is often a challenge regardless of where you live,” said Lake who made the announcement at the Health and Innovative Technology Showcase conference in Vancouver. “This program being developed at UBC’s eHealth Strategy Office will connect patients to health professionals, services and information to help empower them to take control of their own health-care.”
eHealth services like these use information technology to provide the best possible patient care. Other eHealth services used in British Columbia include electronic health records, access to lab test results, diagnostic scans and medication histories. Services developed by iCON will identify the tools and technology out there to best connect patients with services.
“There are a lot of electronic health tools, technologies and applications out there but it is hard to find the ones that work for each patient’s needs,” said director of the University of British Columbia’s eHealth Strategy Office, Dr. Kendall Ho. “This isn’t about inventing new apps; it is about working in partnership with patients to identify what they need and can access now to provide them with relevant, timely and accurate information.”
The iCON is a community-driven health promotion program aimed at managing and preventing chronic disease among multicultural communities across B.C. By promoting communication and partnerships between community members and health professionals, these communities can access knowledge, services and supports in their own language using tools such as web, smartphones and other accessible technologies.
Intercultural Online Health Network: http://www.iconproject.org/dnn_icon/eHealth: http://www.health.gov.bc.ca/ehealth/
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