Cross-Border Health Releases Report on Digital Health and Canada-US Cooperation

Digital health technologies help patients access care more efficiently, delivering services where the patient is located, when they need it, and in a manner that is conveniently available. In an effort to transform healthcare delivery in Canada and the U.S. through the best use of information technology, leading stakeholder groups today released a report highlighting opportunities for improved cross-border partnership.   

The report by the Cross-Border Health Foundation (CBH) in partnership with the Healthcare Information Management Systems and Society (HIMSS) North America and the Personal Connected Health Alliance (PCHAlliance), captures proceedings from the Canada-U.S. Connected Health Workshop. The event assembled interested stakeholders and government officials from the U.S. and Canada to identify common goals and foster greater regulatory harmonization in mobile health.

“Canada and the United States have a long history of working closely together on a wide range of policy issues, and this report identifies collaborative opportunities to realize the enormous potential of connected health technologies for patients,” says Tom Leary, Vice President, Government Relations at, HIMSS. “While our health systems may seem dissimilar on the surface, many of the challenges associated with delivering better quality care are the same. By aligning regulatory approaches and fostering greater cooperation in areas such as privacy protection and cybersecurity, Canada and the United States can encourage the adoption of innovative technologies to the benefit of patients.”

Among the recommendations for enhanced collaboration between the two countries:

  • Add health information technology topics to future work plans under the Regulatory Cooperation Council to harness the potential of new technology, while also striking a balance with safety and security concerns.
  • Establish a Canada-U.S. Health Privacy and Security Forum to promote knowledge exchange, regulatory consistency and help establish a common front on health privacy protection in a digital age.
  • Pursue a joint Memorandum of Understanding to govern the storage, handling, and sharing of data for the purposes of research.
Danielle Peters