4 Reasons To Attend the HealthAchieve Trade Show

HealthAchieve 2017 will be kicking off in Toronto on November 6th. If you’re a health care leader, you may be heading to the conference. An impressive roster of keynote speakers and the chance to network with other decision-makers in your sector are reason enough to attend.

That said, we think you should check out the trade show, too. Because being open to new technologies could lead to big benefits.

Throughout October, health care innovators will be gearing up to show off their solutions. They’ll be looking to find new opportunities and make important connections. Your organization—and all Ontarians who rely on the health care system—can benefit from their enthusiasm.

According to its website, HealthAchieve is “an agent of change that drives the evolution of the health care system by focusing on the future.” It goes without saying that sharing ideas will be a big part of the conference. But exhibitors are also bound to have a whole lot of knowledge to share. After all, these are businesses that have chosen the sector as their focus.

Get ready to discover innovative solutions to some of health care’s biggest problems. You never know what you’re going to discover at a trade show.

1) The technology is more innovative than you think

It’s easy to dismiss new health care technologies. How many times has a new health care buzzword emerged, only to disappear without fulfilling its promise?

For clinicians, manager, and executives, terms related to health care innovation often go in one ear and out the other. Even concepts that seem to have passed their expiration date (like “telehealth”) just keep coming back.

But consider this: telehealth has evolved—no longer does remote communication between doctors and patients depend on cumbersome equipment. Similarly, when it comes to electronic medical records (another solution that received a ton of media hype), the future of interoperability looks bright.

Sometimes, a rebooted concept or piece of technology deserves a closer look. And when it comes to new health care solutions, you’d be surprised by how much exists that you’ve never seen before.

There will be nearly 300 exhibitors and special attractions at HealthAchieve this year. What are the chances that you won’t find anything that has the potential to improve health outcomes or patient quality of life?

Skepticism is understandable. But if improving care-related outcomes is part of your job, you know the true value that innovation can have. Chosen and implemented wisely, the right technology can transform health care delivery.

2) Much of this innovation could have an immediate impact

In the health care sector, developing a relationship with a vendor and engaging in collaboration can be a lengthy process. It’s no surprise that when decision-makers see potential in a technology, their minds often jump to logistics.

Is the solution you’re looking at really cost feasible? Where are the inevitable obstacles you’re bound to run into? What’s the true time to deployment?

Of course, these are questions you should consider carefully before committing to something new. But immediately talking yourself out of a promising collaboration can be a mistake.

Digital technologies are often low-cost and incredibly simple to deploy. For example, consider mobile health care apps, such as those currently available to help with diabetes management. This technology is often up and running after the few minutes it takes for a user to download it.

At HealthAchieve, you’re sure to see plenty of innovative technologies that meet this criteria. As just one example, we at Aetonix will be there to show you just how simple it can be to connect entire circles of care.

Don’t miss the opportunity to discover intuitive, cost-effective technologies that just might solve some of the biggest challenges to your organization—and the patients it helps.

3) You’ll get to support local vendors

The province’s health care sector is changing. In the government, there’s been ongoing structural transformation. There’s also been increased home care investment, which reflects an overall move toward more care in the community.

These are improvements, but they’re bound to bring up new challenges. And technology will play a crucial role in solving them.

The good news is, Ontario is a hotbed of health care innovation. According to the Ontario Centres of Excellence website, over 18,000 researchers in the province’s 24 publicly-funded hospitals were active last year.

Events like HealthAchieve often reflect the fruits of this labour. If you’re a decision-maker looking for a particular type of health care solution, it makes sense to peruse home-grown technologies.

In some cases, collaboration with local vendors is well-funded by the government. Finding the right program and partners can help you improve your organization’s overall efficiency and health outcomes—in a way that’s cost-effective.

When health care leaders work with the province’s best and brightest technological innovators, good things happen. Namely, our system becomes stronger—for all Ontarians.

4) You’ll get to see some some really cool things

There are many reasons to want to be a delegate at HealthAchieve, and most of them are practical. But let’s not forget how much fun it can be to check out new technology in your field. Because some of the things you’ll see at the trade show are bound to be pretty cool.

Last year, OpenLab, a design and innovation shop that operates out of the University Health Network, exhibited some of its virtual reality (VR) films. Aimed at older adults, the films were designed to alleviate dementia, depression, and anxiety.

This year, the Intelligent Health Pavillion will offer first-hand experience of exciting new wearable technologies. Once the stuff of science fiction, wearables are changing the face of health care delivery.

Ultimately, HealthAchieve is about collaborating to improve health outcomes and patient wellbeing. That said, why not look forward to seeing something really interesting—or even mind-blowing—in the process?

Feature image courtesy of Kate Ter Harr

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COPD Education – Onboarding

Objective

To complete a thorough needs assessment / initial evaluation for a COPD patient of an outpatient clinic

Actors
Patient, Educator (Nurse, RT, the Physician could also be the educator)

Timelines
One 60-90 min session with the Educator

Description
  • This protocol should be established for all COPD patients from a given clinic, independently of whether they are new patients or they are known to the clinic. This protocol is the basis to engage the patient into other protocols such as education, exacerbation follow-up, etc.
  • We need to identify patient goals/concerns to guide the interventions
  • A thorough evaluation is carried on, with the objective of understanding where the patient is on their disease journey and follow-up treatable traits: dyspnea, exacerbation or dyspnea and exacerbation.
  • It includes the use of objective questionnaires such as the mMRC, CAT, HADS, Frailty Scale, etc.
  • Identify if the patient needs to be referred to other resources (e.g. Physiotherapist, social worker, occupational therapist)
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COPD Education – Continuous Maintenance

Objective 

To cover in depth all the necessary elements of self-management education as per the LWWCOPD, with priorities based on patient goals and identified treatable traits

Actors
Patient, Educator (Nurse, RT or Physician)

Timelines
A number of “Core” educational modules have been identified which cover the basic COPD education from the LWWCOPD program. Additionally, optional modules can be used to respond to patient needs. The timeline (frequency, number of modules to be covered at a given education session) is fully customizable, although we recommend to have education sessions every 2-weeks during the “active” phase of education. Once this is completed, the patient continues to the Maintenance Mode (see below).

Description
  • Launched at the onboarding protocol
  • Provide basic overview of COPD self-management based on LWWCOPD (medication adherence, inhaler techniques, PLB technique & energy conservation) up to the development of an Action plan for early exacerbation recognition and management.
  • Prioritize self-learning by the patient (e.g. watching videos, reading educational materials, completing homework) in addition to live sessions with the Educator. Educational materials are sent to the patient directly via the platform, and become the patient’s own library. The Educator can customize which “homework” the patient receives.
  • Educators have access to “User guides” to standardise their educational intervention. These user guides include: objectives, interventions, suggested questions, evaluation of self-efficacy, and learning contracts for each module.
  • Once the core education is completed, the patient can continue to the Respiratory Status Follow-up Workflow (run in parallel)

The Maintenance Mode
  • As soon as the maintenance mode is engaged, the frequency of visits Educator/Patient is reduced to once every 6 months.
  • During the Maintenance Mode sessions, the educator has access to all the education modules and can choose any piece of content that needs to covered with the patient. 
  • A streamlined evaluation (similar to the initial eval.) is done during each “maintenance” visit to identify any substantial changes on the patient’s needs that will require some adjustment. The patient could come back to an “active” education mode (more frequent education sessions, e.g. every 2 weeks).
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COPD Respiratory Status Follow-up

Objective

Monitoring of stable patients from a clinic in order to identify early any aggravation of symptoms (exacerbation) and implement an action plan

Actors
Patient, Educator (Nurse, RT or Physician)

Timelines
Scheduled regular automated follow-up to the patient symptoms. Intensity/Frequency can be adjusted by the Educator depending on patient needs (e.g. daily, every week, etc.). Ongoing through the year.

Description
  • Launch: Patients who have completed the Core Educational including setting-up an action plan.
  • Regular automated questions allow to identify any change in patient’s symptoms and severity.
  • If an exacerbation is detected the patient gets a reminder to engage their self-management strategies while waiting for the Educator to call back.
  • An alarm is generated for the Educator, so they immediately call back the patient. At this call they will evaluate any further intervention required and schedule additional follow-up.
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