Five Policy Recommendations for the Canadian Federal Government to Accelerate the Growth and Impact of Digital Health


  • Trevor Jamieson



Digital health has become an increasingly essential component of a high-performing health system. Changes to health care delivery during COVID-19 highlighted the need to enable digital health and modernize health information systems. Canada needs a national approach to digital health to enable our health care system to operate effectively in the 21stcentury. The current siloed approach limits the ability of patients to benefit from digital health and of health institutions to integrate digital tools. A unified approach to digital health will enable Canada to offer a health care system commensurate with the expectations of all Canadians.


This paper details five policy positions to promote this unified, digital health infrastructure in Canada.

  1. Patient Data Access is Essential: Patients should own their own data. They must be given access to their data upon request in a computable format, without charge or delay.
  2. Data Movement and Data Sharing is Imperative: Digital data sharing is both a key component of digital health and a crucial enabler of digital health, but it is currently poorly supported. Canada must develop a uniform data interoperability strategy aligned with international standards.
  3. Digital Health is Care: The provision of digital health is now embedded in our health care delivery. Canada must formalize the inclusion of digital health as an essential element of our public health system.
  4. Digital Health must be Inclusive: All Canadians are entitled to an equal opportunity to participate in digital health.
  5. A Federal Approach is Critical: We need a national, collaborative approach to solve the innovation drag caused by our approaches to evaluation, procurement, and privacy/security. Our current siloed approach disadvantages the Canadian health care system, the Canadian population, and Canadian industry.


We suggest tangible next steps that leverage data to improve care, promote digital health care for those who need it most, and help Canada become a world leader in digital health innovation that directly benefits Canadian residents and grows our digital health industry.






Research Papers