BIoT Canada

Three firms bring advanced telehealth services to Canada’s North

September 27, 2016  

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Ice Wireless, a mobile network operator in Canada’s North, and its parent company Iristel Inc., a national telecom carrier, are joining forces with Pharmaceutical Innovation Ltd. to offer telehealth services to rural and isolated Arctic and sub-Arctic areas, including amenities not yet available on other wireless networks across Canada.

“This is an area filled with rural communities that historically find themselves on the backburner when it comes to technological advances,” said Samer Bishay, president of both Iristel and Ice Wireless. “Using Iristel’s secured cloud infrastructure and Pharm Innovation’s products and services, Ice will begin its e-health pilot early in 2017.”

The firms said in a release that “it will mean doctors, nurses and family members can monitor patients and loved ones remotely and in real-time. For example, among the many varied applications, if an elderly person forgets to take her medication or her heartrate and blood pressure spike, caregivers hundreds or thousands of kilometres away will be alerted.

“Location-based technology will allow the app to locate the nearest hospital or health facility to the primary user and the app ensures that prescriptions are automatically refilled at the user’s pharmacy of choice.

Pharm Innovation, said Bishay, has developed products that provide a holistic patient-centred approach to healthcare and medication management, insuring compliance and adherence.”

One such service is Health Espresso, a Bluetooth-enabled app that acts as a virtual caregiver through technology and interface that is equipped with verbal communication and speech recognition. The primary user, typically an elderly or physically-challenged individual, wears a Bluetooth-enabled medical data collection device.

A secondary user, either a family member or doctor, is connected to the data from the app at all times. The app also populates and tracks medication intake and checks for any adverse drug-to-drug interaction.

“Working with Iristel and Ice is a great fit, not only culturally through shared vision of using technology to improve lives, but because we see it critically important to roll out e-health in rural areas where patients sometimes travel hours and hours to get medical attention we take for granted in urban areas,” said Tamer Mikhail, president and founder of Pharmaceutical Innovation.