Telus Announces Electronic Health Service

by Jordan Richardson on June 2, 2010

A little over a month ago I wrote about the revenue Telus generated in “health care solutions” and how the company was hoping to move forward in the field to maximize profits. With that in mind, Telus has just announced its foray into the business of electronic health records.

Telus will be launching the first national program that would allow doctors and their patients to share critical health information. The program is called “Telus Health Space” and it is receiving early support from the Heart and Stroke Foundation and the Canadian Diabetes Association.

The system is taken from the skeleton of current social networking trends and will function as a way for patients to share their information, including medical history and test results, in a forum that can be accessed by their doctors. The goal is to cut down on needless person-to-person doctor visits and costly testing that could just as easily be done in the patient’s home.

Other similar systems have been used in pockets of Canada, but Telus’ project will be the first nationwide system of its kind. The system will work like a “high security, high bandwidth” database.

“Now, Canadians will have the ability to create, store and manage their personal health information across their computers and smart phones and, in the future, TVs,” said Telus chief executive Darren Entwhistle. “In a world where wireless network technology has enabled powerful mobile computing, their health information can be right at their fingertips, wherever their lifestyles or business travels take them because their smart-phone will accompany them,” he continued.

Telus will be using Microsoft’s HealthVault platform, marking the first time the program has been used internationally.

Telus fully believes that this program can “revolutionize” the health care system in Canada and they might be right. The efficiency such a program could deliver could wind up cutting costs and granting access to key information to patients in need. It would free up time for general practitioners, too.

Of course, privacy concerns should be at the top of the list for those looking to thoroughly assess the Telus Health Space Project. In a world where privacy issues over Facebook remain enough to draw millions of irate users out into the open, imagine the problems that could arise should there be significant privacy issues related to peoples’ private health information. It wouldn’t just be marital statuses and inappropriate pictures leaking to the general population.

For Telus, landing this project on such a significant scale will be a considerable fiscal windfall. The ability of Telus Health Space Project to streamline our health care system and speed up some of its slower processes is admirable, but without further investigation it’s hard to come up with a concrete conclusion in support of this latest project from the telecom giant.

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Written by: Jordan Richardson. www.digitcom.ca >. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com > by: RSS >, Twitter >, Identi.ca >, or Friendfeed >

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