CCBC Committee debates innovation in health

Event also brought information about the Chamber’s mission to Canada, in September

By Sérgio Siscaro

Within its schedule of activities – and anticipating the Health Innovation Canada international mission, which takes place in September – the Health Innovation Committee of the Chamber of Commerce Brazil-Canada (CCBC) promoted in early April an online meeting to discuss topics related to the application of innovative solutions in the segment. On the occasion, the Committee’s co-coordinator, Ricardo Meirelles, shared with the participants his perceptions and experiences during the conference promoted between March 14 and 18 by the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS).

Considered the largest health care and innovation association in the United States, HIMSS brought together about 25,000 people at this year’s meeting in Orlando, Florida. “HIMSS is very much about software technology. They also have a lot of activities with the US government; they are very active in building healthcare policies in the United States,” he said.

According to Meirelles, the main topics discussed at the conference this year were: patient and caregiver experience; use of machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI); equal opportunity in access to health care; interoperability of information systems; and cybersecurity. “There is a big focus on enhancing the patient’s own experience by expanding the range of choices that they and their family can make [regarding medical care], which is being called patient as a partner. This topic was a big hit at the conference,” he reported.

Technology in healthcare

Also discussed was the use of AI tools to handle the filling of medical records, through natural language processing (NLP) technologies – which saves a lot of time for health professionals, who can then attend to their patients in more detail. Another topic linked to technological innovation was the implementation of the Trusted Exchange Framework and Common Agreement (Tefca), which harmonizes the terms, principles, and conditions in the exchange of health information between different institutions. “This is a common basis for patient information. The U.S. government wants to unify the existing networks in order to have a total view of the patients they serve,” he added. The problems resulting from the leakage of this data were also highlighted at the conference, through the creation of a more secure environment.

According to the coordinator, the topics discussed this year by the HIMSS conference are also very present in Canada’s healthcare system. “Regarding the concern with the patient experience, for example, Canada was already acting before the United States. The Canadian health care system is public: the more the patient is involved with his or her care, the less it costs the state,” he pondered. He recalled that the other topics also find application in Canada, such as the use of technology and access to patients’ health information.

Ongoing mission

During the meeting, those present also had updated information about the preparation of the Health Innovation Canada international mission, which will take Brazilians to learn about the innovation ecosystem in the area. “We will take a group of 12 to 15 representatives from hospitals and clinics, and the idea is to show, in loco, all the Canadian innovation, opening up the possibility of partnerships,” stated the Business Development coordinator at CCBC, Elisa Nolli. Meirelles added that the mission represents a great opportunity for Brazilians to interact with centers of excellence in several areas of health – such as, for example, the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre.

Nolli also showed the participants the Committee´s schedule of activities for this year – which includes, in addition to the mission, a specific panel on health at the Canada Day Festival, in June; and the holding of two virtual business rounds – in the first and second half of the year, respectively. The Committee’s activities in 2022 had already begun in February, when the announcement of the CCBC mission to Canada was made.

CCBC’s mission also counts on the support of the Government of Canada and the provinces of Ontario and Quebec, in addition to Investissement Québec. More information by e-mail [email protected].