Using Technology to Improve Health

Plan to Tackle Antimicrobial Resistance Unveiled

The Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Health, released the Government of Canada’s plan to tackle antimicrobial resistance this week. The Antimicrobial Resistance and Use in Canada: A Federal Framework for Action highlights the actions necessary to address antimicrobial resistance and use in Canada in order to protect Canadians, our animals, and the safety of the food we eat. The framework outlines three strategic areas of focus: surveillance, stewardship, and innovation; and unveils four priority action items.

The framework was developed by the Public Health Agency of Canada in collaboration with Health Canada, Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Canadian Institutes of Health Research and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.

Read the news release and learn more about antimicrobial resistance here.

Innovative Use of Technology to Help Dementia Patients

Around forty-four million people worldwide suffer from dementia and this figure is expected to triple by 2050, as the global population ages. Many dementia patients need round the clock care. However, the cost of care is often very high and many a live in care giver may not be affordable.  

Scientists are looking at technologies that can support people living with dementia and their caregivers. One such idea is of the ‘smart house’.  The ‘smart house’ would be outfitted with ‘sensor alerts’ in locations like the bathroom and kitchen. This way, if taps are left running or the gas is left on, sensors can shut them off and raise an alarm. An ‘automatic reminder’ would be another way to assist - a pre-recorded voice prompt would play as a person enters or leaves their home, for example reminding them to take their keys or to lock the front door.

You can find out more about other innovative devices here.

Chief Public Health Officer’s Report on the State of Public Health in Canada

This year marks the tenth anniversary of the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC). This year’s Chief Public Health Officer’s report looks at some of the challenges and opportunities influencing public health and Canada down the road.

In particular, the report looks at population aging and the changing demographics of our country. It also focuses on the change in climate that is taking place and examines how these changes are influencing the health of Canadians. Research and investment in public health practices will be required to address these challenges.

Technology is one of the numerous tools that are used in Public Health and as we all know, it is constantly changing with new innovations and improvements. This year’s report highlights how  technology in particular can be and is being used to address several key functions of public health, including health promotion and protection, education and awareness, and surveillance.

Visit the Agency’s website and read more from the report here.