How do Canadians feel about healthtech?

A Canadian Medical Association report shows the opportunities (and concerns) resemble those in other sectors.
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Canadians expect healthcare providers and companies to catch up to other categories when it comes to digital tools and technology, but also have similar demands when it comes to how their data is used.

Those findings are based on a report from the Canadian Medical Association, based on a survey of 2,005 Canadians conducted by Ipsos,

Within the next 10 years, 79% of Canadians believe it is likely that they’ll be able to track appointments online, 77% believe they’ll be able to access and share complete medical history with any doctor or health professional at any time and 72% believe they’ll be able to book appointments through an AI system. Nearly six in 10 think it is likely that AI will be able to provide health care services, while roughly half think AI programs will able to accurately diagnosis various diseases and conditions. Roughly 66% believe the use of AI in the healthcare system will have a positive impact on their lives.

In addition to being able to share their history, 84% of Canadians are interested in accessing all of it through a single digital platform. But, much like in other areas where technology is being applied, control over that data is a high concern: 90% believe they should have full ownership of their health data, with 95% saying others (including third parties) should need express approval before getting access.

The willingness to share data goes down, depending on who (or what) is accessing it. Under half of Canadians (46%) are willing to let a program or device – such as Alexa or a FitBit – access their health data, with 44% willing to allow the program to monitor health and report issues to health professionals.

Furthermore, 87% of Canadians are concerned about who has access to their data, with 85% concerned about data ownership and 82% worried that their medical information could be used against them in situations like job applications or or applying for insurance.

However, there is a group of Canadians that are willing to give up their data, depending on how it is used. If the data is anonymized, 42% of Canadians believe it should be made freely available to researchers and governments, with 34% saying they don’t care who gets anonymized data, so long as it’s being used for good. Those numbers go up among millennials, at 54% and 47%, respectively. A further 60% of Canadians believe they should be compensated for access to their health data.