DIGITAL co-hosts Honourable Minister Mark Holland & Deputy Minister Dr. Lucas, alongside Providence Health Care

It was a privilege co-hosting alongside Providence Health Care to welcome the Canadian Minister of Health, the Honourable Mark Holland, and the Deputy Minister of Health, Dr. Stephen Lucas, as they visited St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver, B.C. 

This welcoming occasion allowed us to showcase the Intelligent Network for Point-of-Care Ultrasound (PoCUS) initiative, which leveraged existing portable ultrasound technology into a legacy of a highly integrated and functional PoCUS social networks accessible to B.C. and Canada’s broader healthcare workforce, so far consisting of 90 point-of-care ultrasound devices in remote, rural and Indigenous communities throughout B.C. 

In B.C. nearly 40% of patients are unable to access specialized diagnostic tests or face long wait times. Furthermore, merely 5% of medical practitioners possess the requisite training to interpret ultrasound scans. The cost to transfer a rural patient to an urban center for urgent diagnostic imaging can be up to $20,000. The PoCUS project represents an innovative response to these challenges by proactively improving patient outcomes while enhancing the reach of healthcare services across remote and rural communities. 

“Increasing access to quality health care in rural, remote and Indigenous communities by allowing patients and health providers to better connect with each other for early intervention and during care delivery is a game changer for all Canadians. Thanks to everyone at DIGITAL for the visit and everything you do to improve health care across British Columbia and Canada. Better access across our country saves lives and together we will continue to improve the sustainability of our health system.” Honourable Minister Mark Holland, Canadian Minister of Health.  

Photo credit: Jon Benjamin Photography