Consistent promotion of user acceptance as a key to success – A Skype interview with Jennifer Zelmer on Digital Health in Canada

In our #SmartHealthSystems study, we analyzed 17 countries on the state of digitalization in healthcare. In our specifically developed Digital Health Index, Canada earned an excellent second place. As our country report shows, political consensus and commitment to digitalization are strong in Canada. While the healthcare system is state-funded, it is managed at provincial level. The dedicated organisation “Canada Health Infoway”, acts as a strategic investor and central e-health coordinating body, which defines specific goals and implementation strategies. Since 2001, the non-profit organization has been for instance responsible for the implementation of an interoperable electronic health record (EHR).

In the Skype interview, Dr. Jennifer Zelmer, President and CEO of the Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement, explains that new e-health services will be successful if they address the needs of citizens and healthcare professionals, and are in turn perceived as valuable clinical support. In Canada, the acceptance of new technologies has been systematically promoted through targeted user involvement and awareness campaigns. For Dr. Zelmer, the resulting engagement of citizens and physicians constitutes a key factor for the successful digitization process in Canada. In the interview, she also describes how telemedicine has become a well-established part of healthcare in many Candadian provinces, as have health portals, which make patient information available nationwide.


The interview was recorded via Skype on March 19, 2019.

All study contents and an interactive map can be found at:


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