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article imageNew digital initiative to improve health literacy rates

By Tim Sandle     Jul 25, 2018 in Health
Health literacy is a major concern, even with greater access to digital information. This ranges from understanding conditions to knowing the side-effects of drugs. To address this, Toronto-based Novus Health it has partnered with iA Financial Group.
Novus Health’s partnership with the iA Financial Group will provide group insurance clients the necessary tools that insurance plan members require to understand their own health, plus advice for pursuing wellness and other data so that they can make informed decisions.
According to Novus Health’s analysis many people struggle with so-termed ‘health literacy’, with the focus of the analysis being Canadian citizens. It is noted that there is a particular problem in terms of navigating Canada's health care systems and then using the information to understand options.
Health literacy is about people having the knowledge, skills, understanding and confidence they need to be able to use health and care information and services. The term is used by the World Health Organization (WHO).
There is an added complexity using the Internet to find health related information, with many people stating that finding relevant and accurate information being challenging. The process of finding appropriate health information is also time consuming. Many Canadians expressed the view that often they simply just want to speak to someone.
Novus Health is offering a solution, through the company’s personalized access program, which provides the means to people to discuss their health-related questions over the telephone with healthcare professionals. This is supported by online and mobile platforms, which operate 24/7.
The digital online platform has been designed to be interactive, offering the necessary tools for users to structure their own health data. It is possible for each user to generate their own, personalized health report. This leads to an action plan so that individuals can make lifestyle changes in order to address their overall health. The plan can be updated at regular intervals.
The aim of the platform is to strip away the barriers that exist in terms of other ways to search for health information. The platform, together with the telephone support line, are bilingual. Both provide information about nearby local health services and support services.
An additional service is called “Stay Healthy at Work”, which is a sickness-absence avoidance program, which focuses on the common sources of workplace absence, while at work. An option is available to contact a so-called “health coach” (a term for a registered nurse or other health professional), who can assist with managing a specific health issue. This is in keeping with the proactive nature of the program.
Building health literacy is about the personal characteristics and social resources that are required for individuals and communities to access, understand, appraise and use information and services to make decisions about health. The platform provides one means to achieve this.
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