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Digital care for substance abuse introduced in Ontario

The platform comes from Wagon Health Solutions, who have worked with the Edgewood Health Network to develop the digital solution. With the new platform, healthcare providers throughout Ontario can begin to offer digital based support for those classed as having a substance use disorder into healthcare programs. The digital solution should lower costs as well as offering affordably a more efficient service.

The partnership has qualified for Vendor of Record status with the Ontario Telemedicine Network. The qualification also extends to a range of participant organizations, including the Canada Health Infoway. Vendor of Record arrangement means a procurement arrangement that authorizes qualified vendors to provide goods or services to one or more Canadian ministries for a defined period on terms and conditions, including pricing.

The agreement and qualification with the government is in keeping with the strategy of the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term-Care, aimed at improving access and support people suffering from mental health and substance use disorders.

The agreement is designed to offer a remote access solution. According to Dr. Ed Brown, who is the chief executive of the Ontario Telemedicine Network (OTN): “What Wagon brings to the table as one of three newly qualified vendors on the Vendor of Record is the ability to provide support to help individuals with addiction challenges reduce or eliminate addiction behaviours and the associated risks.”

The OTN provides telemedicine services. Telemedicine refers to the application of telecommunications technology to deliver clinical health care within Ontario at a distance. The objective is to improve access to medical services, which would typically not be available consistently to distant rural communities.

The medic adds: “This qualification supports OTN’s commitment to integrate technology into models of care to increase access to services and engage people in managing their substance use disorder challenges.”

Wagon was awarded the criteria for meeting a series of OTN measures, such as patient experience, improved access to care and improved function and quality of life. The digital platform comes available as a clinical care app, which enables healthcare providers to monitor and connect with patients digitally.

The digital platform was developed for clinicians by clinicians, with one of the key objectives being avoiding relapse prevention.

Written By

Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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