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Life Sciences Summit: Accelerating Canada’s Health Data Ecosystem

Life Sciences Summit: Accelerating Canada’s Health Data Ecosystem

The Life Sciences Summit provided a comprehensive exploration of the challenges and opportunities in Canada's health data landscape.

On November 7, 2023, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce hosted the Life Sciences Summit in the Fairmont Château Laurier in Ottawa, ON, a pivotal event addressing the future of Canada’s health data ecosystem.

This hybrid event brought together influential figures from the public and private sectors to discuss the imperative of data-driven decisions and collaborative efforts in ensuring the sustainability and evolution of Canada’s healthcare system.

Distinguished panelists included Emmanuelle Lamoureux (Health Canada), Sarah Lyons (IQVIA), Brigitte Nolet (Roche Canada), Michael Green (Canada Health Infoway), and David O’Toole (Canadian Institute for Health Information, CIHI). Moderated by Kathy Megyery (Canadian Chamber of Commerce), the panel delved into the challenges and opportunities surrounding health data in Canada.

Key Themes and Insights

1. Collaborative Synergy for a Robust Ecosystem

A resounding theme throughout the summit was underscoring the significance of collaborative efforts between the public and private sectors in shaping a robust Canadian health data ecosystem. The discussions highlighted the pressing need for a world-class infrastructure that facilitates the seamless sharing, integration, and utilization of standardized health data.

2. Imperative of Federal Health Data Legislation

Insights into the proposed federal health data legislation took center stage, while emphasizing its focus on IT vendors. The proposed legislation seeks to establish common standards among vendors and eliminate data blocking practices. Positive engagement with provinces, territories, IT vendors, and other stakeholders have set the stage for a collaborative and informed legislative process. This process stands as a testament to Canada’s commitment to shaping a dynamic and responsive health data landscape.

3. Privacy Concerns and Interoperability

Privacy concerns loomed large in the discussions, with panelists addressing the delicate balance needed to unlock health data for innovation, while preserving Canadians’ trust. The consensus emphasized a multi-faceted approach, combining cultural shifts, legislative adjustments, and robust privacy protection technologies to maintain Canadians’ trust while advancing health data initiatives. The emphasis on interoperability, both within provinces and at a national level, added a layer of complexity that demands thoughtful consideration and strategic planning.

4. International Standards and Pan-Canadian Health-Data Strategy

The discussion transcended national boundaries, drawing parallels with international standards, notably referencing the European Union’s health data space. Insights gathered from the EU’s experience accentuated the critical importance of standard alignment and a universal understanding of privacy considerations. As the discussions unfolded, a resounding consensus emerged on the imperative for Canada to establish its own Pan-Canadian Health-Data Strategy. This strategic approach aims not only to navigate the complexities inherent in the health data landscape but also to seamlessly align with global best practices.

5. A Call for Tangible Progress and Scalability

The closing remarks resonated with a collective call for tangible progress within the next year. Panellists stressed the importance of having clear standards, effective legislation, and practical examples of scaled solutions to demonstrate the impact on clinical care and patient outcomes. The hope is to witness a continued trajectory of growth in patient and physician adoption of health data access.

6. Flotilla: A Collective Effort

The concept of a “flotilla” was introduced as a metaphorical representation of the broader collective effort required to advance the health data agenda for Canadians. This analogy symbolizes the coming together of seemingly different interests to achieve common objectives. It embodies the spirit of collaboration, emphasizing the need for diverse stakeholders to unite in navigating the complex currents of Canada’s health data landscape.

The Life Sciences Summit provided a comprehensive exploration of the challenges and opportunities in Canada’s health data landscape. As stakeholders continue to navigate the complexities of privacy, interoperability, and legislation, the summit laid the groundwork for future advancements. The collective commitment to shaping a world-class health data ecosystem in Canada was evident, setting the stage for meaningful progress in the coming year.

We would like to acknowledge that this summit took place on the traditional territory of the Algonquin Anishnaabeg People. The Canadian Chamber of Commerce recognizes and appreciates their historic connection to this place. We also value the contributions that Inuit, Métis and other Indigenous Peoples have made, both in shaping and strengthening this community, province and country.

2023 Executive Summit Series

Our Executive Summit Series gives us the opportunity to take a deep dive into issues our political leaders need to consider to ensure public policies drive business success.

Each event will ignite insightful conversations with some of Canada’s most influential business leaders and government officials, as we strive to meet our biggest challenges: the future of people, technology, trade and climate.

Gain More Impact

We are at our best as a network when we connect, learn and discover through the many in-person and virtual events, webinars and gatherings we host.

Presenting Sponsors

Thank You to Our Excellence Level Partners

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