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Quinte Health is teaming up with Gotcare and the Reach Alliance at the University of Toronto, on a new project to help improve access to care for people in the North Hastings area by providing in-home triage and health monitoring tools with the help of Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology.

This initiative, funded in part by DIGITAL, aims to help address the lack of healthcare workers and reduce wait times in this rural area. 

Eligible residents will be matched with a Health Ambassador – a community care provider with digital health skills who can use simple language to explain AI concepts to residents. The Health Ambassadors collaborate with virtual clinicians to deliver as much care as possible in the home setting, aiming to improve care accessibility, reduce hospitalizations, and provide early interventions.

By providing home-based care, the project aims to reduce the region’s long wait times for primary and home care, a common issue in rural areas where few doctors are available. Gotcare Health Ambassadors will work closely with Quinte Health staff and in collaboration with community health providers with the Hastings Prince Edward Ontario Health Team to monitor residents at home in order to spot health issues early and take action before hospital care is required — especially for those who do not have a family doctor.

“One of Quinte Health’s core values is, ‘imagine it’s you’,” said Gina Johar, Vice President and Chief Digital Officer of Quinte Health. “But with strained health care staffing, it can be difficult to ensure patients are getting the right care in the right place. By partnering with Gotcare, we can offer more support and early interventions to our patients — all from the comfort of their own home.”

Similar technology has been used in urban centres with very positive patient experience reports and the goal is to have equal success in the rural area of North Hastings.

The University of Toronto’s Reach Alliance will study the project to understand its impact and potentially make policy recommendations for broader applications. 

Gotcare is a national health technology start-up reimagining health services in the home. Its mission is to create a more inclusive and responsive in-home care model that is built for the way people want and expect today’s services to function.

DIGITAL is a federal program focused on investing in technology breakthrough initiatives that keep Canadians healthy, address climate change and drive economic productivity, and that can be spread and scaled across Canada.