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Bell Canada creates centralized healthcare initiative

TORONTO – Bell Canada has launched the Bell Canada Centre for Healthcare Innovation by consolidating many of the company’s key healthcare IT resources under a single umbrella.

Rooted in Toronto and the Toronto suburb of Richmond Hill – but with branches reaching across Canada – the Bell Canada Centre for Healthcare Innovation has strengths in data infrastructure, repositories, security and privacy, telehealth and mobile communications. Through numerous partners, it’s also addressing the delivery of actual healthcare applications – such as electronic health records, workflow and patient flow improvements.

“Until recently, we did business in healthcare through various channels, such as enterprise, small business, consumer and mobility,” said John Anders (pictured), senior director of business development. “It’s Bell’s commitment to bring a centralized vision and strategy to healthcare. We’re now consolidating all of our healthcare capabilities and solutions.”

As Anders noted, Bell healthcare experts, business solution architects, and strategic planner are all working together in the new Centre for Healthcare Innovation. Its senior managers are reporting to Barry Burton, vice president, vertical markets at Bell Canada.

There are three strategic directions for the centre when working with customers: transformation and access to health information; productivity improvement; and quality of care/patient safety enhancement.

Along with internal resources, the centre also draws on the expertise of sister companies and partners. These include Bell Aliant and its xwave unit, Bell University Labs, along with many strategic allies.

In terms of new, innovative applications, the centre is working on portal solutions, patient kiosks, bed and asset management, bedside terminals, mobile solutions, natural language processing, and many others.

In one project, the Bell Canada Centre for Healthcare Innovation is working with the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) on a wireless, clinical decision support system that will add intelligence to the alerts received by doctors and nurses from bedside monitors.

It’s believed to be one of the first ‘smart’ solutions of its kind, and when completed, it will be offered as a system that can be used by other hospitals throughout the Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) and across Canada.

More details about this application will be included in the March print edition of Canadian Healthcare Technology.