The skyrocketing costs of public healthcare in Canada have caused a paradigm shift in minds of health care agencies throughout the country. Many leading doctors and health professionals have been saying that Canada needs to move away from our reactive health care system to a more proactive and predictive one. As it stands, the Canadian medical system only begins to work with us once we are already sick. It reacts once the illness has already arrived. A proactive model would seek to prevent the illness from manifesting to begin with. Basically, it would follow a ‘best offense is a good defense’ line of thinking. There are two parts to the proactive healthcare model:
Proactive– Proactive care takes into account the activities of the individual to determine their likelihood of developing chronic disease. Since tobacco use, alcohol consumption, physical inactivity, and unhealthy eating causes 90% of chronic disease, it is easy to factor what illnesses the patient may be susceptible to. The proactive healthcare plan can take preventative steps to avoid the illnesses before they even manifest.
Predictive– Predictive care goes even deeper in preventative healthcare. Using algorithms and genetic testing, the predictive method would determine what chronic diseases the patient may be more susceptible, years before the onset of the symptoms.
A new approach to healthcare in Canada could bring significant improvements on our society and the individual. With 51% of Canadians over the age of 20 suffering from at least one chronic disease, our healthcare costs have ballooned out of control. As our country ages, it will only get worse. A “Good Defense” approach by our healthcare system could potentially save our country billions of dollars by preventing the illnesses before they happen. A fantastic example of the use of the proactive approach would be the use of biosensors. Think of a biosensor that monitors the body and its functions. Such applications of a biosensor include glucose monitoring for diabetes patients and the prevention of critical health events such as strokes. At a more personal level, a proactive approach could mean something even deeper. A debilitating illness is devastating for the entire family. The proactive approach could help you and your loved one combat, perhaps even completely avoid, disease before it even manifests itself. Even if the illness is unavoidable, the proactive/predictive method could lessen the effects/symptoms and help your family be better prepared for the onset of the disease. One aspect of the proactive/predictive method is that it aims to empower the patient. Rather than sitting passively and being treated for their condition, the proactive approach allows the patient to become an active partner in their treatment. This is important as it fosters a sense of empowerment and active living in patients who often feel powerless and out of control because of their situations.
What can you do? Our healthcare system has not changed yet. It is still using the reactive method of treating chronic illnesses. If it does adopt the proactive/predictive approach, it may take many years to do so. However, there is nothing stopping you from adopting this approach yourself in your care for your loved one. Several healthcare agencies and start-ups have started using the proactive approach in Toronto, Mississauga, and Burlington. You could also contact iCare Home Health and speak to us regarding the proactive/predictive approach and how it could help your loved one. Providing home health care in Burlington, Oakville, Milton, Georgetown, Mississauga, and Toronto, iCare Home Health provides several services, including Nurse at Home and Live-In Care packages, which could implement a proactive approach. After all, while we all hope for sunshine, you always want to prepare for floods.