Community Learning Space

Press Release

July 26, 2002
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

UW offers online presentations on value of
Information Technology in health system

WATERLOO, Ont. -- On-line video recordings of the innovative "Smarter Health" seminar series are now available, the infraNet Project and the Education Program for Health Informatics Professionals (EPHIP) at the University of Waterloo announced today.

The series, hosted by UW president David Johnston, addressed key issues about the dependence of the health system on information technology, the adequacy of the investment in these technologies, and whether the health system is getting its money's worth.

Full video and audio of the presentations and copies of the presenters' slides can be accessed via the infraNET web site ( and clicking on "View Our Seminars Online."

The presentations available include:

  • John Oliver Building the Foundation for e-Health in Ontario
  • Dr. Jan Steiner An Informationally (and Maybe Functionally) Impaired Health System
  • Dr. Craig Lehmann Delivering Diagnostic Services In A Community Based Health Care System and the Economic Impact of Information Technology
  • Dominic Covvey Achieving a Clinical Dose of IT, How Much IT is Enough?
  • Dr. Bob Bernstein What can the IT-Enabled Health System Be and Do?
  • Jeannine Parent CHIPPing Away Federal Government Investment in Health IT
  • Dr. Robbie Campbell Project Outreach Ontario-Based Tele-Psychiatry Project
  • Greg Keeling Healthcare, Technology and Privacy Challenges and Opportunities
  • An Expert Panel Smarter Health Pulling It Together

"We heard a consistent message during the series that there is great promise and there are great expectations for IT in the health system, but we must get beyond promises and expectations," said Dominic Covvey, who leads several UW health informatics initiatives in the School of Computer Science.

"Our system is still information-impaired due to poor investment and under-investment in IT. Perhaps even more important than the technologies is the strategy and the will to deploy them at a level that will make a real difference."

"This important series furthers the infraNET Project's goal of examining the impact of information and communication technologies on the community," says Shirley Fenton, manager of the infraNET Project at UW. "The Smarter Health Seminars addressed the issue of better health care through information technology -- a topic which is of interest to us all."

The Smarter Health Seminars will resume on Sept. 18. The upcoming series, "Smarter Health -- The Innovators," will highlight innovative contributions of private industry and collaborations between private industry and health organizations in our health care system.

UW, an established leader in innovative approaches in information technology, has many research projects related to Internet applications. The infraNET Project was established to provide a focus for these activities and to make the results broadly accessible. EPHIP is a diploma program from UW targeted on the advanced skilling and re-skilling of professionals in health informatics.



Shirley Fenton, manager, infraNET,
(519) 888-4074;
From John Morris, UW News Bureau,
(519) 888-4435;

UW Release no. 155 -- July 26, 2002
Jim Fox
UW News Bureau
Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1
(519) 888-4444