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Dr. Matthew Chow’s Story: Access to Care through Telepsychiatry

Public investments in digital health have quite literally made my career as an e-Health leader. When I started my medical training, something as simple as video chatting was choppy and more of a gimmick than an effective communication tool.

I entered residency in a field that remained largely unchanged for more than 50 years. I saw patients in clinics and hospitals built decades ago. My professional life was tied to the city that I lived in. There were few opportunities to reach people in distant communities unless I was willing to deal with a grueling travel schedule.

Everything changed when our government made public investments in videoconferencing technology in clinics and hospitals throughout the province. Telehealth became available in nearly every small town and city. Suddenly the world was opened to me. I decided to build a career on this.

I became the medical director of telepsychiatry services at BC Children's & Women's Hospitals. I became an advocate for using digital solutions to address pressing concerns such as equal access to health care services no matter where you live.

I am a psychiatrist but I do not have a couch in my office. Instead I have computers, a tablet, and a smartphone. These tools and public investments in digital health allow me to build a career that will look nothing like those of the people who have gone before me. It's an exciting time for the medical community and patients in this country.

How Technology is Transforming Health Care

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