The OTN Advantage


This is Telemedicine’s moment


For patients, telemedicine is about access and convenience. For Ontario’s health care system, telemedicine is about survival. Ontario’s Action Plan for Health Care calls for a system that delivers care in a better way and provides increased value for taxpayers. Telemedicine supports this mandate by enabling a new model of patient-centred care, allowing providers to extend their reach while improving quality, increasing satisfaction and lowering costs. OTN is ready to take telemedicine to scale by introducing this secure, confidential and universal solution into every home and health care institution across the province. However, for Ontario’s telemedicine network to reach its full potential, expanded partnerships and a new policy and regulatory framework are required. Ontario’s health care system is worth saving. We must not let this opportunity to provide better care for less money slip away.

  • Access and answers: patients will be able to ask for advice and book appointments using their mobile devices.
  • Faster care: family practitioners will be able to confer with specialists from their offices.
  • Reduced costs: remote monitoring will reduce reliance on emergency rooms and readmission for patients who’ve been in hospital.

Ontario has a window of opportunity right now to better serve patients, improve our health care system and make it more sustainable.


One Patient, One Care Plan, One Team.

OTN now connects providers so they can collaborate with one another and communicate with patients. In the very near future, the entire system will revolve around the patient. Working with the Ministry and our eHealth partners, OTN’s vision is that each patient will have a single care plan. By integrating OTN’s telemedicine platform into Ontario’s eHealth services, connected providers can effectively collaborate with each other and move in and out of the plan to better serve patients. Patients will be able to focus on getting well, outcomes will improve and the system will become much more cost effective. The Ontario Telemedicine Network is a made-in-Ontario solution. OTN’s platform, tools, programs and services were developed in consultation with providers in every part of Ontario’s health care system so that real-world solutions could be rapidly developed, tested and deployed. Today, OTN with its partners and funders has brought together one of the largest networks of connected care providers in the world. OTN’s confidence in virtual care and the way it will continue to transform health care comes from seeing the results of early efforts. Whether it is reduced hospital admissions through Telehomecare, shorter wait times thanks to the Telederm project, or fewer deaths due to the Telestroke initiative, the results are compelling. OTN is helping drive a new level of collaboration between health care providers, patients and government.



  • Improving access to specialists especially for rural and northern Ontarians
  • Enhancing quality patient-centred care through closer-to-home care and improved follow-up
  • Supporting the application of best practices and guidelines
  • Improving health care provider effectiveness
  • Reducing avoidable use of the health care system
  • Supporting system sustainability through professional development

And OTN is positioned to do much more. First, Ontarians want direct access to their health care team via a secure telemedicine system that is part of the public health care system they know and trust. OTN is that provider. Second, OTN can marshal the best of emerging virtual care solutions – establishing standards for these products and services – and integrate them into OTN’s delivery platform. Third, OTN is the right vehicle to develop the strategy for virtual care in Ontario. It has the expertise, partnerships in the health care and technology sectors, and 20 years of experience in telemedicine innovation and delivery. Through comprehensive telemedicine adoption, Ontario can avoid $244.9M in annual costs by:

  • Avoid 12,118 emergency visits from long term care ($8.8M)
  • Avoid travel grants to northern and rural communities to have 160,552 specialists visits ($61.8M)
  • Avoid 1,348 Telecrisis emergency room visits by treating patients in lower cost settings ($600K)
  • Avoid 435 critical care transfers ($2.3M)
  • Through Telehomecare, reduce unscheduled emergency visits, walk-in clinic visits or hospital admissions due to unmanaged chronic disease ($171.4M)
  • 87% felt as comfortable receiving care through telemedicine as they would have in person.

But telemedicine also has other benefits:

  • Patient convenience through avoided travel time and costs
  • Reduced wait times
  • Health care provider efficiency
Teleophthalmology for diabetic screening 6 Months 4 Weeks
Dermatology consulation 5 Weeks 5 Days
Mental Health Crisis 48 Hours 2 Hours

These Benefits are vital to the development of a sustainable health care system.