OTN Year in Review

Over the last three fiscal years, total telemedicine activity has grown an average of 45% per annum.
We are excited about the impact telemedicine has had on the delivery of health care, and continuing education for providers in our province. We look forward to providing continued support for the health care system for years to come.


OTN bridges the barriers of time and distance to place health care directly into the hands of patients.

Everyday, more and more healthcare providers are adopting telemedicine to deliver more efficient care to their patients. As a result, Ontarians are receiving better access to care, and are gaining greater control over their health through innovative technology such as at-home management tools.



Therapeutic areas of care were served


  • Primary Care 8%

43,732 primary care events

  • Respirology 8%

5,875 respirology events

  • Oncology 5%

20,235 oncology events

  • Mental Health* 62%

327,707 mental health events
*Almost 2/3 of all clinical events were Mental Health related

For residents living in Northern Ontario, travel for specialized medical care can represent a significant personal and economic burden. OTN decided to launch a campaign which would increase the frequency of its use by specialists. It worked.

As a result:

Number of kilometres in patient travel avoided by using telemedicine.

Estimated litres of fuel saved.

How much care did we deliver?

total telemedicine events* this year were enabled. Representing a 34% increase from last year.


Clinical events were represented out of total activity for the year.

Patients were cared for across Ontario.

*Event: an event refers to the number of connections made to a telemedicine activity. Primarily, there are two types of events a) a clinical event where a provider is treating or consulting with one or more patients b) an indirect clinical event where two or more providers are consulting patient information.

Where was care delivered?

OTN’s Telehomecare program has proven great success, with early results indicating a 71% reduction in hospital admissions as well as a 43% reduction in ER visits among Telehomecare patients.

clinical events in the home were supported by OTN during 2015/16.


of Northern Ontario’s communities are within an hour’s drive of an OTN unit.

telemedicine systems active in First Nation on-reserve communities. As a result, the number of patients needing to travel to an Aboriginal Health Access Centre for specialty care has decreased.

How did we connect Ontarians to care?

Health care professionals and their patients can easily connect to OTN from videoconferencing sites located at hospitals and health care offices across Ontario. Last year OTN launched software to give health care professionals and patients the ability to connect from the convenience of their personal computers and tablets which welcomed 2,971 users this year.

More specifically there were:

This translates to patients served:

530,694 videoconferencing provider to patient clinical events
11,303 clinical events over Store Forward
12,007 videoconferencing provider to provider clinical events

Peer to Peer Videoconferencing

Provider to Patient Videoconferencing


The OTN network offers health care providers a private and secure network to easily and effectively collaborate with one another to improve care delivery. Funded by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, our network and services expand across the province to bridge the distance of time and geography. This brings more patients the care they need, where and when they need it. Health care providers are also given access to resources and education they wouldn’t otherwise have access to.

physicians and allied health professionals participated in clinical events.

telemedicine events were enabled by OTN (31% increase from last year)

educational events across took place across the province using telemedicine.

Telemedicine in the community

OTN has had a significant impact on many forms of therapeutic care for patients in the home, community and hospital settings across Ontario in 2015/16.

OTNhub had 21,390 users subscribed at the end of this year – 32% were physicians and 21% healthcare administrators, followed by nurses, Telemedicine Coordinators, and allied health professionals. In Q4, 919 new sites were added to the network for a total of 1,652 sites with 3,413 systems across the 14 LHINs. There were also 2,971 personal videoconferencing users provisioned.

At the end of this fiscal year, there was 12,323 personal computer videoconferencing users and a total of 17,889 Send Invites during the year.

There were 3,324 first-time patients enrolled in the Telehomecare program in FY 2015/16.

2,730 Teledermatology consultations occurred in Q4 for a total of 9,651. Through OTN’s Teledermatology service, the average wait time for a primary care provider to receive the dermatologist’s assessment continues to be less than 5 days.

Through OTN’s Teleophthalmology service, 325 retinal screenings were conducted in Q4 for a year-end total of 1,652 screenings sooner and closer to home. This represents a 12% increase over last fiscal year.

The provincial eConsult pilot initiated in partnership with OntarioMD continues to progress well. Since the pilot launched in January 2015, 644 cases have been completed by physician consultants spanning over 25 specialties. Referrals were avoided in 80% of the cases, as reported by referrers. This allows the physician consultants to see other patients and reduces wait time for the patients. The average wait time for a referrer to receive the specialist’s assessment is less than 5 days

In total, there were 24,394 educational events conducted over OTN. 15,081 videoconference learning events, 4,633 webcast events, 4,680 webconference events.

Clinical activity by region

Of the total patients served via telemedicine, 23% resided in the North (LHINs 13 & 14)

Health care Providers Activity

The top three LHINs providing the most consulting activity were…

young surgeon in scrubs

What is Telemedicine?

Together we are working to make health care better in Ontario.

Learn more >

doctor sitting at computer

Who is OTN?

OTN is a not-for-profit organization funded by the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care charged with building a sustainable and responsive virtual care system.

Learn more >

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How is OTN Making a Difference in Ontario

Connected care has deep roots in this province. Learn More about how we are making a difference in Ontario.

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