Technology-Enabled Knowledge Translation Investigative Centre (TEKTIC)
The mission of the Technology Enabled Knowledge Translation Investigative Centre—or TEKTIC—is to understand, explore, and innovate on how information and communications technologies (ICT) can be used effectively to accelerate the translation of health research evidence into routine practice and health system implementation. The Centre’s research currently focuses on chronic disease management through ICT. TEKTIC has five major objectives:
- Human-technology interface – usability and data visualization: to examine the interface between humans and technological tools, with an aim to optimize ICT integration in health care contexts. For example, the team is investigating the technological readiness of physicians for using hand-held computer devices to access clinical practice guidelines for the management of chronic diseases.
- Technology demonstration: to design, develop, and evaluate information technologies intended to enhance clinical practice.
- Research synchronization for effective knowledge dissemination and change management: to understand and coordinate efforts towards effective systems-based knowledge translation, engaging health professionals in eHealth adoption and implementation—as well as the community—to improve communication between practitioners and patients.
- eHealth evidence-based policy translation: to assist health policy-makers in incorporating eHealth evidence into policy innovation.
- Capacity building: to nurture existing and emerging researchers interested in the exploration of ICT in promoting knowledge translation.
It commonly takes more than 20 years for advances in medical knowledge to become widely incorporated into clinical practice. While “best practice” medical regimens and disease management strategies become more complex, health professionals remain faced with limited resources and inadequate continuing education opportunities. The process of integrating evidence into case management is also currently ineffective; communication is lacking between researchers and practitioners and policy-makers, who may be resistant to integrating new information into their day-to-day work. Modern information and communication technologies—such as computers, the Internet, personal digital assistants (PDAs) and videoconferencing—have revolutionized our ability to find and retrieve information. The potential benefits of these enablers, coupled with the demands of ever-increasing complexity within the health system, suggest an important role for technology to support education, patient care and evidence-based clinical decision-making within medical practice.
Researchers within TEKTIC are working to understand, explore and innovate on how information and communication technologies used within a healthcare setting – known as eHealth – can be used most effectively, and accelerate the translation of health research evidence into routine health care practice and implementation into the health system. With a current focus on chronic disease management, the Unit focuses on developing new technologies and assessing their usability and effectiveness within health practice, assisting with the incorporation of eHealth evidence into health policy innovation, and coordinating eHealth adoption and implementation across the health system.