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A New Digital Health Network Will Create Opportunities for Collaboration in Quebec

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A new interdisciplinary digital health network in Quebec aims to offer innovative support for health technologies, encourage research, and cultivate innovation in digital health practices.

The Réseau de Santé Numérique (RSN) will bring together expertise and resources in digital health and quantitative methods. The RSN is headed by Sarah Ahmed (McGill University), Philippe Després (Université Laval), Aude Motulsky (Université de Montréal), Bouchra Nasri (Université de Montréal), and Martin Vallières (Université de Sherbrooke). Funding from the Fonds de Recherche du Québec – Santé (FRQS) was announced on February 9, 2024.

Bouchra Nasri recently spoke about the growth of the project.

“Our network is a highly interdisciplinary network and includes researchers as well as practitioners, patients, etc. Right now, we have more than 160 regular members, more than 360 student members, and 52 partners. The network is growing very fast; in the last few days we received nearly 40 requests for membership.”

A Central Role for Statistical Scientists

She envisions “an inclusive and integrative scientific approach that brings together researchers, stakeholders, patients, and citizens [to] construct digital health transformative approaches that are trusted by patients and citizens and mitigate risks to digital transformation in health.”

The RSN explains its work in this way: “The network’s scientific activities are structured around four thematic axes: digital platforms and data governance, modelling, intervention, and digital transformation, and aim for capacity development, interdisciplinary training, and knowledge mobilization.”

“There are a lot of opportunities for statistical scientists to collaborate in all aspects of this scientific structure,” noted Bouchra. “The RSN will collaborate on the digital activities of other research networks to consolidate platforms, approaches, and large-scale initiatives.”

Bouchra believes the network will have a significant impact in the form of “collaborative solutions and capacity-building for digital health and quantitative methodologists in Québec.”

CANSSI was a strong supporter of the network proposal, which will lead to new opportunities for statistical scientists and reflects CANSSI’s emphasis on promoting sustained interdisciplinary collaborations that tackle major societal challenges.