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Area residents will have access to their own personal health information as Hamilton Health Sciences sets up a regional patient portal.

The portal will allow up to 3.6 million residents of southwest Ontario to read their test results, share records with caregivers and enter their own health information securely. It will also make it possible to privately message physicians and book appointments.

It is a partnership between Hamilton Health Sciences and Toronto’s Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre with the funding coming from Canada Health Infoway.

It will integrate data from existing digital health tools ClinicalConnect and MyChart. HHS already operates ClinicalConnect, which is a portal that aggregates health records from 67 acute-care hospitals. Sunnybook’s MyChart is being used by 250,000 patients in Toronto and Ottawa.

HHS will aim to start out with 65,000 people taking part when the portal is initially deployed.

Call to action on Indigenous health

Hamilton health-care workers took part in the 2017 Canadian Stroke Congress to discuss Indigenous health, rehabilitation after stroke, and a combination therapy that can reduce the risk of cardiovascular death.

The congress in Calgary from Sept. 8 to 11 featured a call to action by Wendelyn Johnson from the De dwa da dehs Nye>s Aboriginal Health Centre at Six Nations.

She talked about the stark reality of Indigenous people facing a significantly higher likelihood of developing heart disease and stroke, while facing massive barriers in getting prevention help and care.

McMaster University neurology professor Dr. Wes Oczkowski warned that more than 400,000 Canadians live with a long-term disability from stroke. The number is expected to almost double in the next 20 years.

His talk looked at up-and-coming advances in stroke rehabilitation, from computers to robots to drugs.

A Hamilton-led study getting global attention was also talked about at the congress.

Neurology associate professor Dr. Mark Sharma discussed the COMPASS Trial , which found Aspirin combined with the anticoagulant rivaroxaban cuts the risk of stroke, heart attacks and cardiovascular death by 24 per cent.

The results were so stark that the clinical trial involving 27,400 patients from 33 countries was stopped earlier than planned in February 2017.

Highest academic honour

A Hamilton doctor has received Canada’s highest academic honour for his research into the treatment and prevention of blood clot complications.Dr. Mark Crowther has been elected to the Academy of Science of the Royal Society of Canada for his work focused on improving existing anticoagulant drugs.The chair of the department of medicine at McMaster University is studying whether Vitamin K can improve the quality of the blood thinner warfarin, and the use of anticoagulant drugs in patients with kidney failure.He will be inducted into the Royal Society Nov. 23 in Winnipeg, along with McMaster professor of English and cultural studies Lorraine York .York is a contemporary Canadian literature specialist with a particular interest in Canadian literary stars and celebrity culture.In total, there are 71 McMaster affiliated fellows of the Royal Society.905-526-3349 | @Jfrketich

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