Happiness. That’s what Alexandre Castonguay, a new professor at the Faculty of Nursing Sciences at the Université de Montréal, wanted to study when he began his academic career.
Over the years, this idea has been refined to lead to health. “I thought that if I studied in a field related to health, I would contribute in some way to improving the human condition and reducing the suffering of people who live in specific conditions,” explains the professor with a bright look. .
Imbued with this conviction, he first completed a bachelor’s degree in psychology at UdeM, then a doctorate in the same discipline at the University of Quebec in Trois-Rivières (UQTR). He then became interested in the motivational factors that influence physical activity in people with type 2 diabetes.
He then carried his altruistic streak into a post-doctorate in nursing at UQTR, where he designed mobile tools to help students and women with gestational diabetes adopt and maintain a healthy lifestyle. He then obtained a position at the National Institute of Public Health in Quebec to work on cognitive health and aging from a preventive perspective.
Finally, he completed a second postdoctoral fellowship, this time with the renowned Professor Guy Paré, holder of the Connected Health Research Chair at HEC Montreal. This experience allows him to establish relationships with many renowned researchers and at the same time to use all his knowledge and areas of intervention. “Guy Paré allowed me to develop as a researcher,” he says, acknowledging the central role Mr. Paré played in his professional development.
All the pieces of his puzzle come together: his need to be useful to society, his interest in technology, and his desire to contribute to the health and well-being of the population.
On the way to digital health
Today, Alexandre Castonguay presents himself as a proud contributor to the promotion of digital health at the Faculty of Nursing at UdeM. He is interested in the role of digital technologies including telemedicine, patient portals, robotics and artificial intelligence in optimizing the quality, continuity and efficiency of healthcare.
“In addition to my interest in people’s quality of life, I hate waste. And digital tools make it possible to optimize resources. Nursing is a field in which huge profits can be made, especially in the context of an aging population and a growing need for home care. Nursing staff are encouraged to devote a lot of time and energy to travel and administrative or documentation tasks at the expense of time spent with patients,” he says.
In this context, Mr. Castonguay recalls that information technology offers several innovative solutions that have now become essential tools for managing the ordering of patients and medicines, as well as staff travel. This improves the availability and quality of care, as well as the well-being of staff whose more mechanical tasks are performed by automated systems.
“Digital health is not just important, it’s essential,” he says. The healthcare environment is already heavily influenced by information technology today and will continue to be so. It’s a dream come true to be able to prepare nursing students for this.”
Moreover, this is one of the mandates that Alexandre Castonguay has given himself in his new role as professor: to direct his commitments in research, teaching and at the faculty level to prepare the student population for the digital revolution in healthcare, but also to inspire. the next generation of nurses of today and tomorrow.