Successful health tech projects to be featured at Health Ecosphere event

Sara Ross-Howe, senior data scientist at Cloud DX demonstrates the Cloud DX Vitaliti(TM) device
Sara Ross-Howe, senior data scientist at Cloud DX demonstrates the Cloud DX Vitaliti(TM) device

Health technologies to help young people manage their mental health, help patients return home more quickly after surgery and help just about anyone improve their self-care will be featured at a wrap-up event for the federally funded Health Ecosphere Innovation Pipeline project on March 27.

Image result for harvey skinner york university
Harvey Skinner, principal investigator, Health Ecosphere Innovation Pipeline Project

The project is a multi-partner collaboration led by York University, Southlake Regional Health Centre and the University Health Network (UHN). York University’s Faculty of Health is the lead academic partner and administrative centre for the Health Ecosphere Innovation Pipeline project.

Health Ecosphere brings together the private, public, and academic sectors in the spirit of innovation and collaboration, and aims to position Canada as a global leader in digital health by moving technologies rapidly from concept to commercialization.

Academic and health-care sector partners will celebrate the advances made and acknowledge the important contribution of the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), which provided $15 million for the project in 2016. Since then, collaborations between public and private partners have resulted in dozens of new health technologies and services.

The wrap-up event will take place at the Second Student Centre. It will begin at 9 a.m. with technologies on display, and follow with speakers at 10 a.m., including:

  • Rob Haché, vice-president research and innovation, York University;
  • Ali Ehsassi, member of Parliament for Willowdale;
  • Rhonda L. Lenton, president and vice-chancellor, York University;
  • Rob Bull, VP finance, technology and innovation, chief financial officer, chief information officer, Southlake Regional Health Centre;
  • Dr. Joseph Cafazzo, lead, Centre for Global eHealth Innovation, University Health Network;
  • Suzanne Rochford, director, user experience, Telus; and
  • Harvey Skinner, York University professor and principal investigator, Health Ecosphere Innovation Pipeline project.

Examples of projects on display include:

Connected Health & Wellness – Youth Mental Health Project – A randomized, controlled trial at the Centre for Addiction & Mental Health evaluated NexJ Connected Wellness Platform delivery of interactive online workbooks and related videos directly to youth with depressive symptoms. Specialized health coach training and related materials supported youth mental health, particularly in First Nations-Indigenous youth. The Youth Mental Health Project represents an innovative way of delivering an effective mental health intervention, at low cost, to large numbers of people. (Partners: NexJ HealthYork University and the Centre for Addiction & Mental Health.)

m-Health Solutions developed processes and technologies to enable transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) patients to be discharged early and recover at home while being monitored remotely. (Partners: m-Health Solutions and Hamilton Health Sciences.)

Spectrum Mobile Health further refined a customizable antimicrobial stewardship mobile app for health-care professionals validating the utility of Spectrum, facilitating its ongoing adoption at Markham Stouffville Hospital and other hospitals in Ontario (Partners: Spectrum Health CareMarkham Stouffville Hospital and Southlake Regional Health Centre.)

Bant, an app named after Dr. Frederick Banting, enables patients to understand how to adjust their diabetes self-care based on patterns and trends in data they track, including meals, weight, step data and information from a Bluetooth blood glucose metre. Bant has launched to public app stores for iOS and Android and has more than 90,000 users globally. It is being integrated with Telus Health Exchange, which will allow data from Bant to flow into Telus’s Personal Health Record. Pan-Canadian deployment of Bant will result in a simple, easily scalable and low-cost way of enabling self-management of diabetes. (Partners: TELUSSecureKey and the University Health NetworkJDRF.)