York-led Health Ecosphere project celebrates resulting healthcare innovation

A recent “speed geeking” event gave 10 innovative healthcare projects just five minutes each to describe their groundbreaking work made possible by the Health Ecosphere Innovation Pipeline project, a multi-partner collaboration led by York University, Southlake Regional Health Centre and the University Health Network (UHN).

Rob Haché, vice-president Research and Innovation at York University and Health Ecosphere board member (second from left) learns more about Enlitic from Ben Brzezynski (far right)

Rob Haché, vice-president Research and Innovation at York University and Health Ecosphere board member (second from left) learns more about Enlitic from Ben Brzezynski (far right)

The event, held June 18, was hosted by Cisco Canada with more than 120 participants and partners in attendance.

York University’s Faculty of Health is the lead academic partner and administrative centre for the Health Ecosphere Innovation Pipeline project. Together, the project partners work with  businesses and other research institutes to develop health technologies and state-of-the-art enterprise solutions for customized health management and care.

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

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

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.

Projects described at the event were funded with a $15-million contribution from Fed Dev Ontario which was matched and surpassed with $19.5 million in contributions from private sector partners.

Projects supported by York include:

• York University’s Professor Paul V. Ritvo presented an innovative smartphone-enabled health coaching intervention for youth diagnosed with major depressive disorder, developed through NexJ Health and Center for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH). This eHealth intervention offers great potential for making evidence-based mental health services available to youth across Canada.

• Dr. Michelle Greiver and Conrad Pow explained how University of Toronto’s Department of Family and Community Medicine is leveraging existing partnerships in EMR data extraction to create the UTOPIAN Data Safe Haven (DSH): an unparalled repository of primary care patient information available for research and quality improvement.

• Dr. Stewart Aitchison demonstrated the ChipCare portable cell analyzer, a rapid, cost-effective diagnostic device for testing HIV/AIDS, which is highly relevant in developing countries. They are currently expanding the existing platform and increasing the testing capacity for hepatitis, malaria and syphilis.

Harvey Skinner, Faculty of Health professor and Health Ecosphere Project principal investigator (middle) chats with Ian Gallagher, chief technology officer and assistant vice-president, Digital Strategy, Canada Public Sector, Cisco (right)

Harvey Skinner, Faculty of Health professor and Health Ecosphere Project principal investigator (middle) chats with Ian Gallagher, chief technology officer and assistant vice-president, Digital Strategy, Canada Public Sector, Cisco (right)

“We hear a lot of talk about innovation and that Canada is not achieving its potential – especially in the health technology field,” said Faculty of Health Professor and Health Ecosphere project Principal Investigator Harvey Skinner. “Well, the display of projects at our showcase event from the Health Ecosphere is a compelling example of innovation in action. This is what can happen when a diverse network of partners innovates together across the private/public/academic sectors. The Health Ecosphere is addressing today’s challenges for economic development, sustainable healthcare and improving health for all.”

For more about these and more than 45 other healthcare innovation projects supported by Health Ecosphere, visit www.health-ecosphere.com.

Courtesy of YFile.