Congratulations to our 2019 Innovation Academy Winners


The following innovations will be part of the following competition streams at the 2019 W21C Innovation Academy taking place on October 30 in Calgary, AB:

Social Innovation Stream

Competitor 1
DEcision Support Tool IN Endovascular therapy (DESTINE)

DESTINE Health Inc. has created an innovative decision support tool used by healthcare administrators/system planners in order to create and optimize transport protocols for acute stroke patients. The tool is a cloud-based software, which is regionally customized to each healthcare jurisdiction’s unique geography and hospital treatment capabilities and efficiency. The output of the tool is a colour-coded map which displays the best transport plan (first hospital destination) for patients with suspected severe stroke, in order to optimize patient outcomes on a population level.

For full abstract: DEcision Support Tool IN Endovascular therapy (DESTINE)

Presenter: Jennifer van Zelm

Competitor 2

EDASH is a software application for Emergency Departments which utilizes existing IT infrastructure, a host of collected clinical metrics, and operational time-stamps to monitor Emergency Department overcrowding in real-time and over historical time-windows. Through the monitoring of wait times at each stage of patient processing, EDASH aims to pinpoint the cause and contribution of each unique source of delay, and provide corresponding information to preemptively prevent compounding ED resource backlogs.The initial prototype was developed with data from Foothills Medical Centre as mobile accessible Quality Improvement technology, designed with the aim to empower nursing managers and physician leaders to act on bottlenecks from any location and at any time.

For full abstract: EDASH

Presenter: Mariam Keshavjee


Competitor 3
HealthQ App

HealthQ is a free bilingual (English/French) reminder app for smart phones developed and created by healthcare professionals for patient use. It is the only single app to date that provides screening and immunization information, medication and appointment reminders, prenatal timelines, as well as fact-based recommendations and guidelines from the Canadian Task Force on Preventative Health, the Alberta Screening and Prevention, Toward Optimized Practices, Screening for Life, Diabetes Canada, the Heart and Stroke Foundation, and other resources.

For full abstract: HealthQ App

Presenters: Dr. Lyne Audet, MD, Dr. Margaret Watty, MD, and Nadine Boudreau-Curtis


Competitor 4
Wellness Wheel

Healthcare providers from Regina partnered with patients and health directors in four southern Saskatchewan First Nations communities to develop a unique, community-based, culturally informed care model. Wellness Wheel outreach clinics are offered monthly since fall 2016. Family doctors and infectious disease, nephrology, dermatology, and internal medicine specialists offer clinics out of the communities’ health centres. Nurse coordinators support the physicians during the clinics, collaborate with the communities to plan clinics and HIV/Hepatitis C testing days, and coordinate patient follow-up. Clinical services include phlebotomy, confidential HIV, Hepatitis C and STI testing, collaboration with communities’ homecare and community health nurses, and minor procedures.

For full abstract: Wellness Wheel

Presenters: Dr. Stuart Skinner, MD

Biomedical Innovation Stream

Competitor 1

AORTA-ML is a project that aims to revolutionize how surgical emergencies like aortic dissections are rapidly diagnosed, assessed and treated by creating a comprehensive machine learning model that can rapidly assimilate clinical and imaging information and extract concise data to guide surgical management. We are working towards building a model that would be able to diagnose, characterize and assess aortic dissections on CT imaging studies and combine this information with clinical parameters to guide surgical decision making and prognostication. This would allow for rapid evaluation of these patients, freeing practitioners to concentrate on rapid healthcare delivery.

For full abstract: AORTA – ML

Presenters: Fady Mina and Dr. Vamshi Kotha, MD


Competitor 2

The device facilitates chest tube placement, combining depth control and ability to detect entry into the body cavity during insertion. The sharp central tip facilitates penetration of the chest wall. The device resembles a screw and advances into the chest through clockwise rotation, providing precise depth control. The tip also contains an electrical impedance manometer to alert when the pleural space has been breached. On entering the desired cavity, the central piece is removed from the screw-like body which remains on the chest wall. The device thus forms a conduit between the chest cavity and exterior for chest tube insertion.

For full abstract: SmartDrain

Presenters: Dr. Wiley Chung, MD and Dr. Sumesh Thomas, MD


Competitor 3
The FB Stent

An aneurysm is a balloon off a blood vessel in the brain that could potentially bleed, resulting in devastating consequences for the patient. Brain aneurysms are common, and are present in up to 7% of the general population. Traditional treatment of complex brain aneurysms involves placing a metal “flow-diverting” stent across the neck of the aneurysm, leading to redirection of blood flow away from the aneurysm dome. Bioabsorbable flow-diverting stents have recently been developed by Fluid Biotech Inc. as a novel way to treat brain aneurysms.

For full abstract: The FB Stent

Presenter: Dr. Alim P. Mitha, MD


Competitor 4
RIC Technologies

Acute ischemic stroke causes rapid neuronal death due to a loss of blood flow in the brain. No prehospital treatments currently exist that can help mitigate these losses during transport time to a stroke centre. Our innovation uses remote ischemic conditioning (RIC), a tissue-protective strategy that promotes cell survival and repair, while inhibiting cellular death and inflammatory pathways. Our device is comprised of four centrally-controlled blood pressure cuffs that will cycle between occlusion of blood flow and reperfusion for specified time intervals. Perfusion-reperfusion induces RIC, and is a non-invasive treatment modality that can be delivered with ease in an ambulance.

For full abstract: RIC Technologies

Presenter: Brittney Herrington and Kyle Guild

Competitor 5
SmartForceps System

The SmartForceps System is a sensorized surgical bipolar forceps linked to an Intelligent Module (software) for real time display and record of tool-tissue interaction forces during surgery! The data uploaded to a secure server is used for performance feedback and machine-learning algorithm for automated analyses and error warning. Based on force variability and error, the innovation has already shown surgeon discrimination by their skill level. Emulating the aerospace industry, the SmartForceps system, uniquely establishes a digital footprint of surgery for standardized surgical performance and training, providing a distinct advantage over conventional tools towards increased patient safety.

For full abstract: SmartForceps System

Presenters: Dr. Hamidreza Hoshyarmanesh, PhD and Dr. Sanju Lama, MD, PhD