Basil Harris

Small team wins $2.6 million tricorder X Prize

A seven-member, self-funded team consisting of four siblings has won the international X Prize tricorder consumer medical competition – yes, inspired by the “Star Trek” gizmo – besting 312 entrants from 38 countries, many with corporate and government backing. Final Frontier Medical Devices, led by Basil Harris (pictured), a suburban Philadelphia emergency room doctor, won…

Dr Fahad Alam

Sunnybrook VR tech reduces pre-op patient anxiety

By Rosie Lombardi

Futuristic virtual reality (VR) technology is already being tested for down-to-earth healthcare applications. Sunnybrook and Sick Kids hospitals in Toronto are collaborating in pilot projects that use VR to create an immersive experience that emulates what pre-operative patients can expect in the operating room in an effort to reduce anxiety and cortisol levels without medication….

Dr Breanne Everett

MD develops technology to treat diabetic feet

When Dr. Breanne Everett (pictured) began training to become a plastic surgeon she was shocked by the number of foot problems, including amputations, that she was seeing among diabetic patients. She decided to look for a solution. That led the 32-year-old physician to put her medical training on hold and make the transition into business…

Lindee David

Joule adds new elements to 2017 innovation program

By Rosie Lombardi

Joule, an innovation-fostering start-up launched last year by the Canadian Medical Association (CMA), is growing in several new directions in 2017. The company has added a new social innovations category to its next round of grants for physician-entrepreneurs (the deadline for all applications is May 1). Joule is also beefing up its innovation support system…

Lindee David

Joule offers 2017 round of innovation grants to MDs

The Canadian Medical Association’s newest company, called Joule, has opened its second round of grants seeking promising physician-led ventures designed to innovate and revolutionize healthcare in Canada. Five grants ranging between $25,000 and $50,000 will be allocated in three categories to eligible Canadian Medical Association (CMA) members. Deadline for applications is May 1, 2017 with…

Dr Fahad Alam

Virtual reality is finding a place in healthcare

Many patients are understandably nervous before having surgery. Dr. Fahad Alam (pictured), a Sunnybrook anesthesiologist and assistant professor of anesthesia at the University of Toronto, is hoping to change that by using virtual reality in a research study that immerses patients in the experience a week or two in advance. Using 360-degree cameras, Alam’s team developed a virtual tour,…


Health innovations from Edmonton and beyond in 2016

When it comes to health innovations, Edmonton has often led the way in Canada, and sometimes even the world. In fact, Mayor Don Iveson (pictured) announced plans earlier this year to re-brand Alberta’s capital as Canada’s health city, describing it as a “medical research powerhouse.” From stroke ambulances to three-parent babies, here are descriptions of Edmonton’s…


Network to send drones to those in cardiac arrest

Researchers at the University of Toronto are imagining a world where drones can help paramedics save lives. Although still in its preliminary stages, they’ve created a hypothetical network of drones across Ontario that would deliver life-saving defibrillators to those in cardiac arrest. “The benefits could be huge,” said U of T researcher Timothy Chan (pictured),…


Supermarket-style scanners reduce medical error

Medical error remains healthcare’s most stubborn and deadly problem, but could the answer be as straightforward as scanning a box of cereal at the supermarket checkout? An intriguing new report builds on an emerging movement to make healthcare cheaper, more transparent – and safer – by adopting the trappings of supply chain management. Assigning unique bar codes…


MD seeks input for 3D printed medical designs

By Rosie Lombardi

Futuristic 3D printing technology is already being widely used in universities and hospitals to improve healthcare. Start-up companies are now working hard to bring it closer to home to doctors in point-of-care settings. One example is the Toronto-based start-up 3D4MD, which recently won a grant from the CMA’s Joule organization. “We make 3D printable medical…