Research & Development
$9.5 million awarded to eight digital health projects
March 1, 2023
CALGARY – Eight researchers from the University of Alberta and University of Calgary will share $9.5 million in funding for digital health projects that will provide promising solutions to priority health system challenges. The awards are being made by Alberta Innovates and Alberta Health Services through the Partnership for Research and Innovation in the Health System – Digital Health program.
“By integrating innovation into our health care system, we continue to improve health outcomes for Albertans. Alberta Innovates is pleased to partner with Alberta Health Services and the Strategic Clinical Networks to add innovative new programs to our health system. We congratulate all eight applicants, and we look forward to the results that flow from this partnership,” said Laura Kilcrease (pictured), CEO, Alberta Innovates.
One of the successful projects is being led by Dr. Prism Schneider, from the McCaig Institute for Bone and Joint Health, in the Cumming School of Medicine, at the University of Calgary, who will look at bone health. At least one in three females, and one in five males, will experience a fragility fracture due to osteoporosis or low bone mass at some point in their lifetime.
Fragility fractures occur from a standing height, or less. Individuals experiencing a fragility fracture are two to four times more likely to have another fracture in the following two years.
Dr. Schneider is developing an electronic health solution that will alert, monitor, educate, survey, triage, and communicate with patients to ensure engagement in life-long bone healthcare in order to reduce both the personal and economic burden of fragility fractures on patients, caregivers, and the healthcare system. The project was awarded $1.2 million.
35 expressions of interest, and applications, for this year’s PRIHS funding were received and ultimately eight were funded. Investigators will have up to three years to complete their projects. Researchers will use technologies to support the delivery of innovative care models that empower patients, families and health care teams to improve quality of care.
“Dr. Schnieder’s research exemplifies how innovations in digital and data-enabled technologies have the potential for tremendous positive impact on our health system. UCalgary is grateful for Alberta Innovates’ support of our researchers and colleagues in the Alberta Health Services Strategic Clinical Networks. The PRIHS program enables our scholars to align their research efforts with the needs of our health system to advance evidence-based solutions to improve healthcare quality and health outcomes for Albertans,” commented Dr. Andre Buret, associate vice president, Research, University of Calgary.
Other successful projects include:
- Kamala Adhikari, University of Calgary. Pan-SCN: Integrating Prevention into Connect Care for Health (IPiC-Health). $1.05 million.
- Maria Castro-Codesal, University of Alberta. Adoption and enhancement of a care pathway for children with medical complexity: an implementation evaluation project for tracheostomy in pediatrics. $1.1 million.
- Justin Chen, University of Alberta. Optimization of Staphylococcus aureus Bacteremia Management (OPTIMUS-SAB). $990,000.
- Alim Hirji, University of Alberta. Telemonitoring to reduce adverse events for hospitalized patients in Alberta. $1.4 million.
- Matthew James, University of Calgary. UPTAKE: Using personalized risk and digital tools to guide transitions following acute kidney events – computer decision support and remote monitoring to reduce acute care hospitalization. $1.2 million.
- Darren Lau, University of Alberta. Linking diabetes care: An integrated digital health approach to diabetes with First Nations in Alberta (LINK). $1.4 million.
- Karen Wong, University of Alberta. Patient dashboard (PD-IDB) to improve complex care and self-management of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). $1.1 million.
Alberta Innovates is the province’s most comprehensive research and innovation agency. From funding to commercialization, the organization acts as Alberta’s innovation engine. It fosters and accelerates research and innovation to benefit citizens and drive economic growth.
Alberta Innovates currently manages a project portfolio worth $1.2 billion.
About Alberta Innovates
Alberta Innovates works across sectors to fund, partner and enable entrepreneurship throughout the province. The corporation operates in 11 locations with more than one million sq ft of industrial testing and lab facilities and 600 acres of farmland. Alberta Innovates employs 589 highly skilled scientists, business and technical professionals and has an annual operating budget of $250 million.