On Nov 14 2019, at the Innovation Fund Showcase 2019: Technology and AI in Healthcare, the Innovation Fund Provincial Oversight Committee announced its 2019 Award Winners.
Here are the Award winning project Titles and Project Leads and a few short highlights about their successful and innovative projects:
Implementation & Integration:
Eliseo Orrantia, Northen Ontario School of Medicine
This study of many of the rural physicians in Northern Ontario, that identify as practicing in physician teams, supports our theoretical framework of Physician Team Effectiveness. The model now allows us to develop interventions targeted at physician team decision making, communication and conflict resolution to attempt to impact their linked, important outcomes of team performance and commitment of members to their team.
Quality & Safety:
Stuart McCluskey, University Health Network
Duminda Wijeysundera, University Health Network, University of Toronto
The METS (Measurement of Exercise Tolerance Before Surgery) Study: A Multicentre Prospective Cohort Study of Cardiopulmonary Exercise Testing For Improving Preoperative Risk Stratification for Major Non-Cardiac Surgery
In this international multicentre prospective cohort study of 1401 patients undergoing major surgery (published in the Lancet in June 2018), we found that the usual method used by physicians to estimate patients’ physical fitness before surgery was inaccurate and failed to identify patients at risk for postoperative morbidity and mortality. Instead, we identified two simple alternatives that can be readily used in preoperative evaluation clinics at Ontario hospitals. The two approaches are a simple 12-item standardized questionnaire called the Duke Activity Status Index (DASI), and a blood test called NT pro-BNP. Using these two methods in combination, perioperative clinicians will be better able to accurately identify high-risk patients before surgery, and thereby target them for specialized optimization, testing, and monitoring aimed at reducing their risk of postoperative complications.
Nicole Look Hong, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
From 2016–2018 our team at the Odette Cancer Center, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Center, engineered, developed and tested a novel approach to localizing non-palpable lesions during breast conserving surgery – The Magnetic Occult Lesion Instrument (MOLLI).
Using support from the AFP innovation grant, the MOLLI team created hardware and software components – maximizing ergonomics of the marker and detection probe, and designing an intuitive user interface and auditory response system. With continuous feedback from clinicians, MOLLI is sure to be clinically adaptable. Technical optimization and a first-in-human clinical trial are completed. Trial results were presented at the 2019 American Society of Breast Surgeons annual meeting . The next step is a multi-center registry study across several Canadian and American institutions.
Mental Health, Children and Community Care:
Robert Teasell, AMOSO
Little is known about what happens to stroke rehabilitation patients once discharged from inpatient rehabilitation. We have developed a model system of home and hospital-based interdisciplinary outpatient stroke rehab. Of 1,497 stroke patients discharged from an inpatient rehab unit, 721 actually attended one of these two outpatient programs. Younger, less disabled patients were more likely to attend a hospital-based outpatient rehab program while older more severe stroke patients were more likely to receive the same rehabilitation program at home. Severe stroke patients seem to benefit most from outpatient rehab in general, making significant functional gains while mild stroke patients made only limited gains. This is the first time a model stroke rehab outpatient program (as defined by the Canadian Practice Guidelines) has been evaluated and will serve to advise future planning for development of similar programs across the country as care moves out of hospitals into the community.