First-ever Joule forum sets sights on “big ideas” for health

by Sarah Turnbull

BANFF - April 28, 2016

The Canadian Medical Association’s (CMA) newest company Joule has hit the ground running with an innovation-focused forum aimed at finding new ways to improve the quality and delivery of health and health care.

The inaugural innovation forum gathered medical leaders from across Canada—students, residents, early-career and established physicians, all CMA members — in Banff to collaborate and engage with like-minded colleagues and create positive change for health care. The forum is one of many initiatives Joule is undertaking to help support CMA members. 

“It’s an incredibly unique experience to be able to speak to other physicians who are facing similar challenges in their own practices but who share the same excitement for innovation in this space,” says Dr. Forbes. “This is truly ground-breaking for the profession.” 

Attendees heard from CMA President Dr. Cindy Forbes, Joule Board Chair Debbie Fisher, CEO Lindee David, and a variety of health care entrepreneurs including world renowned innovator, technologist and Director of Radboud Reshape Innovation Centre in the Netherlands, Lucien Engelen.

On the second day, the crowd participated in a hackathon session in which nine teams went from “challenge” to “big idea” to “solution,” brainstorming with one another and pitching their business models to the rest of their colleagues. This is the first of many hackathon challenges that Joule expects to initiate. 

“It’s this type of brainstorming that’s required to create real change,” says Lindee David. “We’re excited to take the findings from this conference and create real solutions for our members. We hope those who attended feel energized about the role Joule can play in their lives.” 

Joule will provide physicians with cutting-edge clinical products and services, as well as access to experts in the field to help them move from ideation to bedside care easily and quickly. Joule is committed to keeping up with the fast-pace of change in the medical community. 

While innovation isn’t a new theme at the CMA, says Dr. Forbes, it’s taking a new form with the launch of Joule. 

“The CMA has long been advocating for innovation across a variety of spectrums; from end-of-life strategies to improvements in seniors care,” says Dr. Forbes. “With the launch of Joule we are continuing to distinguish ourselves as leading innovators.” 

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