2016 Joule Innovation grant recipient update—CMA members driving changes in health care

March 16, 2017

In 2016, Joule awarded its inaugural innovation grants to five CMA members. Six months after having received their grants, these physicians continue to prove that their ventures have immense possibility to drive changes in health care.

Dr. Doug Kavanagh, Medical Director and Co-founder of CognisantMD, received a $50K innovation grant for transforming the way we share medical information between patient and physician. With the advent of the Ocean Tablet, Dr. Kavanagh has effectively created a technology where patients can complete clinical questionnaires on a secure, easy-to-use digital interface, either prior to appointments or while they wait in the language of their choice. In the six months since receiving the grant, Dr. Kavanagh has further developed the tool to reach First Nations populations, and even introduce core mental health focused forms to the system. With over 1.5M patient updates so far, reports show that clinics are seeing a 65% decrease in time needed for appointments.

Dr. Julielynn Wong, a Harvard educated physician and entrepreneurial powerhouse, was awarded a $25K grant for her astounding work in 3D printing. Dr. Wong, founder of 3D4MD – uses a solar-powered, plug-and-play, ultra-portable 3D printing system to produce a range of medical supplies right-on-site, as needed, at a remarkably low cost. Dr.Wong is using grant funds to build a digital library, like iTunes, for people to select and download crowd-sourced 3D printable files to make quality-tested, cost-efficient and even personalized medical and surgical supplies on demand. These solar-powered tools are not only appealing to people who live remotely without electricity, their prompt manifestation eliminates weeks of waiting for delivery.

Dr. Dale Podolsky, an engineer and resident in plastic reconstructive surgery at The University of Toronto was awarded a $25K innovation grant recipient for his cleft palate simulator. Dr. Podolsky is the founder of Simulare Medical Corp, a company that provides the necessary time, space and patience required for trainees to learn and practice complex surgical procedures at their own pace. With help from the grant, Dr. Podolsky says he was able to hire staff, attend high level conferences promoting the company’s work, and even purchase a new 3D printer. In addition, the company has managed to partner with the largest Cleft NGO in the world. Dr. Podolsky is currently working to build a training hub for burgeoning surgeons with the hopes of building stronger surgeons for healthier patients everywhere.

Dr. Kamran Khan, a practicing infectious disease physician-scientist at St. Michael’s Hospital, received a $25K grant for BlueDot, a social benefit corporation dedicated to carving a healthier and safer world by helping to address global infectious disease threats. The company works in big data, connecting experts in geographic information systems and spatial analytics with content experts in the field of infectious disease and public health. The company’s most notable achievement, PanMEDIC, is a web-based global warning system that curates the latest data on tropical emerging diseases and connects it with worldwide air patterns. Monitoring the movements of more than 4 billion passengers on commercial flights worldwide, PanMEDIC is a watchdog for potential outbreaks, allowing us to deliver “just in time” warning alerts to nearby physicians who might be affected. Dr. Khan claims the Joule grant has brought PanMEDIC to life, and looks forward to developing a working prototype that can be tested among physicians on the frontlines. A powerful tool and important step toward preparedness, PanMEDIC could revolutionize the way we approach infectious diseases.

Dr. Jacob Jaremko, a board-certified pediatric musculoskeletal radiologist and Assistant Professor at the University of Alberta, received a $25K grant for the Collaborative Ultrasound Deep Learning (CUDL) initiative—a cloud-based computer-aided diagnostic tool that will allow physicians to give an on-the-spot diagnosis of a 2D and 3D ultrasound image based on advice and knowledge from thousands of similar cases across the world. With help from Joule funding, the project has focused on hip dysplasia, a condition which requires a stressful six-week waiting period prior to any definite follow-up of ambiguous results. Dr. Jaremko’s next task is to take a closer look at Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip (DDH), and see how CUDL can help diagnose.

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