eHealth Final Projects Showcase


When: Wednesday December 6th 2017 from 3:00pm – 5:00pm

Where: Burke Science Building Room 105 – McMaster University, 1280 Main St West, Hamilton, ON

Organizer: @MSc_eHealth



This year students in the CAS/eHealth 757 course worked on seven different software development projects. They used modern software technologies to tackle the following ehealth problems for their final projects. Project abstracts are available on request to

– Quick Quotes Quill – Automating Prescription Writing with Voice Recognition
– HeMa Care Application for Hemodialysis Patients
– WiserRoo: Pediatric Cancer Education App
– MyPeriOp: A Periopoerative Mobile App to Assist Patients Scheduled for Surgery
– MiScript: Medication Reconciliation Made Easy
– PhysIO: Increasing Treatment Adherence With a Mobile Application
– Intensive Care Unit Electronic Scheduling Dashboard


Sold out Hacking Health Cafe energizes healthtech community


Hacking Health (@hackinghealthca) started off last year in Montreal in an effort to connect developers and designers with healthcare professionals at a hackathon event in order to reduce the risk for healthcare innovations to develop solutions to healthcare problems. If that sounds a bit familiar, it’s probably because we have an event in Hamilton called AppsForHealth (@AppsForHealth) that recognized the same opportunity to connect developers, designers and healthcare professionals! The Hacking Health hackathon that took place in Montreal was so successful that cities like Toronto and Vancouver have now held Hacking Health events, and Hacking Health Cafe events have started up in cities all over to connect local healthtech communities:

Cafes are informal meetups to discuss and debate digital health in your city. Hacking Health Cafés are where people and ideas mingle.

Cafes were started by a local team in Montreal who wanted a space where people could easily and frequently discover ideas and people in digital health. The first few cafes in Montreal and Toronto filled up within hours of announcing the event so we realized there was a strong demand for a means to connect innovators interested in healthcare.

Cafes are an easy way for organizers and participants to foster a dynamic community. Cafes increase the surface area and diffusion of that reaction between different disciplines, which is the core mission at Hacking Health. If there isn’t one in your area, become a leader and let us help you organize one.

If you are looking to see what is happening locally or want to meet the talent you’re missing to make your vision a reality, find a Hacking Health Cafe near you.




The first ever Hamilton Hacking Health Cafe took place last night at McMaster Innovation Park. The event was sponsored by Innovation Factory, Hamilton Economic Development and the McMaster eHealth graduate program, and the speakers at the event were Dr. Michael Pray (@drmpray) and Duane Bender (@duane_bender).

Dr. Pray is a family doctor, electronic medical record user since 1998, associate lead physician for IT at the Hamilton Family Health Team, and Peer to Peer Leader for Ontario MD. Dr. Pray talked about his role as a family doctor and gave an outline of who’s who in the local system. He presented a brief outline of an example with a clinical problem (telederm referrals), the way thing are set up now, and an example of how new technologies (i.e. smartphones) can make this process easier.

Duane Bender is currently a faculty member and the Principal Investigator for the MEDIC Centre and Applied Research program at Mohawk College which focuses on the application of information and communications technologies to healthcare (“eHealth” and “mhealth”). MEDIC is a centre of excellence in the promotion, use, and testing of international healthcare information standards to achieve healthcare system interoperability as well as incorporating the use of mobile technology into healthcare.




The event was yet another success for the local community! There were about 50-60 attendees total, with a healthy mix of healthcare professionals and software developers. People stayed long after the talks were over to get to know one another. I know at least one healthcare professional with an idea was able to connect with a few developers that night that may be able to help them build the solution.




The best part from my perspective was hearing that Hacking Health is going to keep doing events in Hamilton. Another Hacking Health Cafe is being planned for January 2014, and a full blown Hacking Health Hackathon is being planned for May 2014. You can join their mailing list to be notified when these events are announced.

And that’s not all for upcoming healthtech events. MacGDA (@MacGDA1) is hosting a talk on The Gamification of Medicine & Education – Insights into Psychology on Tuesday November 5th. The AppsForHealth conference that has been hosted at Mohawk College for the last 3 years will also be back for a 4th edition in 2014.



Events that more regularly bringing together and catalyse the local healthtech community are a great sign of things to come for an area long-suspected to be a potential strength for Hamilton. Also, a big hats off to David Kemper (@dkemper) and Erin O’Neil (@erinlauraoneil) for stepping up and organizing this event for the community (Erin’s also the chapter lead for Ladies Learning Code in Hamilton too).

Check out some more pictures from Hamilton’s first ever Hacking Health Cafe:











mHealth DemoCamp rocked

The first ever mHealthDemoCamp was a huge success. We have more than 30 mobile health experts and entrepreneurs in room CR-3 at MaRS, a highly informative keynote, 6 five-minute demos, great Q&A, and then about ten of us went out for beers afterwards.

Mobile health is big and growing to huge. Half of US doctors already own an iPad. Half of clinicians collect data at bedside with a mobile. Ottawa Hospital rolled out 4000 iPads. Startup Funding is up 70%.

  • Duane Bender gave us an expert tour of the eHealth and mHealth ecosystem in Ontario & Canada & the World. Mohawk MEDIC has received about $8 million in government grants for their work, and Duane seems to know just about everything about the space.
  • Sergio DiGiovanni demo’d Qcard, including the upcoming feature that allows sharing your reminders and tasks with friends & family.
  • Kristina Lugo showed Drishti, which uses a forms builder tool that I wish I remembered the name of, to allow workers in developing nations to use Android Samsung Galaxy S phones to collect important public health information.
  • Taha Bandukwala showed off eTHR, currently in testing at hospitals in BC, northern Ontario, and South Africa. Doctors can save time and improve their record-keeping (and thus reduce risks around insurance and litigation) as they work on trauma cases.
  • Nick Ragaz and his colleague started a great discussion by showing Wellx, a tool for secure doctor-patient communication. They developed it while running a business to outsource the data entry for doctors offices from paper into their EMR. Doctors who are using Wellx say that it reduces the amount of time they spend on the phone, and they hope that some day soon this time will have a special billing code.
  • Kelly Grindrod showed us Cleremed. Kelly is a pharmacist as has seen a need to test seniors’ ability to properly read medicine labels. Cleremed runs users through a simulation.
  • I demonstrated some of our work at Monolith.

We also had people present from many other organizations:

  • Coral CEA has grants available for developing mHealth apps.
  • UHN’s massive Centre for Global Health Innovation does eHealth and mHealth research, including the leading bant app
  • OntarioMD, the OMA organization that provides specifications for EMRs in Ontario
  • and many more — sorry I didn’t have enough time to take more notes!

Want more? Check out upcoming events: (and let me know about others)

  • Healthcare Startups TO, organized by  Nick Ragaz, a great way to socialize and network
  • Toronto Mobile Health Summit, at the Holiday Inn Toronto Airport in January, although it’s a bit pricey for startups. Anyone want to sponsor?
  • AppsForHealth, in Hamilton, May 16.
  • Keep an eye on MaRS, who were awesome in providing the space to us for free.

Next: Lots of demand for a follow-up in 4-6 months, so watch this space (and follow @mHealthDemoCamp). If you’re interested in demo’ing at the next one, get a jump on the competition by letting us know now! (All demos are accepted provided they are mHealth apps 🙂

Conclusion: there is a mobile health ecosystem in Toronto & area! Let’s keep growing together.



10 Reasons why you should participate in Hacking Health Toronto

Hacking Health (@hackinghealthca) debuts in Toronto at Mars Discovery District (MarsDD) (@MaRSDD) on October 19-22. Hacking Health is a weekend long “hackathon” style event in the classic hacker style. The motto for Hacking Health is that the event “aims to Bringing tech innovation to healthcare”. This is very much in line with our philosophy here at Mohawk College in the MEDIC Centre and with our AppsForHealth (@AppsForHealth) event, and therefore I am challenging you to participate in this awesome event (like I am!).

From their website: “Hacking Health brings together technological innovators with healthcare experts to build realistic, human-centric solutions to front-line healthcare problems.”

I’m going to give you 10 reasons why you should participate in this event like I am:

1. You need to get out of your basement and meet new people

Success requires collaboration. By attending this competition you will meet clinical, business and technical people that can change your life.

2. It’s an economic and social good

These solutions have the potential to create both economic value (read: money) and social value – the potential to make someone’s life better.

3. You will learn new ways to do things

No matter how advanced you are as a developer, I guarantee that you will learn about new frameworks, techniques, etc that you have never heard of before.

4. Meet smart & passionate people

One of the most satisfying aspects of work is meeting others who are passionate and brilliant. There will be lots of these types of people at this event.

5. Challenge yourself

You may be in a rut in your work/hobby tech life right now or maybe you’ve never looked at health apps before – why not push yourself to learn a new field – it only makes you better at what you do.

6. Show them that Hamilton, Burlington and Niagara hackers kick ass

I know there is a lot of tech talent in the golden horseshoe area — it’s time to show the Toronto community that there is great stuff happening beyond Trafalgar Road

7. You will learn something about healthcare

By working with clinicians you will learn which problems are the ones worth solving and potential ways to go about it.

8. If you have any inkling of starting up a company or participating in a start-up, MarsDD is just an awesome place to visit

enough said

9. Meet influencial people

Beyond clinicans there are financial backers and other influencers who can potentially make it rain for you in the future

10. Potentially make a difference

If your effort continues on, you have a shot at making a real difference in someone’s life.


To find out more check out : or contact me directly at


Mobile and Electronic Health Development and Innovation Centre

In case you didn’t catch the CBC Hamilton (@CBCHamilton) story published this weekend – Mohawk College recently announced the creation of the Mobile and Electronic Health Development and Innovation Centre (MEDIC). The centre is funded with $800,000 from the Province, $800,000 from the Federal government and $400,000 from the College and industry partners.

Check out video from the announcement itself below:



MEDIC will further enhance Mohawk’s already strong eHealth credentials when it opens in Summer 2013. Mohawk notably organizes Ontario’s AppsForHealth (@AppsForHealth) conference, and Mohawk students recently won top prize at an app competition at the national eHealth conference.


More AppsForHealth, Startup Weekend videos

NewsClipTV (@NewsClipTV1) covered both Startup Weekend Hamilton 2 and AppsForHealth, check out the two videos below!




Startup Weekend Hamilton 2


AppsForHealth helps build Ontario’s eHealth community

Over the last two days I attended Mohawk College’s AppsForHealth conference. The two day conference first took place last year, with the second occurring May 10-11th of 2012. The first day of the conference was centered around talks, discussion panels, technology showcases and networking for professionals and students alike. The second day of the conference was centered around a student mHealth app design competition where teams of students attempt to design mobile solutions to health care challenges posed by industry sponsors. I was part of the UI design panel that took place during the first day of the conference. The diversity of the community at the event in terms of career backgrounds made for lively and interesting discussions, as nursing students, med school students, family doctors, policy makers and entrepreneurs in the audience connected with a diverse mix of UX and UI design experience on the panel. At one point the following Tweet was briefly brought up on the screen:



It reminded me of articles I’ve come across over the last year like The Jig Is Up: Time to Get Past Facebook and Invent a New Future by Alexis Madrigal (@alexismadrigal) advocating for a new paradigm for startups, and Stop Building Apps and Start Disrupting Industries by Michael Karnjanaprakorn (@mikekarnj) encouraging startups to focus on disrupting industries such as education and healthcare.

I do love Angry Birds, but when I read articles like these and Tweet’s like the above, it makes me think about watching shows like Star Trek growing up, where technology was being used in the future to save lives and drastically improve quality of life. I remember Dr. McCoy thought our health care might as well be from the dark ages! Wherever they found their inspiration, I think that like health care professionals, a lot of engineers and scientists are motivated to do what they do by the possibility of improving people’s lives and creating a better future.



That’s why I’m excited about AppsForHealth and other events across Canada like Hacking Health in Montreal that are working towards increasing and improving the usage of technology in health care. The infrastructure for supporting eHealth and mHealth in terms of internet access, bandwidth and market penetration is now in place, and increasingly capable mobile devices are gaining larger market penetration with lower costs every year. There are great opportunities for using this new technology to improve health in Canada and around the world. And with rising health care costs squeezing government budgets to the point of credit downgrade warnings, technology may provide an alternative solution to the undesirable options of either decreasing services or increasing costs.

You can check out some video coverage of the first day of AppsForHealth here:



The student challenge portion of the event was focused on designing mHealth solutions to challenges posted by non-profit and health care organizations. Students formed teams with a mix of technical and medical skills in the weeks before the event, and were able to access professional mentors during the pre-event mixer and the event itself to improve their solutions. The top three prizes as awarded by the judges were $3000, $2000 and $1000 respectively. Check out the list of challenges below:

  • World Vision Challenge – How might we use mobile technology to support growth monitoring and counselling for children under the age of 5 to improve nutrition and reduce child mortality in developing countries? [link]
  • Electronic Dermatology Consultation – How can mobile technology be used to streamline dermatology consultations in the primary care setting? [link]
  • Mobile Assistance Solution for Youth with Lupus – How could a mobile app increase connectedness with other young people with lupus; track symptoms; remind them to take their medications, include an up-to-date summary of their current status; allow communication of their health status to health care providers; and ide healthy role models in a way that is easy to access, empowering and fun and that won’t require individual feedback to users? [link]
  • Interoperability Between Specialized Data and Generic EHR – How could nurses use technology in a long term care organization to plan, evaluate and document evidence-based care? How could technology enable safe transition of care at shift change? How could technology interoperate with the EHR to improve patient care and capture health outcome data? [link]
  • Mobile Education App for Prostate Cancer – Design an application that will be used to educate men on prostate cancer and provide them with the relevant questions to ask their doctor, based on their profile and disease stage – screening, diagnosis, treatment, living with cancer or remission. [link]
  • Technological Assistance for Children with Chronic Health Conditions – How can technology be used to improve accessibility and ease of use of the new WHO classification system (ICF-CY) to process, collect and display information about the ‘disability’ and ‘functional’ status of children with chronic health conditions? [link]
  • Mobile Solution to Reduce Mortality Rates in Northern Haiti – How can we use mobile decision support and mobile technology to improve effective institutional delivery referrals to reduce maternal and infant mortality rates in rural communities in Northern Haiti? [link]
  • Leveraging Technology to Assist Seniors with Alternative Living and Long-Term Care – How could mobile technology be used to assist seniors and their families explore and discuss alternate living environments and long-term care options? [link]
  • Medical Records Challenge – How can a chronic disease patient track their relevant symptoms using an application, meanwhile utilizing the live data from this symptom tracker to trigger retrieval or receipt of research- based recommendations, and present those recommendations to both the patient in their PHR and to their health care providers’ EMR? [link]

The winners were announced at the close of the event on Friday afternoon:


1st Place $3,000: Shivani Goyal & Joanne Wong (University of Toronto) for their solution to the youth with lupus challenge supported by SickKids.


2nd Place $2,000: Kent Tsui (McMaster University), Gawain Tang (McMaster University) & Steven D’Costa (Ryerson University). Electronic dermatology consultation challenge by Hamilton Family Health Team.


3rd Place $1,000: Lauren Harris,Teresa Coutu, leanne Fernandez (McMaster University), Adam Carriere, Lina Tirilis (Mohawk College). Supporting seniors with alternative living and long-term care planning challenge, Niagara Haldimand Brant CCAC.


Though I love that it takes place in Hamilton, it was clear during the event that AppsForHealth really has fast become Ontario’s conference for mHealth and eHealth professionals. The keynotes, panelists, experts, technology demonstrators, professionals and students came from Waterloo, London, Toronto, Hamilton and post-secondary institutions from all over Southern Ontario. AppsFoHealth is playing an important community building role for the region. It brings together a group of people with diverse talents and connects them to one another so that together they have the skills required to tackle these challenges. For me personally what I liked the most was being reminded about why I became interested in science and technology to begin with. And I think it was because the challenges themselves were so focused on ideas that would save lives, improve quality of life, and help create that better future for everyone. Organizers Christy Taberner, Duane Bender (@duane_bender) and Mark Casselman (@markcasselman) have put together something really great. I can’t wait to see AppsForHealth 2013.


McMaster graduate student built a Tricorder

Peter Jansen (@thetricorderprj) recently earned his PhD in Cognitive Science at McMaster University, and as part of his research he built a working Tricorder!

If you’re interested, maybe you should talk to Peter, he’s looking for partners. There is also the Qualcomm Tricorder X-Prize, a $10 million US prize contest to essentially recreate the Tricorder from the Star Trek franchise. Maybe we’ll see somebody try to build that at AppsForHealth 2013!