Grand Central

Grand Central is a gathering place to share ideas and spark change; a space to continue conversations from the main stage and connect throughout the Summit.

Grand Central is a showcase of Canadian innovations shaping the future of health and medicine — from community settings, hospitals, and innovation and research centres.


Connecting patients and physicians to electronic medical records in real time

This team has developed Ocean, a secure, cloud-based platform that allows patients to electronically complete medical forms, update contact information, provide a medical history or take part in a health survey, within a health care setting or from their home. This data can then be integrated into the patients’ electronic medical records. A translation feature allows patients to provide this information in multiple languages. The platform can also be used for electronic referrals, allowing physicians to find a specialist, share patient information, keep a record of the referral and track a patients’ status in real time.

Presented by Joule 

Clinical-decision support system for treatment of depression

Choosing a treatment for depression can be a guess-and check-process, with more than two-thirds of patients unable to reach “remission” after their initial treatment. The team at aifred health has produced a clinical decision support tool to help provide guidance to primary care staff and psychiatrists on depression treatments. This support tool will soon be powered through artificial intelligence technology that is already predicting remission rates − under several common treatments − with >80% accuracy. The tool comes packaged in an app that provides measurement-based-care and patient self-reporting of symptoms and medication adherence.

Presented by aifred health 

Empowering First Nations communities to manage their health online

Many Canadians − especially those living in rural, remote and Indigenous communities – can’t easily access the services and information they need to manage their health. The Closing the Circle of Care project is looking to change that. Developed in collaboration with First Nations communities, the project wants to improve access, efficiency and effectiveness of community-based, digital health services. Through the initiative, patients in more than 220 First Nations communities will have secure, personalized access to their electronic health records and be able to directly message their health care providers online, allowing them to play a more active role in managing their health.

Presented by Canada Health Infoway

Connecting providers to improve remote access to specialist care

Long wait times for specialist care are one of the most significant problems in Canadian health care. To help address this issue, the Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement has launched the Connected Medicine Collaborative to support the development of remote consult services for health care providers. By helping primary care providers connect with specialists, remote services such as these can reduce wait times, eliminate the need for travel and improve continuity of care for patients.

Presented by the Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement

Fighting global infectious diseases with big data

In an increasingly interconnected world, BlueDot is using big data to study how infectious diseases are dispersing worldwide. One of their clinical tools, Zebra, pulls data from a variety of sources – including billions of air travel itineraries − to pinpoint when and where specific infectious diseases are active in the world, and assess how they might spread to other areas. By combining this information with clinical medicine and public health expertise, BlueDot is helping physicians better prepare for and respond to current and emerging infectious diseases.

Presented by Joule

Connecting Quebec physicians to share knowledge and improve patient care

Seeking to replace outdated technologies – such as pagers, hospital telephone operator systems, and inflexible on-call systems – MedMo is making it easier for Quebec physicians to connect with one other. Through MedMo, a web and mobile-based platform, physicians can access a network of nearby colleagues for answers to their clinical questions, to request consultations with specialists and to share information from their practice. By helping to improve communication between health care providers, the tool supports patients in getting the care and information they need from their family physician.

Presented by the Quebec Medical Association

Providing community-based mental health support for new mothers

A group of B.C. health care providers has partnered with local government and family service agencies to create a new approach to perinatal mental health. Motherwise is a professionally facilitated, eight-week support group for new mothers in the Kootenay Boundary region, and covers topics such as depression, anxiety, trauma and adjusting to new roles. In its pilot year, Motherwise has helped 75 mothers with mild to moderate mental health conditions and has supported local physicians in providing better screening, referrals and support to their patients.

Presented by Doctors of BC

Measuring and monitoring vital signs, efficiently and effectively

Cloud DX develops affordable, easy-to-use digital tools for measuring health and wellness. Their vital sign monitoring equipment, software and mobile apps make it easier for physicians to gather patient data − such as blood pressure, weight and temperature − and integrate it directly into their EMR. Patients can also be provided with their own set of devices to monitor their health at home, with data being automatically sent to their health record and physicians being instantly notified of any significant abnormalities.

Presented by Joule

Getting Alberta patients engaged in health care change

Launched three years ago by the Alberta Medical Association, albertapatients.ca is an online community where all Albertans can have the opportunity to provide input about the health care system. Members of the community can participate in surveys and join discussion forums on various topics related to health care. At about 6,500 members and counting, it is one of the province’s largest research panels, and data is frequently shared with other organizations to help inform the development of new patient-focused initiatives.

Presented by the Alberta Medical Association

Supporting student-led initiatives to improve the health of vulnerable populations

Through the McGill Community Health and Social Medicine (CHASM) Incubator, students are receiving support to address the unique health needs of marginalized populations in the Montreal area. Through the incubator program, students can apply to receive up to $1,000 funding to develop their ideas. Programs funded last year included an initiative to provide menstrual hygiene products to homeless women in Montreal, and a mentorship program for black high school students exploring careers in health care. In addition, students gain access to workshops and lectures on topics such as advocacy, marketing and fundraising, as well as continued mentorship from leaders in public health, business, education and more.

Presented by McGill Community Health and Social Medicine (CHASM)

Empowering independent living for the elderly

Telus’ Home Health Monitoring service is helping people living with chronic conditions, such as heart failure and COPD, to manage their condition from the comfort of home. Patients can use the service to electronically share information about their health – such as their blood pressure – with their health care provider, who can monitor the data and make adjustments to treatment as required. Being able to access the support they need from home can also allow patients and their caregivers to reduce the stress, time and costs involved in travelling for care.

Presented by TELUS Health

Interactive tools to help providers and patients communicate and collaborate

A group of clinicians in Montreal is looking to improve the way health care providers communicate, collaborate, and remotely supervise, train, and care. Remote Education, Augmented Communication, Training and Supervision (REACTS) is a secure platform designed to help physicians share information and knowledge more securely and easily, with the overall goal of improving care. With this tool, health care providers can exchange instant messages and files, connect with patients through videoconferencing and teleconsultations – reducing the need for in-person appointments − as well as provide colleagues with remote training, supervision and guidance.

Presented by Joule

Monitoring dementia patients to prevent wandering

The Sensors and Analytics for Monitoring Mobility and Memory hub (SAM3) is a joint initiative of AGE-WELL NIH SAM3, Bruyère Research Institute and Carleton University in Ottawa. It researches sensor-based, smart technologies that monitor older people’s health and improve their independence. Its smart home project is designed to aid dementia patients who wander. It uses pressure sensors under the mattress, which can detect when someone leaves the bed, as well as motion sensors throughout the home that set off a “return to bed” message, or an alarm. Additional safety features can be added, such as activating lights or sending mobile phone alerts when a door is opened. The system is being piloted in a number of private homes as a way to help ensure the safety of the person with dementia, and to allow their caregiver to get more rest.

Presented by Bruyère Research Institute and Carleton University

A new, innovative model for seniors’ housing

Innovative House Alternative Canada Inc. was created to meet the need for adaptable social housing and health care for Canada’s aging population. They have developed a new model for seniors’ housing that revolves around quality, compassion and wellness – living well, aging well and keeping people out of the hospital. By partnering with leading technology providers, builders, engineers, architects and health care professionals, they’ve developed affordable housing solutions for seniors that are enabling them to stay independent and receive care when and where they need it.

Provided by Innovative House Alternative Canada Inc.

Preparing physicians to lead health care change in Nova Scotia

Doctors Nova Scotia has developed a new leadership program to engage physicians in health system transformation in the province. The goal of the Physician Leadership Development Program is to build a provincial network of senior-level, physician leaders who are well placed to influence health system decisions. The program focuses on developing systems thinking, innovation and change management by getting participants to work collectively on a series of health care challenges affecting Nova Scotia. The new program is a result of a collaboration between Joule, the Nova Scotia Health Authority, the IWK Health Centre, and the Dalhousie Faculty of Medicine.

Presented by Doctors Nova Scotia

Improving emergency care for children across Canada

Most children who need emergency care in Canada aren’t treated in children’s hospitals, but in general emergency departments with various levels of pediatric care expertise. The TREKK (Translating Emergency Knowledge for Kids) network was created to close these critical knowledge gaps. By connecting emergency specialists, child health researchers, patients and families, TREKK can help ensure the latest knowledge in children’s emergency care is put into practice in general emergency departments.

Presented by Doctors Manitoba

Preparing medical students for practice with resiliency training

With rates of depression and burnout on the rise across the medical profession, the Canadian Federation of Medical Students wants to teach medical students resiliency skills. Their new program, STRIVE (Simulated training for Resilience in Various Environments), provides training and simulations of difficult situations to help students develop stress management skills. The training is being offered to medical schools across the country, as a way of incorporating resiliency skills teaching into medical school curriculums, and better preparing students for future practice.

Presented by the Canadian Federation of Medical Students

Delivering care in some of the world’s most hard-to-reach locations

Members of Médecins Sans Frontières operate in some of the most isolated areas in the world, delivering care with limited tools and resources. Through their telemedicine program, they’re making it easier for doctors in the field to access medical support, such as diagnostic tools and expert advice, and to bring advanced care to places where specialists can’t always go. Since its creation eight years ago, the program now has a global network of more than 300 volunteer medical specialists and has supported almost 9,000 cases, saving lives in countries all over the world.

Presented by Médecins Sans Frontières

Helping build communities of interest on health issues

Communities of interest are groups of people with a shared passion who come together to explore ideas and experiences, solve problems and take action. Across Canada, physicians, medical learners, health professionals and patients are creating communities of interest on issues affecting the health system, the profession and patients. The CMA is supporting these communities through a grants program and a new virtual platform. The five grant winners for 2018 are focused on connecting people interested in Indigenous health, creating inclusive and equitable medical communities, providing health care to substance users and marginalized people, and supporting Canadian assessors and providers of medical assistance in dying.

Presented by the Canadian Medical Association

Improving medication safety and protecting patient privacy through e-prescribing

More than 40% of prescriptions in Canada are hand written, and can be lost, misplaced, tampered with, or misread at the pharmacy. To make prescribing safer and more secure, Canada Health Infoway is implementing a new, national e-prescribing service, in partnership with Health Canada, the provinces and territories, and industry stakeholders. Through PrescribeIT™, prescribers can use their existing EMR system to electronically transmit prescriptions to their patient’s pharmacy of choice. The goals of the service are – among others − to reduce errors in filling prescriptions, protect patient information, facilitate communication between prescribers and pharmacists, and reduce prescription fraud and abuse.