Embedded in one of Canada’s largest hospitals, we use communication and information technologies to make health and healthcare better for everyone.
Since opening its doors in 2004, eHealth Innovation at UHN (formally known as the Centre for Global eHealth Innovation) has been driven by the desire for change in our health system. Great experiences with technology are no longer a nice-to-have, it’s a key way of caring for patients and helping those who care for them.
Located within the Toronto General Hospital, University Health Network, eHealth Innovation is embedded in one of the largest academically affiliated medical research centres in North America. Our diverse team (of 45 and growing!) are made up of individuals who are passionate about using cutting-edge technology, science, and design to enable patients to better manage their health. With a unique combination of expertise in areas such as informatics, product design, health policy, and clinical research, we create for the needs of individuals, but also considering the societal aspect of how technology affects us all.
We lead with empathy in design, placing emphasis on the individual’s needs.
At the time we were founded, technology was seen strictly as a tool for clinicians and their practice when treating a patient. The notion that personalized technology could be moulded and used by the patient in their own healthcare journey seemed to many as far-fetched, and even undesirable. Disrupting this notion is where eHealth Innovation was born. Founded by Dr. Alex Jadad and supported by 20 scientists, researchers, consultants and collaborators with a united vision, eHealth Innovation began with initiatives that focused on how the Internet could be used by patients and clinicians to improve arthritis management and cancer care.
Fast forward to today, and the team has grown to become global leaders in the design and delivery of mobile health technologies for chronic disease management. Our work is of course not possible without the hundreds of partnerships we have fostered with like-minded people and their organizations across the world.
Dr. Joseph Cafazzo, eHealth Innovation Lead
TEDxToronto: Patient, Heal Thyself
Imagine a world in which people, regardless of who they are or where they live, use state-of-the-art information and communications technologies with enthusiasm, proficiency and confidence, to achieve the highest possible levels of health.Dr. Alex Jadad
What sets us apart?
We are leaders in the development, adoption, and proliferation of standards for digital health technology. Thanks to the adoption of standards, our products can seamlessly integrate with health care systems and medical devices, enhancing both the patient and clinician experience.
Liberating diabetes data through IEEE and Bluetooth standards for interoperability
The creation of modern digital health is great, but having devices and technologies that can also all talk to each other is even greater. Diabetes devices, such as blood glucose meters and continuous glucose monitors, often struggle to communicate or share their data with other systems. This hinders patients ability to export data from their devices, and use complementary tools for self-management of their condition. Sadly, the theme of not being able to access your health data is common, but we are trying to change that!
eHealth Innovation works with the ISO/IEEE 11073 Personal Health Device Working Group and the Bluetooth Special Interest Group Medical Device Working Group to further the development of interoperability standards for diabetes devices. The core goals of this project are to identify the barriers confronted by manufacturers when trying to implement the standards, and develop strategies to facilitate easy adoption. One of the strategies implemented has been to deliver workshops and toolkits directly to the manufactures of these devices, in order to facilitate knowledge transfer and accelerate adoption of standardized protocols within their technologies.
We believe that as consumers of health care, we should have the ability to access our data and a buffet of compatible products and services to help us work towards a healthy self.
For detailed information visit: http://standards.ehealthinnovation.org/
We are on FHIR!
FHIR (Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources), an emerging standard for electronically collecting and sharing healthcare information, makes it easy to move health data from system to system, between organizations, between patient and doctor, and beyond. For example, through the application of FHIR, you could easily receive your historic laboratory results collected at a hospital 2 years ago, and those collected from a local community laboratory, and compare them on one simple mobile health application. Although the data may be from different locations, collected through a different data bases, FHIR ensures that the final collated results are readable on that one app, regardless of the different sources.
Created by Health Level Seven International (HL7), a health care standards organization, the standard is incorporated into a number of our current mobile apps, including Ned, Medly, iCanCope, bant, and BreatheAgain. Our team has a number of members who work with FHIR every day, and we also regularly contribute to the development of the standard itself. Due to the undeniable value FHIR brings to the healthcare technology sphere, we continue to promote the use of FHIR via workshops, webinars, and conferences.
Mobile apps can be medical devices too
eHealth Innovation is proudly ISO 13485 certified. ISO 13485 is a Quality Management System standard to support manufacturers in establishing and maintaining the effectiveness of their processes in developing medical devices. Why is it so important to us? This standard ensures the design, development, production, deployment, and delivery of medical devices are safe for their intended use.
Through our ISO 13485 certification, we confidently say to partners and patients, that the technology we develop follows the same rigorous processes as medical devices. Also, some of our apps are actually medical devices! For example, Medly is considered a Class I medical device because it provides patients with guidance around medication management. Increasingly, we see our apps crossing over to medical devices, as we thrive to provide patients and clinicians with meaningful decision support tools to enhance their ability to improve health outcomes.