Kevin J. Leonard Award 2018

Kevin J. Leonard Award 2018

Sandra Dalziel and eHealth Innovation Executive Director Dr. Joseph Cafazzo join Patrick Ware, 2018 recipient of the “Kevin J. Leonard Award” in the Leonard Library on May 17, 2018.

The “Kevin J. Leonard Award” is presented annually by the University of Toronto’s Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation (IHPME), in collaboration with UHN’s eHealth Innovation to pay tribute to Kevin’s tireless advocacy on behalf of patients.

Kevin was an Associate Professor at IHPME from 1996 until his death in July 2013, and also one of the original Research Scientists of eHealth Innovation (formerly the Centre for Global eHealth Innovation). In acknowledgement of this role, Kevin’s former office was transformed into the Leonard Library.

Living with Crohn’s disease for over 40 years, Kevin was also a passionate patient advocate who believed the healthcare system could be transformed if patients had electronic access to their own health information, allowing them to be more effective in managing their care in partnership with their providers. Promoting this recognition of ‘patients as partners in their healthcare’ was front and centre in all of Kevin’s advocacy work. In his own life, Kevin was able to access some of his health information and was an empowered partner in his care team.

Sandra Dalziel, Kevin’s widow, presented the fifth “Kevin J. Leonard Award” to PhD candidate, Patrick Ware, during IHPME’s annual Research Day on Wednesday, May 2, 2018. The Award recognizes students whose work engages and empowers patients through the use of technology to become partners in their own health.

With a keen interest in health informatics, Patrick sought out IHPME and eHealth Innovation to expand his knowledge and expertise. Bringing experience in the design, implementation and evaluation of consumer health innovations, Patrick’s PhD is focused on gathering evidence to determine how to scale Medly, a smartphone-based heart failure telemonitoring program at University Health Network’s Heart Function Clinic. Medly empowers self-management in patients and strengthens the relationships between a patient and their care team. To achieve an essential framework for scalability, not only for Medly but also similar interventions, Patrick is working to fully understand the telemonitoring experience from both the patient and provider perspectives. As a patient with multiple providers, Kevin would have strongly encouraged Patrick’s efforts to enhance the patient/provider relationship to optimize patient health outcomes.

Also, in addition to Patrick’s professional accomplishments, a bonus on a personal level for Sandra is the fact that Patrick is a native Montrealer like Kevin and herself.

With Patrick’s strong drive to make a difference for patients, there is no doubt he will have an impact in his chosen field furthering the recognition of ‘patients as partners in their healthcare’

Sandra Dalziel

International Women’s Day 2018: The women behind the reason for what we do.

International Women’s Day 2018: The women behind the reason for what we do.

March 8 is International Women’s day. This year’s theme is #pressforprogress, motivating and uniting friends, colleagues and whole communities to think, act and be gender inclusive

At eHealth Innovation, progression is a driving force behind the work we do.  As a team, we are focused on progressing healthcare in a direction where patients are a key player in their healthcare journey; bringing technology that empowers and supports into the hands of the patient.

The work we do is by no means simple, and the team is lucky to have a large group of extraordinary women that push for progression in healthcare (and beyond). Their passion and determination are second to none.

The men and women of our team were asked this week to reflect on the female role models that have motivated them to be a part of healthcare. Each response is unique, however, a similar theme proved clear across the board: We are surrounded by women that inspire, challenge, and support us to make a difference, every day.  These women deserve to be celebrated!


“A woman who inspired me to work in healthcare is Jennifer. Jennifer was an inpatient nurse at Bloorview Kids Rehab Hospital who took care of me when I was a patient there. She showed incredible empathy and care to me and all of the other children at the hospitalShe showed me what an incredible impact you can have in healthcare through the smallest of interactions. It has been fifteen years since I last saw Jennifer, but I am still greatly touched by her kindness. She has inspired me to work in this field and contribute in my own way to help people live healthier and happier lives.”


“I’ve been fortunate enough to be surrounded by many impressive, hard-working, dedicated and intelligent women and because of that, I’ve always believed that there aren’t any limits on what I can do. The supervisor I had during my Master’s thesis, in particular, is a leader in her field and a great mentor.  My Mom is the most strong and caring person I know. My friends, classmates, colleagues and peers are bright and creative which pushes me to always do my best. I hope that one day I can have that positive influence on someone that these women have had on me.”


“My mom was a toxicologist before she returned to school to become a speech-language pathologist. She managed the dual responsibilities of a mother of young children and a mature student flawlessly – always available to care for my sister and I, while thriving academically and earning awards for clinical excellence. She was voted “most likely not to charge for professional services” for her commitment to supporting patients irrespective of their financial resources. Her unremitting drive to provide excellent care is an ongoing inspiration for the work I do in advancing care through health IT.”


“My mom had hypertension for as long as I can remember. Since I was a kid, I always wanted to help her feel better somehow. A few years ago, she got diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, and that was the tipping point that made me decide to go into healthcare. All I wanted to do was use my coding skills to benefit my mom and other people like her.”


“There are two women in my life that I have grown to admire and look up to. Both pursued a career in healthcare which led me to also find a similar path. These two women are my older sisters. My oldest sister is a nephrologist who dedicated her research in finding better ways patients can accept their new kidney after a transplant and my middle sister is a physician assistant for a physiatrist providing a better quality of life to those who are undergoing rehabilitation treatment as a result of motor vehicle accidents. Though we are doing very different things with our careers, in some way we are all connected in the fact that we ultimately hope to help our patients.”


“I am lucky that I have been surrounded by inspiring female leaders my whole life. My mom, who was a lawyer on Bay street for many years, the teachers at my all-girl high school who really pushed us to achieve excellence in all areas of our lives, and more recently, my best friends – women my age – who take huge strides in their career and have never backed down from a good challenge. These women are remarkable. My grade 12 biology teacher, Seonaid Davis, was one woman in particular who is part of the reason I work in healthcare today. Ms. Davis presented us with an assignment to look into the news and explore how science influences human behaviour and shapes the society in which we live. I read a three-part series by Globe and Mail journalist, Ian Brown, about his experiences raising a son who has Cardiofaciouscutaneuos Syndrome (CFC). Brown’s heart-breaking account of the severely debilitating degenerative disease sparked my curiosity in unpacking the traits that define a ‘human being’. My values, interest in philosophy and long-standing desire to contribute to the healthcare sector began to converge. Brown’s article ignited my passion for investigating the social side of healthcare and Ms. Davis allowed me to explore this interest in full force and grew my natural affinity for the topic of biology.


“The ladies at the Centre for Collaborative Health (Oakville clinic) are absolutely phenomenal! It is apparent that these intelligent ladies are very passionate about their work, as they all put their heart and soul into what they do. Their work ethic is truly inspiring and they are wonderful people to be around!”



Innovations in Data and Technology Improving Care for Cardiac Patients

February is Heart Month, and the spotlight is on the importance of cardiovascular health. At eHealth Innovation, our focus is on heart failure, a condition that touches more than 600,000 Canadians. Our platform, Medly, is a companion in heart care, and bridges the care gap between hospital and clinic visits often faced by patients living with heart failure. Since the launch of the Medly program in 2017, the feedback from patients and providers has been undeniably positive. Watch John’s journey with Medly below and read the full article on how innovations in technology and big data, are improving care for cardiac patients here:

Watch John’s journey with Medly above and read the full article on how innovations in technology and big data, like Medly, are improving care for cardiac patients here

Innovations in Data and Technology Improving Care for Cardiac Patients – Written by ANNE PAPMEHL
Peter Munk Cardiac Centre
The Peter Munck Cardiac Centre Campaign


Apps of the future will be prescribed to patients by their care givers

Apps of the future will be prescribed to patients by their care givers

Canadian Healthcare Technology – November/December Issue
Joseph Cafazzo: Lead, eHealth Innovation
Jessica Fifield: Communications Coordinator, eHealth Innovation

TORONTO – More apps than ever are not only being recommended by healthcare providers, they are actually prescribed as part of their care. This means more than it might seem. These apps are connected to the clinic, and information will flow both ways. Care decisions are made collectively, with the patient far more engaged and active than ever before.

It wasn’t that long ago that physicians really didn’t see a need for patients to have easy electronic access to their personal health information. That has certainly changed in recent years, with patient portals emerging across the country. Much remains to be done to improve the content and context of patient portals, and their role is likely to be more important in the near future than it is today. Prescribed mobile health apps can take the utility of patient portals to an entirely new level. Targeted to a specific chronic illness, the apps will be used as personalized digital companions that offer access to contextualized, actionable information. They will also provide tactics to manage their conditions, and links to their care teams. In this way, patients are care-givers and can become more proactive.

Clinicians are recognizing this and embracing mobile applications as an extension of treatment. So much so, that the latest generation of our apps are designed with the intent that they will be prescribed. Currently, the clinic provides the patient an orientation to the app, but training shouldn’t be necessary if the app is well designed with human-centered principles. Eventually, enrolment can be achieved by the patient alone through access to the patient portal. For patients who require more assistance, a digital pharmacy could provide fulfillment and assist with providing access to digital health peripherals, such as a blood pressure monitor, a weight scale, or a Fitbit.

Our team at UHN, consisting of designers, developers, human factors engineers, and researchers, have been working on realizing this vision by translating a decade of clinical trial learnings into a suite of apps for the self-care of chronic illness. Medly, our app platform for those with multiple chronic conditions, is currently being prescribed by the Heart Function Clinic at University Health Network. Patients have been prescribed the mobile app which monitors patient vital signs and symptoms. An algorithm determines the status of the patient and alerts the patient and clinic as needed. The system is able to detect problems before they become serious, creating peace-of-mind for patients, their families, and their care providers alike.

Ned, our prostate cancer survivorship application, will soon be prescribed by a number of oncologists in Ontario. Keeping these patients engaged and regularly reporting their symptoms is a challenge. Ned addresses this by prompting the patient regularly for status through widely used symptom surveys and also receives their PSA lab results with trends and interpretation. In a first for patient access in the province, these lab results are fed directly from the Ontario Lab Information System (OLIS), and not through community lab systems or the hospital. The prospect of access to systems such as OLIS opens up the possibility of province-wide deployments. Stay tuned for more announcements of OLIS-enabled apps in the future.

Another app that will benefit from this improved access to clinical data is bant, our diabetes management platform, with its ability to track physical activity, meals, and record blood glucose levels via Bluetooth integration. By creating a complete dashboard about their care, and by providing access to their data from a seamless, secure provincial database, patients will be given opportunities for self-care that would not have been possible before. bant, will launch with this new functionality on both iOS and Android in the New Year.

Like any next generation of technology, barriers to integrate data from multiple sources are numerous. What is needed is the creation of a pathway, where applications can access and merge healthcare data, and eliminate the blind spots of privacy and security policy of personal health information. In turn, such a pathway will lead to an ecosystem of prescribed apps, giving clinicians, patients and their families a completely new way to interact with one another outside of the traditional provision of care.

There are times when we need to reinvent the way we work. In healthcare, we are facing those times. There is no moment better to create technologies that let people live well despite serious chronic illness, and to have them achieve a level of independence that has never been possible before, when we thought of patients as simply passive participants in their own care.

For the entire November/December issue of  Canadian Healthcare Technology click here

The Intern Experience 2017

Over the summer, we sat down with some of our most recent interns, Maya, Lauren and Hiba, to get their take on what it is like to be part of the eHealth Innovation team.

Over the past 15 years, we have opened our doors and welcomed interns from different programs and fields. Their efforts are often unparalleled and we value the fresh input that these students contribute to our work. Without a doubt, their work has helped shape and change the work we do today, and what we will continue to do in the future.

As a team, we put an emphasis on creating and protecting a workplace culture that fosters innovation and supports each specific individual. The work we do can only be successful if it is done as a whole. The eHI team is lucky to be made up of individuals from diverse areas of expertise, united by their commitment and passion in designing and developing technology that enables patients to be key players in their healthcare journey.

Maya Newman – Master of Management of Innovation, University of Toronto –

Hiba Shah –Master of Science eHealth– McMaster University –

Lauren Ribeiro – Master of Health Informatics – University of Toronto –

• Interested in joining the eHI team? keep an eye on our contact page – we will be recruiting new interns in early 2018 •

eHI at HL7® FHIR® Developer Days 2017!

eHI at HL7® FHIR® Developer Days 2017!

We are excited to announce that the eHI team will be at HL7® FHIR® Developer Days 2017!

Whether you are a developer, architect or product manager, Dev Days is a great chance to come together and test and develop your implementation, side by side with others who have a keen interest in FHIR.

HL7® FHIR® Developer Days 2017 provides the chance to learn about FHIR in a collaborative environment. Through hackathons, tutorials and keynotes, you will get the opportunity to not only gain insight into FHIR, but also get guidance from world-renowned experts in their area.


This year we have several members of our team speaking:

James Agnew
will present on FHIR development for Java developers, demonstrating the basics of building FHIR clients and servers, as well as highlighting advanced features.


Melanie Yeung will lead Continua Interoperability track, focusing on how the Continua framework can be used for bringing data from medical devices to services and systems used by patients and caregivers in a meaningful way.


Ryan Baldwin will present on FireKit library, which is an open source iOS framework for persisting FHIR objects in Realm (and also on the great responsibility that comes with maintaining a beard of such fine form.)




Join James, Melanie, Ryan and many others at FHIR DevDays in Amsterdam from 15-17 November, 2016. To register, click here. To learn more about the event, speakers and schedule, check out

Have any other questions or want to know more about our standards work? Email us at or check out our standards website here