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Queen’s hosting digital health care discussions

Drs. Eric Topol, Brian Goldman, and Richard Birtwhistle will discuss the impact of technological innovation and big data on patient care.

From the operating room to the waiting room, technology is changing the way healthcare is delivered in Canada. Organizers of a free conference coming up at Queen’s this summer will bring together clinicians, patients, policymakers, educators, business leaders, and technology experts to take the pulse of trends in the medical world, and prescribe a path forward.

[Dr. Eric Topol
Dr. Eric Topol is known for his opinions about how digital technologies will transform healthcare. (Supplied Photo)

The 2018 Research & Innovation Showcase, on June 6, 2018, is a day-long event, hosted by the Southeastern Ontario Academic Medical Organization (SEAMO), which will explore developments in the digital health technology field, connect attendees with some of the foremost thinkers in the growing field, and offer participants the opportunity to brainstorm their own revolutionary ideas.

SEAMO has secured three noteworthy speakers for the event, including Eric Topol – cardiologist, geneticist, and author. His book, The Patient Will See You Now, explores how smartphone adoption, big data, and other technological trends, are combining to revolutionize health care. Dr. Topol believes that, in the future, medical advice, much like a cab, could be just a few taps of the smartphone away.

Also appearing at the showcase will be Brian Goldman, host of CBC Radio’s White Coat, Black Art. Dr. Goldman is also a Toronto emergency room physician, and author of the book, The Secret Language of Doctors.

The third keynote speaker will be Queen’s own Richard Birtwhistle, Professor in the Departments of Family Medicine and Public Health Sciences, who has been the lead on a big data project to establish a national primary care research database.

[Dr. Richard Birtwhistle]
Representing Queen's at the podium will be Richard Birtwhistle, Professor in the Departments of Family Medicine and Public Health Sciences. (Supplied Photo)

“Dr. Birtwhistle’s presentation will provide a tangible example of our digital health leadership, and I am looking forward to his perspective as to how we stay ahead of the curve,” says Chris Simpson, SEAMO Medical Director and Acting Dean (Faculty of Health Sciences). “Queen's Medicine is well positioned to continue our leadership role in digital health, which will continue to create major changes in how healthcare is being delivered going forward.”

Along with the keynote speeches, the event will feature panel discussions focused on how advances in digital technology are changing the nature of health care delivery in Canada. Panel participants will include policymakers, industry leaders, health care providers and patients, as well as the keynote speakers.

Attendees will also learn about cutting-edge work conducted by SEAMO’s Clinician Scientists during breakout sessions and can view poster displays from recent Innovation Fund award winners.

To help spur on more innovative ideas, the Showcase will also feature a Health Care Innovation Hackathon to challenge attendees to come up with their own innovative digital health ideas. The hackathon will be run by Joule Inc., a Canadian Medical Association company.

“We need engineers, computer and social scientists, policy and law experts, and "lived experience" patients and clients to help us understand how this transformation should be accommodated in our lives and integrated into the regulatory and legal environments,” says Dr. Simpson. “That’s why we hope there will be people from all walks of life attending our conference on June 6.”

To get your tickets for the 2018 SEAMO Research and Innovation Showcase, and find out more about these projects and keynotes, visit www.seamo.ca or follow the event on Twitter @2018RIS