Queen's Innovation Centre

Dunin-Deshpande Queen's Innovation Centre
Dunin-Deshpande Queen's Innovation Centre

Using Innovation to Address Health Inequities

Medicine Students use QICSI Program to Jump into Healthcare Innovation

Thursday, September 13th, 2018 | By Adam Devon and Darsan Sadacharam

Adam Devon (left) and Darsan Sadacharam (right), QICSI 2018 participants

Guest blog by Adam Devon and Darsan Sadacharam, QICSI 2018 participants and Queen's Medical Students in the Class of 2020.

As medical students, early clinical encounters are invaluable.

These clinical encounters provide exposure to patients and their stories. In addition to learning medical information, students are flooded with patient narratives that begin to shape their view of medicine. Most importantly, students begin to gain insight into the challenges that exist within our healthcare system.

We learned about the power of medical narratives firsthand through a clinical experience, during which a patient came in with severe mechanical back pain. For this problem, the physician recommended pain medications and physiotherapy. Unfortunately, the patient did not have physiotherapy coverage and was unable to personally bear the cost. Without any alternatives, the patient was left to rehab on their own. This health inequity deeply resonated with us. It is this common narrative that motivated us to try to help patients in this position.

This past summer, we had the privilege of participating in the Queen’s Innovation Centre Summer Initiative through the Dunin-Deshpande Queen’s Innovation Centre. This program allowed us to jump into the space of healthcare innovation. The supportive and collaborative environment at Queen’s allowed us to explore ways to improve care for back pain patients. Working alongside a fellow Queen’s student, Dylan Brookes (Computing ‘20), we have been developing a web-application for primary care providers to help prescribe home-based exercise and mindfulness therapy to their patients with low back pain, who are unable to access or afford physiotherapy. We plan to evaluate the impact of this platform in the fall, and hope it can provide a solution for patients unable to access physiotherapy.


This blog post originally appeared on the Dean's Blog in the Faculty of Health Sciences.