Tag Archives: medical innovation

Did you hear about Chris’s mint condition 1963 Shelby Cobra? Mechanics say he didn’t check the oil for decades, and the engine just seized one day on the way to work. When they opened it up, they say there wasn’t much left. Such a shame really.

Said Nobody. EVER.

Jazlin Mayhue is a researcher in Victoria, BC

Peter Hobza is a family physician in Victoria, BC

Robert O'Connor is a family physician in Victoria, BC

 

Introducing a new concept...

We all know folks who are not vigilant with preventive health for their body. However, a subset of them wouldn’t drive an irreplaceable million-dollar car until it was destroyed from lack of maintenance. A human’s life and body are irreplaceable, and worth at least a million dollars, when considering the price of an injury causing death. Therefore, it’s logical to help some people think of treating their body as well as a valuable car. ...continue reading

Domhnall MacAuleyDomhnall MacAuley is a CMAJ Associate Editor and a professor of primary care in Northern Ireland, UK

 

At Dotmed2014 “The creative medical conferenceeveryone present seemed to be just a little bit different, both on the stage and in the audience. There were artists, musicians, poets, novelists, doctors and patients. Muiris Houston, doctor, journalist, and joint convenor of the conference, said it was designed to explore that space between medicine and humanity. But, it was also empowering, entertaining, stimulating and mind bending.

When she saw the blood on the glove she knew it was time to create a fuss. Not everyone does a rectal examination on their dad, but his blood pressure was dropping and the medical staff were not taking enough notice and someone had to look for a cause. Stories grab attention and when Dr Louise Aronson from UCSF told a gripping story of her father’s stay in hospital she showed that doctors, just like patients, respond well to narratives. For those of involved in public medical communication Aronson said, “the communication ecosystem has changed” and she gave five tips: ...continue reading

Domhnall MacAuleyDomhnall MacAuley is a CMAJ Associate Editor and a professor of primary care in Northern Ireland, UK

 

The “Medical Innovation Bill” could radically change the way doctors make treatment decisions in the UK. Lord Saatchi, in response to the death of his wife from cancer, seeks to change the law to allow doctors to use experimental treatments, a concept that challenges evolved standards of practice. This Private Members Bill, which will be discussed at committee stage in the UK House of Lords on Friday, provoked ongoing discussions among leading doctors highlighting the tension between evidence based medicine and innovative clinical practice.

Medicine has made many mistakes in the past, some of which are listed in the website of the James Lind Library, the brainchild of Iain Chalmers, champion of the randomised controlled trial. While they recognise that doctors have always done their best, patients have been harmed because doctors didn’t have reliable knowledge on the effectiveness of treatment. As scientists, we recognise the need to make decisions based on the best evidence available and, equally important, to identify the harms. But, emotion is a powerful motivation ...continue reading

Kirsten_headshotKirsten Patrick is Deputy Editor at CMAJ

 

A recently published CMAJ Q&A with David Naylor, chair of the federal government's new Advisory Panel on Healthcare Innovation, hinted at how Canada seems to be lagging when it comes to innovating in the health space. Last Thursday I attended the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences annual meeting in Ottawa, which focused on the commercialization of health research for health, economic and social benefit in Canada.

The forum began with a talk by former deputy chief of staff for policy in the office of the Canadian PM, Dr. Peter Nicholson. Nicholson talked about innovation in Canada beyond the health care arena and pointed out that Canadian business has only been as innovative as it has needed to be – i.e. not very – which has resulted in a decades-long low innovation equilibrium. Why? Because we are too comfortable in Canada. Canada’s good fortune in having vast natural resources means that business innovation is just not as pressing a need as for some other countries. And our proximity to the US is no help – Canadian business is comfortably and profitably integrated with US business (“the ‘junior partner’ in North America?” asked Bill Tholl, Founding President and CEO of HealthCareCAN) making it particularly challenging for Canadian business to embrace global business models, keep pace with revolutionary technology, establish significant positions in sophisticated global value chains and develop clusters of skills and infrastructure that enhance innovation, Nicholson said.

It seems that dragging innovation in the health care space is not an anomaly but mirrors that of general Canadian industry. ...continue reading

Kirsten_headshotKirsten Patrick is a deputy editor at CMAJ

 

Health care professionals need to learn to do more to encourage self-expression in healing.

Watching Friday’s TEDMED session entitled ‘Weird and Wonderful’ I was humbled by talks by two non-medics who have done wonderful creative things that have vastly improved the lives of patients.

First up was Bob Carey. I had never heard of Bob Carey before – WHY had I never heard of Bob Carey before? – so I was surprised to see a middle-aged man standing on the TEDMED stage in a pink tutu and nothing else. He said, “I’m a commercial photographer …and I have been photographing myself for over 20 years as a form of self-therapy because that’s what I do; when things get hard I go take pictures of myself…and it’s a lot cheaper than real therapy...” He transforms himself through photography into something that he is ‘not’ and that helps him to get out of himself, he says. In 2003 his wife, Linda, was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer and Bob started to take pictures of himself wearing a pink tutu in beautiful landscapes. What started out as a way of expressing his inner discomfort and difficult feelings and sharing his wife’s experience, grew, through self-publication of a book, into the Tutu Project. ...continue reading

glamour1Lauren Vogel is a news editor on CMAJ

What separates a good idea from an amazing one? A TEDMED2014 session I live streamed Wednesday provided plenty of clues. Although the speakers came from widely diverse backgrounds, ranging from journalism to ocean swimming, three strong threads – simplicity, specificity and daring – bound together the lessons they shared.

“Flat Out Amazing” ideas, it seems, start from simple answers to complex questions. Take the single-use syringe, for example ...continue reading

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sarahCSarah Currie is a medical copy editor on CMAJ

 

Rhonda and Gerry Wile’s journey to creating their family is documented on their personal blog and in Leslie Morgan Steiner’s new book, The Baby Chase.

Rhonda and Gerry met and married in their late 20s. Like many women, Rhonda had dreamed of a future in which she would be a mother. Unfortunately, Rhonda discovered that she had an uncommon medical condition that resulted in infertility: although she had two vaginas and two uteruses, and could easily become pregnant, the small size of each uterus meant that all of her pregnancies would result in miscarriage. The Wiles could be included in the 16% of Canadian heterosexual couples affected by infertility.

Infertility is increasing in Canada, as it is elsewhere, and it can be a heartbreaking, isolating and depressing diagnosis. More and more couples who want to start their families are forced to make some very difficult choices as to how far they are willing to go to create a baby. For the Wiles, those choices took them thousands of kilometres from home.

Couples like the Wiles have four options for dealing with infertility: remaining child-free, seeking fertility treatment, pursuing adoption, and surrogacy. According to Morgan Steiner, about 50% of couples will choose to remain child-free and not seek other options. The remainder who choose to continue on the path to parenthood must navigate some very murky waters. ...continue reading

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Andrew and Akshay - Hacking Health

photo credit: Victor Panlilio

Dr. Akshay Shetty (centre right) is an Internal Medicine Resident at the University of Calgary Dr. Won Hyung A. Ryu (centre left) is a Neurosurgery Resident at the University of Calgary
Dr Aleem Bharwani is Director for the Medical Teaching Unit, Internist, and assistant prof at the University of Calgary

For budding young physicians, it’s almost a rite of passage: you finish your residency, accrue research along the way and then enter the clinical workforce. But a small wrinkle has crept into this tried and tested formula. More than ever, physicians in training are disrupting their medical education to foster innovation and improve the field of health care through non-conventional means, but often at the expense of their own traditional careers. ...continue reading