SFU experts involved in new virtual healthcare initiative

Patients unable to access traditional face to face outpatient programs due to COVID-19 will benefit from a new initiative, Stronger Together: Social Infrastructure for Community Health, announced this week by the Digital Technology Supercluster.

Patients unable to access traditional face to face outpatient programs due to COVID-19 will benefit from a new initiative, Stronger Together: Social Infrastructure for Community Health, announced this week by the Digital Technology Supercluster. Simon Fraser University health sciences professor Scott Lear is on the project team and will be helping to transfer his currently web-based cardiac rehabilitation program onto the project’s new mobile platform.

Curatio, a digital health company headquartered in B.C., is leading the project, which combines a private social network that uses AI, matchmaking and machine learning to connect patients with support through a real-time patient monitoring platform.

Lear says the new initiative will benefit those waiting for surgery, living with a chronic condition or facing a health challenge, connecting them virtually with hospitals, doctors and community organizations to get the support they need.

Lear began investigating using the internet to deliver care to patients in rural and remote areas through his virtual cardiac rehab program more than a decade ago. Today he uses coordinated digital media platforms to inform the public of both his latest heart research and established good practices for preventing heart disease.

SFU’s Science and Technology for Aging Research (STAR) Institute is a program partner in the project and is committed to supporting community-engaged research in the rapidly growing area of technology and aging through their expertise in program design for the digital environment.

“The STAR Institute is excited to be involved in this initiative that will benefit patients and to be working with companies like Curatio, who are leaders in the digital health field,” says SFU gerontology professor Andrew Sixsmith, who directs the STAR Institute and is co-scientific director for AGE-WELL NCE, Canada’s Technology and Aging Network.

Additional project partners include: Cloud DX; Centre for Chronic Disease Prevention and Management at University of British Columbia; University Health Network; Pacific Blue Cross; Wellness Garage; On Call Health; zu.com.

About Simon Fraser University: 

As Canada’s engaged university, SFU works with communities, organizations and partners to create, share and embrace knowledge that improves life and generates real change. We deliver a world-class education with lifelong value that shapes change-makers, visionaries and problem-solvers. We connect research and innovation to entrepreneurship and industry to deliver sustainable, relevant solutions to today’s problems. With campuses in British Columbia’s three largest cities – Vancouver, Burnaby and Surrey – SFU has eight faculties that deliver 193 undergraduate degree programs and 127 graduate degree programs to more than 35,000 students. The university now boasts more than 160,000 alumni residing in 143 countries.

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