Each week Taproot brings together the latest on the research, technology, companies and people changing health and healthcare for the better in Edmonton. If you have a suggestion for a future edition of the roundup, send it to hello@taprootedmonton.ca for consideration.

Here are some highlights from this week’s Health Innovation Roundup:

Local headlines

  • Health innovation using artificial intelligence could change everything from the way doctors diagnose schizophrenia to the abilities of prosthetics with the help of Edmonton researchers. The National Post profiled the role artificial intelligence is playing in drug discovery, development and innovation, interviewing University of Alberta professor and Amii fellow Russ Greiner. He called Canada a “dominant powerhouse” in deep learning.The University of Alberta also profiled its own role in the revolution of artificial intelligence in medicine. The Bionic Limbs for Improved Natural Control lab is working on a way to use reinforcement learning to make “smart” limbs that act more like a seamless extension of the body than current prosthetics. The piece also profiled Greiner’s work in potentially using machine learning as a way to assist in diagnosing schizophrenia.
  • Aris MD won NASA’s iTech Ignite The Night contest with its software that turns medical images into 3D images, like having virtual x-ray vision.
  • University of Alberta computing scientists are using machine learning to analyze tweets by location, health topics and emotions to help health monitoring networks gather data on health and wellness in a particular place.
  • Research out of the University of Alberta published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation shows a potential new cancer therapy that combines two drugs to damage the DNA integrity of breast cancer cells and hinders their ability to repair themselves, preventing metastasis. The research looks at human tumour cells in mice and the lab is hoping to move to Phase 1 of a clinical trial in the future.


You’ll have to travel for:

  • The T4M Start-up World trade show for medical technology innovators will be held in Stuttgart, Germany on May 7 to 9.
  • Abstract submissions for eHealth 2019 have closed, but there is room at the conference for delegates. The conference runs from May 26 to 29 at the Beanfield Centre in Toronto, ON.
  • Inventure$ 2019, an “un-conference” for entrepreneurs and startups to connect with investors, will be held in Calgary from June 7 to 9.

Beyond Edmonton 

  • An app for that doesn’t mean there’s proof for that when it comes to behavioural tracking apps, a new study published in Nature Digital Medicine. The research found only two of the 73 studied apps had direct scientific evidence proving their effectiveness.

The Health Innovation Roundup, sponsored by Health City, is a weekly email newsletter written and published by Taproot Edmonton.

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