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:


  • University of Alberta Hospital Foundation celebrates first year of the gamma knife: Since the $17.2-million gamma knife suite opened at the University of Alberta Hospital last year, approximately 250 patients, or about 15 per cent of patients, have undergone a painless, scalpel-free brain surgery in Edmonton. View the news release here.
  • Alberta Health Services launched the My Care Conversations app to help cancer patients recall conversations with health care professionals by recording audio, while walking patients through use that keeps in line with AHS’s privacy policies. The app was made in response to studies that show patients forget up to 80 per cent of information relayed at medical appointments.
  • Two University of Alberta scientists have identified biomarkers in saliva which could one day lead to a test for Alzheimer’s. The researchers looked at saliva of those with Alzheimer’s, minor cognitive impairment, and samples from people with normal cognition and found three metabolites that could be used to differentiate between the three. The results need to be replicated with a larger sample size.
  • An electronic game, VirtualGym, is being tested by University of Alberta researchers at a Calgary seniors’ residence in hopes of developing a personalized therapy at home. Seniors didn’t like the original version of the game, which they said was too busy and cartoonish.
  • study led by a University of Alberta PhD student Brandon Hauer published in the Journal of Neurophysiology found that hyperoxia might put the brain in a slow-wave sleep state, which could be important for brain recovery for those with disrupted sleep. That theory has yet to be tested at the clinical level.
  • Alberta Health Services will find out who’s naughty and nice. Until Dec. 21, parking tickets received at an AHS site between Nov. 1 and Dec. 10 can be waived with a donation of a new, unwrapped toy of similar value to the fine.


  • Nephrologist Dr. Scott Klarenbach will be speaking about real worldevidence and how Alberta’s advantages help to facilitate cutting-edge research development at a brown bag event from noon to 1 p.m. on Jan. 17, 2019 in room 20D of ATB Place at 10020 100 Street.
  • The 2019 Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health Symposium will be held in Edmonton from April 14 to 16.
  • Jan. 14, 2019 is the deadline to apply for the T4M Start-up World trade show for medical technology innovators, which 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.

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

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