The Health Innovation Roundup, sponsored by Health City, is written and published weekly by Taproot Edmonton to bring you the latest news and events in research, technology, companies and people changing health for the better in Edmonton.
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- University of Alberta Nobel laureate Dr. Michael Houghton said a hepatitis C vaccine could be available within the next five years if clinical trials prove it is safe and effective.
- The U of A has launched a safe data-sharing and analytics platform to boost artificial intelligence, machine learning, and digital health research. The Data Analytics Research Core (DARC) will help researchers analyze larger amounts of health data faster and more securely.
- U of A professor Dr. Justine Turner is running a clinical trial to explore a supplement for people with celiac disease.
- A new study by U of A researcher Forough Jahandideh is exploring how perinatal stressors including iron deficiency and sepsis affect the development of the baby’s cardiovascular and circulatory systems.
- According to a new U of A study, infant boys with a higher composition of gut bacteria called Bacteroidetes show enhanced cognition and language skills.
- Alberta reported its first two cases of the COVID-19 Lambda variant, also known as C.37. The province’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw confirmed that both cases are travel-related. Hinshaw also noted that testing for the new variant is now part of the province’s regular variant screening.
- Premier Jason Kenney said the province will not bring in COVID-19 vaccine passports.
- According to a new survey by Statistics Canada, Alberta had the highest rate of COVID-19 antibodies in Canada in early 2021.
- Alberta Innovates is partnering with Brightsquid to help the province’s health-technology companies that are enrolled in the Health Technology Commercialization Hub (HaTCH) commercialize their healthcare solutions. HaTCH helps early-stage health-tech companies gain access to expert training, integration with leading medical software, and access to an existing market of hundreds of thousands of end-users, said Alberta Innovates.
- Canadian Blood Services is urgently asking Edmontonians to fill 2,000 appointments in July to meet the increasing demand for blood products across the country.
- A new south Edmonton hospital is set to open in 2030. Provincial infrastructure minister Prasad Panda said the first stage, which includes tree clearing, soil removal, and installation of temporary power services, is expected to be completed in about 18 months, reported the Edmonton Journal.
- U of A spinoff company Medo.ai was featured in the Nature Briefing newsletter as one of 10 international university spinoffs that are “worth keeping an eye on”.
- Edmonton-based health startup Kemet Advanced Manufacturing was featured in a new piece by CBC Edmonton. The story highlighted how Edmonton wants to “attract and retain young and diverse talent” like Kemet CEO Morẹ́nikẹ́ Ọláòṣebìkan.
- An Edmonton patient, who was diagnosed with Type 2 spinal muscular atrophy, will recieve coverage for a new drug that costs $12,000 a vial. The company that makes the drug is paying for her treatment through its compassion program, reported CBC News.
- Alberta Health Services said a “short-term staffing shortage” at the Royal Alexandra Hospital has caused it to temporarily close six beds in its emergency department, reported CBC News. Health Minister Tyler Shandro said the province is working to address staffing shortages at hospitals, adding that despite temporary bed closures Albertans can still access the care they need.
- Alberta Precision Laboratories (APL) has published its 2020-21 annual report. The report includes data on the province-wide public laboratory system during the past year.
- The 2021 Life Sciences State of the Industry Survey closes on July 15. The survey, which was launched by BioAlberta and Deloitte will help shape the policies and programs that can support the growth of the life sciences sector in the province.
- Edmonton-based Concordia University was one of 14 post-secondary institutions in Canada to receive a $2,000 grant from Mindful Employer Canada. The grant will support mental health and well-being initiatives for students, faculty, and staff.
- U of A associate professor Dr. Paul Forsythe was appointed the new chair in asthma and obstructive lung disease at AstraZeneca Canada.
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