Discovering high-impact health care solutions: Nova Scotia Health Launches New Innovation Hub

Halifax, NS – Today Nova Scotia Health officially launched an Innovation Hub, a first of its kind centre of excellence for health research and innovation in Atlantic Canada.

Through strategic partnerships with clinical champions, patients and families, industry, healthcare foundations, governments, and academic partners, Nova Scotia Health’s Innovation Hub is transforming healthcare through the best available evidence and innovative solutions. It is a catalyst that is fostering an innovative mindset and approaches to bring about positive system change.

“We are very proud to be taking a big step forward in changing the healthcare landscape,” said Dr. Gail Tomblin Murphy, Vice President of Research, Innovation and Discovery and Chief Nurse Executive at Nova Scotia Health. “The Nova Scotia Health Innovation Hub means that it is no longer business as usual. The cutting-edge work happening here is allowing us to tackle some of our biggest challenges in the health system and will propel us into the future.”

The announcement was made as part of Nova Scotia Health’s Innovation Showcase, which is taking place today and Friday, Feb. 25. This free online event is highlighting how staff and clinicians are driving change through innovative ideas and new technologies to transform health and healthcare in Nova Scotia, initiated through the Innovation Hub.

Recent examples include the Mako SmartRobotics system (featured today) and VirtualCareNS (which will be highlighted on Friday).

The Mako SmartRobotics system is a robotic arm controlled by a surgeon during hip and knee surgeries. This allows a joint impact to be positioned more precisely than with the human eye, making orthopedic surgery more effective. It is helping further establish Nova Scotia Health’s QEII Health Science Centre’s reputation for innovation and excellence, making it a Canadian leader in innovative surgical robotics and care.

VirtualCareNS enables people on the Need a Family Practice Registry to access a primary-care provider online through their computer or mobile device. It is a free program delivered using Maple, one of Canada’s leading virtual-care platforms.

Also during the Innovation Showcase today, a new Innovators in Residence program was announced. As part of the Innovation Hub, this program will promote and enhance the visibility and mandate of innovation at Nova Scotia Health, provide innovation thought leadership with clinical teams, administration, and executive leadership, and champion clinical implementations of new technologies, services, and solutions within the health system. The Innovators in Residence will represent Nova Scotia Health at industry events nationally and globally to help develop new business and funding opportunities.

The first Innovators in Residence include Dr. Karen Cross and Dr. Michael Dunbar.

Dr. Karen Cross is CEO and Co-founder of MIMOSA Diagnostics Inc. She is a plastic, reconstructive and aesthetic surgeon with a specialization in Advanced Tissue Injury and Wound Care. She is the first surgeon-entrepreneur at the University of Toronto, a designation she received for her knowledge translation of taking technology from the bench to the bedside. Her passion is creating equity within the healthcare system by improving access to care with technology. She is currently building the next generation of wound diagnostics.
Dr. Cross recently relocated to Nova Scotia from Ontario, in part because of the opportunity to be an Innovator in Residence.

Dr. Michael Dunbar is an orthopedic surgeon at Nova Scotia Health’s QEII Health Sciences Centre and a professor of surgery at Dalhousie University. He is considered an international thought leader in his field, and along with the surgical team, are conducting critical research to validate the efficacy of robotics in hip and knee surgeries. The long-term goal is to broadly offer better, more personalized surgery for Nova Scotians that lead to innovations in robotic arthroplasty globally. He recently spearheaded a project using the Mako SmartRobotics system.

Dr. Dunbar is the first joint Nova Scotia Health-Dalhousie University Innovator in Residence.
For more information about the Nova Scotia Health Innovation Hub, visit the Nova Scotia Health website (https://www.nshealth.ca/research-innovation-discovery).

A recording of today’s showcase event will be available shortly, and registration remains open for Friday’s livestreamed event. To view the agenda, and to register, visit NSHealthInnovationShowcase.ca.

Additional quotes:
“We need bold ideas and innovative solutions to address the challenges in healthcare. The Nova Scotia Health Innovation Hub will bring together clinicians, industry, public sector leaders, and not-for-profits together to tackle these challenges and help attract healthcare professionals to the province.”
- Michelle Thompson, Minister of Health and Wellness

“We know that research is care, and when combined with innovation, brings about new and improved ways to deliver care that is better for patients. The work being done by our staff and clinicians is truly remarkable and the Nova Scotia Health Innovation Hub will help us capitalize on the impressive solutions being brought forward by our brightest minds.”
- Karen Oldfield, Interim President and CEO, Nova Scotia Health

“Dalhousie is excited to partner with Nova Scotia Health to support the transformation of health care through leading-edge research. Dr. Dunbar is not only a premier biomedical researcher in his field but is also at the forefront of surgical and orthopedic innovation. Having him as an Innovator in Residence will highlight the exemplary work Dalhousie researchers, in collaboration with our partners, are doing to change the lives of Nova Scotians and beyond.”
- Dr. David Anderson, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at Dalhousie University

“Being an Innovator in Residence enables me to help build the foundation for commercialization of health tech in Nova Scotia. I aim to mentor and inspire other innovators to commercialize their ideas, grow the health tech ecosystem and help retain and keep talent in the province. This province could easily be a global leader in this space & I am excited to be a part of the organization that shows the world what the east coast of Canada can do.”
- Dr. Karen Cross, Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeon, CEO and Co-founder of MIMOSA Diagnostics Inc.

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