| Follow Us: Facebook Twitter Youtube RSS Feed

Innovation + Job News

877 Articles | Page: | Show All

HealthEDGE taking applications to transform healthcare

In a collaboration between Toronto-area hospitals, health care professionals and the University of Toronto, students are encouraged to submit ideas for the HealthEDGE initiative, a year-long health care hackathon aimed at improving healthcare delivery. 

“We are all touched by the health system from birth.  And at times we have all experienced moments where we have witnessed snags, frustrations, delays, fundamentally illogical processes or practices, and outdated devices or approaches.” said Joseph Ferenbok, a University of Toronto professor and co-director of the Faculty of Medicine’s Health Innovation HUB (H2i). “But though we may have had these experiences, we are not all in a position to do something about these frustrations.” 

The current call for proposals is the first round of the initiative. A panel of industry experts will curate the submissions and channel them to teams of students with expertise in a variety of disciplines, and the groups that present the most interesting ideas will get at least $10,000 in funding. “The advantage of the HealthEDGE initiative is that it is an on-the-ground attempt to reach out to a variety of people, curate and categorize their experiences into practical challenges that are put in front of creative entrepreneurial minds to generate, develop, test and evaluate potential innovations,” said Ferenbok. “In doing so, we empower people in communities that may not be able to address the issues they identify.”

While the health care system in Canada is notorious for being slow to adopt innovative solutions, Ferenbok said that the fact they are working with hospitals as partners is an advantage. “Not only will some of the challenges come from within the hospital communities, mentorship and development will also be done in coordination with the hospitals, said Ferenbok. “We hope that this type of buy-in will create local champions who are aware of the innovation and act as internal advocates to help improve the chances of adaptation.”

Champlain Community Care Access Centre launches innovation centre

As the boomer population reaches retirement age, the strain on the Canadian healthcare system that will inevitably happen is a much-discussed topic in politics. But the The Champlain Community Care Access Centre,  one of the largest health service providers in eastern Ontario, is tackling the issue head-on. 

The CCAC is launching an innovation centre that it says will help people stay at home longer, better support caregivers, and improve access to home health-care technologies. “Demand for home and community care is growing dramatically -- and the patients we are supporting are sicker than ever before,” said Marc Souganivski, the Champlain CCAC CEO. “The combined growth in patient volumes and rising acuity is an important lever for modernizing the home and community care sector.”

The Centre will work by allowing health care technology developers and vendors to test, evaluate and recommend new technologies with patients and caregivers in real-life situations through its new Impact Centre. Some opportunities that the Centre will pursue include Better monitoring of patients’ ongoing conditions, better tracking of home care services being provided as planned and better access to home care supports and resources. 

“The Champlain CCAC innovation initiative is focused on e-Consumer health solutions that are industry-funded, focus on consumers (patients/caregivers) and include a supportive/social element,” said Souganivski. “There is growing recognition at all levels that technological innovations can help more people stay at home longer, better support caregivers, and improve outcomes.”

Who’s hiring in Toronto? The Alzheimer Society of Ontario, The Black Creek Community Health Centre

The Alzheimer Society of Ontario, the province's leading care and research charity committed to helping people with Alzheimer's disease and other dementias, is looking for a chief financial and administration officer. Key responsibilities include maintaining high standards of financial integrity, developing cost-saving initiatives and assessing and implementing employee-centric programs to promote a positive working culture. To qualify, the applicant should have a degree in Business Administration or Commerce or equivalent from an accredited college or university, 10 years of experience in finance and proven ability to to lead and influence stakeholders and business partners. Applications are due November 27

The Black Creek Community Health Centre, a health centre in Toronto focused on family and community health, is looking for a project coordinator. The project coordinator will ensure that group members and volunteers are committed, while documenting outcomes and lessons learned throughout projects and monitoring monthly expenses. Applicants should have a postsecondary degree in a related field, experience monitoring budgets and strong interpersonal skills. Applications are due December 2

Greenpeace Canada, a nonprofit organization that works to protect the environment, is looking for a head of communications and digital marketing. Major responsibilities include Planning, implementing and evaluating the national communications and digital mobilization program, overseeing communications on all GPC channels (including the website and social media) and ensuring rigorous risk assessment. To qualify, the head of communications should have knowledge of digital mobilization trends and tools, previous experience in a position which required highly tuned analytical and judgment skills and experience leading the development and implementation of digital mobilization strategies. Applications are due December 18.

University of Toronto researchers working on new guidelines for breastfeeding

As breastfeeding becomes a more popular method for mothers to feed their infants, not much is known about whether or not a breastfeeding mother’s prescription medications adversely affect the child.

Right now, University of Toronto researchers are trying to change that. David Colantio, a professor in the Faculty of Medicine’s Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology and clinical biochemist at SickKids, and Shinya Ito, from U of T’s Faculty of Pharmacology and Toxicology, and the head of Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology at SickKids, are working on guidelines to help guide new mothers through the process.

As 60 to 70 per cent of breastfeeding women use some form of medication, Colantio and Ito’s research is looking at over-the-counter drugs, like sleep medication and antihistamines, and prescription for Crohn’s, colitis, arthritis and depression, to see if it can have any effects on children.

Using specialized technology including high pressure liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry, the researchers can accurately measure any drug at very low levels. In a way, this helps the researchers study the effects of certain drugs on nursing mothers, as pharmaceutical companies are not allowed to conduct research on this group.
“The reason is one of ethics and likely legal risk. It would be unethical to give nursing mothers a medication/drug that they may not need, exposing both the mother and the infant to both known and unknown side effects,” said Colantio. “The advantage of our research is that we are not prescribing any medications, the participating moms have been prescribed medication by their primary care provider and are concerned about how this may affect their nursing infant.”
Once they gather enough data, they plan to develop guidelines within the next two years. In the meantime, they’re providing individual guidance to women who have questions about breastfeeding while taking medication.
“We have published a case study demonstrating that a certain medication the mother was prescribed did result in seizures in her nursing infant. We have also presented preliminary data at scientific conferences, which has helped to generate interest in our research,” said Colantio. “Our long-term goal is to publish our results in peer reviewed scientific journals, continue to present our data at scientific conferences and to help draft and publish guidelines to help provide guidance to both physicians and nursing mothers. “

Bell Media and Yellowpages team up for #shopthehood campaign

For the third year in a row, Bell Media and Yellowpages are partnering to run their Shop the Hood campaign, a program designed to support small businesses by advertising the benefits of local shopping.

Bell Media will support the program by airing televised profiles of Canadian neighbourhoods through its media properties. These include the Marilyn Denis show, which will host four experts like Charles MacPherson, Tommy Smythe, Vijaya Selvaraju, and Rodney Bowers, who will show off their favourite neighbourhoods. ETALK hosts will feature profiles from four major Canadian cities, including Queen West in Toronto and Gastown in Vancouver.
“There is a digital gap that exists at the local level in Canada. Canadians are global leaders in terms of digital media usage, however, adoption of these tools is much slower among Canadian businesses,” said Paul Brosseau, vice president of brand communications at Yellow Pages. “Three quarters of Canadians will research purchases online but less than half of Canadian businesses have a digital presence.”
At the same time, Yellowpages is promoting the #shopthehood hashtag to encourage Canadians to promote their favourite local shops, and their YP Shopwise app that shows off local deals.

“Access to placement in YP Shopwise free to all participating businesses offering promotions,” said Brosseau. “By downloading the YP Shopwise app, Canadians can instantly access exclusive Shop The Neighbourhood promotions available nearby at local stores.”

Who’s hiring in Toronto? Toronto East General Hospital, YWCA Toronto and more

Some of the more interesting employment opportunities we've spotted this week include:
Toronto East General Hospital is looking for a retail co-ordinator. Overseeing aspects of retail services, including the general store, vendor kiosk operations and volunteer fundraising initiatives, the co-ordinator will perform sales forecasting, marketing and budget analysis, maximize revenue streams with new and innnovative marketing initatives and oversee shop operations. A degree or a diploma in retail management or business admnistration is preferred. Applications are due November 23.

The Canadian Race Relations Foundation, Canada’s leading agency dedicated to eliminating racial discrimination, is looking for a communications officer. The job entails developing a dynamic communications plan, engaging in social media and strengthening relationships with contacts through the deployment of newsletters, blog posts and websites updates. The ideal candidate has at least three years of experience in a related field, working knowledge of social work and working experience with event technology platforms. Applications are due November 11.

YWCA Toronto, an organization dedicated to improving the lives of women and girls, is on the hunt for their next Information Technology Specialist. The specialist would be reporting directly to the manager of information technology, and work on troubleshooting computer problems and managing everyday operations. To qualify, applicants should have one to three years of work experience, an undergraduate degree in a related field and experience in a Windows server server-based network environment.
Do you know of a job opportunity with an innovative company or organization? Let us know!

Meet Pillsy, the smartpouch that will ensure you never forget to take the Pill again

In Canada and the United States, 15 million women rely on oral contraceptives to prevent pregnancy — yet one in 10 of these women will become pregnant during their first year on the Pill, mostly because they take it irregularly or forget to take it completely. These statistics demonstrated a need for University of Toronto MASc students Eric Ma and Tony Zhang, and PhD candidate Valentin Peretroukhin, to come up with the idea for Pillsy, a smart pouch to help women consistently take their birth control pills.

The pouch, which is outfitted with sensors, stores the pills and detects if the user has actually taken the pill. The pouch then communicates this to the user’s smartphone via BA luetooth, and doesn’t require any manual input.

Currently, the project is undergoing beta testing, while the student group behind the project will move on to a Kickstarter campaign in 2016.

“We chose Kickstarter as it will provide further market validation as well as increased funding,” says Courtney Smith, a student working on the Pillsy project and an MPH candidate at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health. “Kickstarter is known to be popular among our target demographic of young women and their partners, so this will serve as a cost-effective mechanism for organic advertising.”

While the pouch is being marketed to women who use birth control, eventually the group will expand to other pill markets. “It is definitely our plan to expand to other time-sensitive medications in the future like heart disease medications, especially as new generations of older adults become more and more tech savvy,” says Smith.


Nanoleaf launches Indiegogo for HomeKit-enabled smart bulb

Nanoleaf, a Toronto-based green tech startup, has developed the Nanoleaf Smarter Kit, what the company calls “the most energy-efficient light build in the world.”

Currently, Apple is moving into the smart home industry with its HomeKit offering — a framework for developers that allows communication and control for connected accessories in a user’s home — and Nanoleaf has received one of the first seals of approval from Apple to develop their Smarter Kit using the HomeKit.

The Smarter Kit allows users to control the lights in a user’s home with Siri voice commands, set lights in interesting ways depending on the context (such as dimmed lights for a date night) and the ability to control lights with customized names; for example, one could turn off the lights in “Sarah’s room” only.

Nanoleaf CTO Anders Ohrn says that the company chose to integrate Apple HomeKit into their product, instead of making their own app, to remain competitive in the smart home evolution. “By integrating the Smarter Kit with the Apple HomeKit protocol, it’s possible to control the lights with voice commands like ‘set bedroom lights to 20 percent’” says Ohrn. “Too many devices on the market are incompatible with other devices, which force people to buy products from only that manufacturer. HomeKit is an opportunity to be part of something bigger.”

The light also has a unique geometric shape — a design that Ohrn says is not just to look cool. “Merging the worlds of design and engineering has always been an integral part of our creation process,” says Ohrn. “What most people don't know is that the dodecahedron shape is more than just aesthetics, there are also many technical benefits for the user. The shape gives the bulb its own heat dissipation system as well as 360 degrees of equal light distribution without any inefficiencies.”

Who’s hiring in Toronto? TIFF, The Ontario Chiropractic Association and Ubisoft

Some of the more interesting employment opportunities we've spotted this week include:

The Ontario Chiropractic Association, a voluntary professional organization for Ontario-based chiropractors, is looking for an outreach lead. The outreach lead will oversee the volunteer program and drive outreach by recruiting OCA volunteers, organize volunteer mobilization and oversee grassroots advocacy. The ideal candidate has at least four years experience working in a volunteer management capacity and a university degree in communications, political science or related field. Applications are due November 6.

TIFF, the not-for-profit arts organization behind the Toronto International Film Festival, is seeking applicants for a creative technology lead. The position entails working on front-end design for tiff.net, ensuring development execution aligns with TIFF’s digital media strategy and working with IT to refine a dependable interface for front and back-end code on tiff.net. The ideal candidate should have at least five years of front-end development, a degree or diploma in a related field and advanced knowledge of Adobe Creative Suite, HTML, CSS and Javascript. Applications are due October 30.

Ubisoft, the company behind popular game titles like Far Cry and Assassin’s Creed, is looking for an assistant art director for their Toronto location. Working closely with the art director, the assistant art director will be responsible for communicating content and quality expectations to the graphics team, writing graphics quality reports for the art director and participating in the creation of the artistic-graphic charter with the art director. Applicants should have at least eight years of experience in modeling, texture and lighting and a college diploma in modeling for video games. There is no hard deadline.

Do you know of a job opportunity with an innovative company or organization? Let us know!


TD Green Streets taking applications for innovative urban forest projects

This month, TD Green Streets — a flagship program of non-profit Tree Canada — kicks off for TD Green Streets 2016. Until November 30, Green Streets is looking for proposals for innovative projects aimed at growing or caring for urban forests.

Green Streets is the only national grant program in Canada focused on urban forestry, and since 1994 it has awarded funding to almost 500 Canadian municipalities across the country. This year, 12 recipients will receive $25,000 in grant funding. The initiative is driven by the fact that caring for and fostering urban forestry is more difficult than most people think, according to Tree Canada president Michael Rosen.

“Some people think they just grow out of the sidewalk or they’re just there, but it requires a lot of maintenance, planning and work,” said Rosen. “So we’re looking for projects that are going to establish and maintain these trees, and have them grow into an old age.”

The need for a program dedicated to fostering urban forestry also stems from the fact that most Canadians live in highly-populated urban centres.“About 82 per cent of Canadians are now living in cities and towns that are basically urban in character,” said Rosen. “And what we’re finding is that municipalities are making more of an effort to ensure that trees are part of the infrastructure of cities.”

Funded projects in the past include a creative way of capturing and using water runoff in "Silva cells," filtering it through soil to clean it in underground units, and then providing water for the trees above in Mississauga’s Central Parkway Rain Garden. “Trees are important wherever they are. Even when they’re far away from urban centres, they’re still performing a wonderful environmental function,” said Rosen. “But trees in urban areas are that much closer to people, and they’re that much more significant to humans.”


OCAD University will be part of waterfront revitalization

Discussions on waterfront revitalization have been a hot topic as of late, and last week news broke that OCAD University and other innovators would be part of the revival.

City of the Arts, a waterfront condo development, is intended to become a mixed-use “live, work and play” neighbourhood. OCAD University will occupy space in the neighbourhood, and reap the benefits of Artscape Launchpad, an incubator for creative professionals.

Artscape Launchpad is described as being “part incubator, part coworking space”, and will provide design professionals with resources and mentorship to build sustainable businesses. As George Brown College is also setting up their School of Design at the waterfront — and the OCAD University and George Brown schools will be working as partners — the presence of the two postsecondary institutions alongside Launchpad will foster a creative community. “When artists and designers converge on a place, they tend to build or infiltrate networks and find ways to leave their mark on it. Part of this stems from a need to find an audience/outlet/market from their creative expression,” said Tim Jones, Artscape president and CEO. “There are positive cultural, social and economic outcomes that flow from their interactions. The cluster becomes a magnet for other innovators, and in the real estate market one finds that galleries, cafes and specialty retailers often follow their lead. All of this leads not only to the physical transformation of a neighbourhood but to a new narrative or identity for it.”

OCAD students will be able to leverage the presence of Artscape to strengthen its own burgeoning art community. “OCAD University’s Campus for a Connected World will amplify the institution’s digitally-focused learning, research and creation, as well as its connection to industry and community partners,” said Dr. Sara Diamond, OCAD University’s president. “OCAD University sees this as an ideal environment to address the challenges and opportunities of the connected world of machine to machine communication - ensuring  that human imagination is in the equation of this future and that values such as social and cultural inclusion, creativity, beauty and great design are core.”

Diamond added that the location will expand on OCAD University’s emphasis on experiential learning. “What is exciting about this project is our plan to create a virtual circle with our industrial and not-for-profit partners,” said Diamond. “Focused on combining excellence in creative education with experiential learning and entrepreneurship, OCAD University is uniquely prepared to train the workforce that will power the 21st century’s digitally connected innovation economy.”


Who’s hiring in Toronto? Klick Health, Lighthouse Labs and more...

Some of the more interesting employment opportunities we've spotted this week include:

The Centre for Equitable Library Access, a newly-launched national non-profit that assists public libraries in serving customers with print disabilities, is looking for a communications manager. Working with the executive director, the communications manager would be responsible for managing content on social media, maintaining contacs with key outlets in the accessibility community and creating press releases. The ideal candidate, who would have a university degree or college diploma in communications and at least two years of experience in communications and marketing, would have to apply by November 8.

Klick Health, a Toronto-based digital marketing agency, is on the hunt for their next front-end web developer. The developer would be in charge of developing custom client side components of web pages and sites, accurately translating designs from the creative department to HTML/CSS and developing cross-platform mobile-responsive emails. To qualify, the developer should have at least three years experience developing HTML-based web content and experience with modern HTML, CSS and JavaScript. There is no fixed application deadline.

Lighthouse Labs, a coding school, is looking for a full-time education administrator. The administrator is expected to recruit new teachers to Lighthouse Labs’ team, schedule teachers and mentors and organize official documentation for both students and teachers. Having at least a year of HR or recruiting experience and administrative work is considered an asset. To be considered, ensure that you apply by December 18.

Do you know of a job opportunity with an innovative company or organization? Let us know!


Upverter launches Parts Concierge, a real-time virtual assistant for engineers

In an age of Uber and Airbnb, tech startups everywhere are in the business of disrupting traditional industries that are slow to change, and making them more efficient, faster, and of course, cheaper.

This is exactly what Zak Homuth, founder of Upverter, did with the launch of the company’s Parts Concierge service. Upverter, which already works to make hardware engineers’ lives easier through their cloud-engineering platform, established Parts Concierge as a “virtual assistant for engineers”. With Parts Concierge, hardware engineers can request any part to be built on Upverter and added to the design on their behalf. This process can normally take weeks — as engineers have to wait for unique parts to be built and shipped before continuing with their design — and costly mistakes are only found once the manufacturing is done.

Once a unique part is made using Parts Concierge, it’s added to the library to make it easier for other engineers to access instead of having different engineers constantly request the same parts. “We looked at our stats, and the very first thing everyone did when they tried Upverter was to search for a part,” said Homuth. “If they found the part, there was a pretty good chance they’d stick around. And if they didn’t there was a pretty good chance they’d leave.”  

While Upverter wasn’t originally focused on the parts industry, the stats had Homuth thinking that this is something that his company could tackle. “We couldn’t just build every part in the world, but maybe we could build every part that a user needed fast enough that it would be like it was there in the first place.”

Homuth said that the reason why the hardware industry has been so slow to develop a comparable service is because it is still largely dominated by offline desktop software. The cloud, however, is disrupting this industry. “To provide a service like the parts concierge users would have had to email someone, ask for a part, the service provider would then have to make the part in the right format, and then email the part back. Most engineers would probably wonder why not just do it themselves,” said Homuth. “It just wouldn't work as well without the cloud. It would feel very rough and inefficient.”


Dimitri Nakassis becomes first University of Toronto professor to receive MacArthur Fellowship

Dimitri Nakassis, a University of Toronto professor in the department of classics, is the first U of T professor to win the MacArthur Fellowship, colloquially known as a “genius grant”.

The award comes from the John D. and Catherine T.  MacArthur Foundation, an independent foundation dedicated to supporting creative people and institutions. The grant recognizes the potential of people that “show extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits,” according to the Foundation. MacArthur Fellows receive $650,000 through the grant, and they can use the award to advance their expertise, take on new work, or event follow an entirely new career path. However, Nakassis isn’t sure how he’ll use the money just yet. “The grant is both an affirmation that people see value in my work and an invitation to do something new and innovative, so I don't want to rush into anything,” he said. “I will only have one crack at this, so I need to think carefully about the best use of the money, one that will have maximum impact on the study of the ancient Greek world.”

According to the Foundation’s website, Nakassis was recognized for changing long-held views on prehistoric Greek societies. Most notably, Nakassis challenged the long-held view that Late Bronze Age Mycenaean palatial society (1400–1200 BC) was a highly centralized oligarchy, distinct from the democratic city-states of classical Greece. Instead, he proposes that power and resources were more broadly shared, and is currently testing his hypothesis in an archaeological survey. His ideas came from a reinterpretation of Pylos’s administrative and accounting records found on clay tablets written in the early Greek script, Linear B.
Nakassis says that his passion for both classics and archaeology is what made it possible for him to study Linear B in the way he did.  “Classics is a discipline that encourages you to find solutions to the study of the ancient past that aren't necessarily specific to any one discipline. If you wanted to work on the economy of ancient Greece, for example, you couldn't limit yourself only to archaeology, nor could you ignore archaeology altogether,” he said. “So it's a discipline that really encourages interdisciplinarity, even if that's not how every Classicist ends up operating.”
And while the Fellowship celebrates individuals who display creativity in their work, Nakassis just credits his “super-critical eye”. In his work, he always tries to ask others how they know something is 100 percent true to try to probe weak arguments, while also taking into account the criticism of his colleagues. “Anytime someone says that something is ‘clearly’ or ‘obviously’ true, alarm bells go off in my head: these are, to me, props for a weak argument,” he said. “The other thing that helps is talking to other critical people about what you're thinking. Sometimes I can allow myself to settle into an argument that's conventional, and friends and colleagues will usually point out to me that I can push it forward. You need people who are willing to challenge you, too.”

Who's hiring in Toronto? Kids Help Phone, Lighthouse Labs and more...

Some of the more interesting employment opportunities we've spotted this week include:

Kids Help Phone is seeking a marketing manager. The person that takes on this role will be expected to lead the organization's marketing efforts, both conceptualizing new projects and tracking their progress and effectiveness. A minimum of five years of experience in a related field is required to be considered for the position. Applications should be submitted by October 21.

Kids Help Phone is also looking for a public relations manager. Much of the role involves creating content for the organization, as well as establishing and maintaining relationships with outside entities. Kids Help Phone is looking for a candidate with a post-secondary degree in journalism, communications or a related field. In addition, anyone applying for the position should have five years of experience in their field, as well as competency in both English and French. The deadline to apply for this position in October 13.

Lighthouse Labs is hiring a mentor to help lead its full-stack development bootcamp. The local coding academy is looking for an individual with two to three years of professional programming experience and knowledge of open source programming languages like Ruby and Python. Teaching and public speaking experience are considered excellent supplementary skills. Resumes should be submitted by October 31.

The Drake Hotel is hiring a digital media coordinator. The bootique hotel’s ideal candidate is someone who will be able to take all the data and content that’s produced by the hotel and turn it into useful information that can help it make sound business decisions. In terms of qualifications, it is looking for someone understands the ins and outs of SEO and platforms like Google Adsense and Analytics.

Do you know of a job opportunity with an innovative company or organization? Let us know!
877 Articles | Page: | Show All
Signup for Email Alerts