Mohawk College’s mHealth & eHealth Development and Innovation Centre (MEDIC) has received a renewal grant of $1.75 million for its nationally recognized Technology Access Centre in Digital Health.
Over the next five years, funding from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) will be used to support hundreds of applied research projects and partnerships with Canadian companies, driving innovation in digital health, virtual care, interoperability and software development.
MEDIC has worked with Ontario’s Ministry of Health to design a key component of the province’s immunization registry: a secure online system that is now in use by 80% of parents in Ontario.
MEDIC also partnered with eHealth Ontario (now known as Ontario Health Digital Services) to build and host Innovation Lab, an online, open-access environment that provided the necessary tools, for digital health developers to work through a significant part of their research and product development in a secure, cost-effective manner.
Globally, MEDIC built and launched the open-source Open Immunize (OpenIZ) platform, a robust, open-source, electronic medical records (EMR) system which is tailored to provide accurate and timely insights into the care of patients with a focus on immunization. Today, OpenIZ supports 650 clinics in 4 regions in Africa and handles the records for 225,000 patients and 2.5 million vaccinations. Additionally, MEDIC designed and built the Tanzania Immunization Registry (TImR), helping the country manage the routine immunization of the approximately two million children born every year.
Said Alison Horton, Mohawk College Vice President, Academic, “This renewal allows the talented MEDIC team to continue providing the digital health sector with world-class applied research support. At the same time, it offers dozens of student researchers the opportunity to apply their keen, innovative perspectives to pressing digital challenges and to gain hands-on experience in the field.”
Established as an applied research innovation centre in 2009, MEDIC was first recognized by the federal government as a Technology Access Centre in 2016. Since then MEDIC has completed over 1,100 applied research projects, and training contracts, partnering with health IT start-ups, leading Canadian digital health companies and global NGOs.
MEDIC has provided work experience to more than 100 college students and continues to support the development of skills needed in the digital health community. MEDIC works in close partnership with Mohawk’s recently established four-year Bachelor of Digital Health Degree and Digital Health graduate certificate.
MEDIC is part of IDEAWORKS, Mohawk’s research and innovation division. Mohawk College was named as Canada’s fourth top research college in the 2020-2021 Research Infosource Ranking.