Current Projects

Public eHealth innovation and equity in Latin America and the Caribbean (eSAC)
This project, funded by Canada’s International Research Development Centre, aims at improving the health of disadvantaged groups and contributing to the advancement of equity in health in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), by nurturing and promoting Public eHealth innovation. The project will create a fertile environment for innovation by using an integrated approach that will: introduce various types of incentives; support communication and networking activities; offer capacity development opportunities; assess the applied value of solutions based on information and communication technologies (ICTs) addressing priority public health challenges in the region; and inform and sensitize policy makers. The development of eSAC’s integrated approach has been informed by three fundamental hypotheses, notably that in the LAC region: 1) most stakeholders in the field of public health do not understand well enough the potential of new ICTs to be able to envision and conceptualize innovative and appropriate applications; 2) the lack of a supportive environment to promote interactions among stakeholders results in limited opportunities to stimulate creative competition; and 3) the lack of clear and meaningful incentives to promote intellectual investment results in little attention being given to the role of ICTs in public health. eSAC’s integrated approach will offer the opportunity to explore these hypotheses while contributing to breaking down the silos that often exist in interventions aimed at promoting eHealth. Central to eSAC’s model will be the work of a small network of highly educated and motivated young professionals who will be supported to catalyze the development of a regional community of practice and to provide necessary assistance to most project activities.

Youth for Health
The Youth Voices Research Group (YVRG), a research and social innovation unit based at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto, is focused on creating accessible, responsive, and health promoting systems for youth and young adults. Our research team combines nearly 15 years of experience working in youth engagement with leading-edge action research and systems-informed methods to enable young people to have a greater voice and opportunities to lead social change efforts for a healthier society. This approach relies on the use of social media technologies to connect, illuminate, and communicate ideas and people across geographic, social, educational and cultural boundaries to establish effective collaborative partnerships for health.

When people live with multiple chronic diseases: a collaborative approach to an emerging global challenge
On June 1, 2010, as part of Spain’s Presidency of the European Union, the Andalusian government launched the first book co-created by a global community of experts on the main challenges faced by people who live with multiple chronic diseases, using social media (e.g., wikis, online maps, web conferencing and other social networking tools).
The book, which resulted from the input of contributors from 18 different countries (and all inhabited continents), summarizes the best available knowledge on this important and seriously neglected area, and proposes innovative strategies to fill the gap between what is known and what should be done to meet the needs and expectations of a growing number of vulnerable people in every society in the world.
The book will be available to anyone with access to the Internet, free of charge, in English, Spanish and Basque, through the Global Observatory of Innovative Practices for Complex Chronic Diseases (www.opimec.org).
The work will continue to evolve through the Observatory, where anyone interested in multiple chronic diseases and Internet access could make contributions at any time, from anywhere.

Role Optimization in Chronic Pain Management
This project aims to explore how collaborative information and communication technologies used in a community of practice of physicians involved in the management of chronic pain in Ontario and Nova Scotia could promote knowledge translation in a mentoring network for the purposes of role optimization around the management of chronic pain.

Virtual Coach for Pain Management
The Virtual Coach for Pain Management is an interactive website that aims to promote active patient participation during the management of pain. This tool will help patients prepare questions to ask their health professional about their pain as well as prepare them for questions that they will likely receive from their health professional during a typical pain assessment.

Decision-making in Breast Cancer Patients
Decision-making is a complex issue for women with breast cancer, as multiple treatment options exist. Women with breast cancer have a need for information necessary to support their decision-making. Key aspects that will be explored in this study include what impact information sources play in the decision-making process and whether the credibility (or trustworthiness) of the source is an issue.

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