ENTREVESTOR: Bringing VR to the Eye Doctor

Read the original article here Virtual reality and augmented experiences have revolutionized entertainment and gaming industries. Now, Halifax entrepreneur Ryan Cameron is working on bringing this technology to a clinical setting. His company Electric Puppets uses VR and eye-tracking technology to improve on the basic tests patients take when they visit the eye doctor. “In current cases, they’re using tests that are over 100 years old,” Cameron said in an interview. “It’s a combination of lenses, physical equipment, dials and whatnot.” Continue reading]]>

Chronicle Herald: Nothing matters more than a safe return home

See original story here To Jean-Paul Deveau, president and CEO of Acadian Seaplants, there’s nothing more important than getting his employees home safely after a day’s work. “Without those 400 employees, there is no company,” says Deveau. Over his 30 years in the family business, two incidents stand out as dramatic reminders of the importance of safety. In both cases, seaweed harvesters went missing at sea. And, while they were eventually found safely, Deveau spent several anxious hours waiting for news. “It certainly makes it very personal when you receive a call that there is a fisherman missing and they’re out searching for them.” Despite the happy endings, those close calls underscored his firm belief that safety matters above all. “Safety needs to be placed in the forefront of all discussions and everyone in the company needs to be on board,” he says. “Safety is not a box you tick; it’s a way of life.” Deveau knows safety leadership requires taking responsibility for fostering a strong safety culture and putting in place effective initiatives to support it. Inspiring leaders do the right thing — even when it isn‘t easy. They take tangible steps to make their workplaces safer by raising awareness, ensuring employees are properly trained and seeing that appropriate procedures are put in place and consistently followed. Under Deveau’s watch, Acadian Seaplants now has a full-time safety officer, runs regular injury prevention and safety awareness programs and provides ongoing training for workers. And in 2012, the company received a Mainstay Award for its efforts. Everyone can take the lead on safety One thing Deveau has learned over the years is being a leader in workplace safety isn’t about job description; it’s about commitment. While employers need to take the lead, any worker in any role in any industry can and should step up on safety. That’s the underlying message in A Call to Lead, a safety video produced by WCB Nova Scotia and the Department of Labour and Advanced Education. “I will do all that I can, so you can do all that you can to make sure no one gets hurt,” is its call to action, inviting all of us to do our part to make our workplaces safer because “nothing matters more.” There are signs Nova Scotians are heeding the call. Over the past few years, there has been a steady improvement in the safety culture in Nova Scotia workplaces and a significant decrease in the number of workplace injuries. Today, there are 1.76 time-loss injuries per 100 covered workers, down from 2.57 in 2007. According to WCB Nova Scotia, more employers are also putting basic safety practices in place. In a 2017 survey, 72 per cent of workplaces reported having a health and safety program. But there’s still work to do. Safety leaders like Jean-Paul Deveau make safety matter by making it a priority. But they can’t do it alone. Success requires each one of us to make the choice to take safety seriously by following proper safety practices, reporting workplace hazards and responding appropriately to incidents. “Safety is everybody’s job, including me and every one of the 400 people who work in this company,” says Deveau. “We’re all in this together.” And when everyone works together, everyone gets to go home safe.   To find out how you can take the lead on safety, visit worksafeforlife.ca.]]>

Research and innovation leading to better outcomes for Canadians living with diabetes

See original story here In August 1922, 13-year-old Elizabeth Evans Hughes, extremely weak at only 45 pounds, was one of the first patients treated with insulin. It saved her life. She went on to graduate from college, get married and have three children. She died when she was 73. Before insulin, diabetes led to death. The best treatment was a starvation diet, which allowed patients to live a few extra years—if they didn’t die of starvation first. When insulin was discovered in 1921, it forever changed what it meant to have type 1 diabetes. Today, people with the disease have an almost normal life expectancy and insulin is regarded as one of the greatest medical discoveries in history. But the pharmaceutical industry didn’t stop there. It has continued to advance diabetes treatment. Today, medications for type 2 diabetes that support cardiovascular health and weight loss, in addition to blood sugar control, are once again promising to change what it means to be diagnosed with diabetes. Good glycemic control is the hallmark of diabetes therapies, however according to Dr. Ronnie Aronson, we are now looking to effects beyond glucose-lowering when selecting medication. “There have been substantial changes in the last decade,” says Aronson, a general endocrinologist and founder and chief medical officer of LMC Healthcare, which has 11 diabetes and endocrinology clinics across Canada. “A movement arose for treatments that go beyond lowering blood sugar levels to ones that benefit overall health and help patients avoid early death.” Dr. Aronson says innovative new medicines currently being researched have been shown to both help with weight loss (often recommended for patients with type 2) and lower blood pressure, while another new class of drugs lowers blood sugar, leads to weight loss, and may even reduce the rate of heart attacks, stroke and hospitalization for heart failure. These studies are especially noteworthy as people with diabetes are three times more likely to be hospitalized with cardiovascular disease, according to Diabetes Canada. “The old question for a physician was, ‘How do I lower my patient’s sugar?’ Now, the question is, ‘What drugs should my patient be on to lower their sugar and optimize their survival?’” Dr. Aronson says. “Patients used to be on 11 pills. We can now reduce that to five or six and have better control and weight loss. This is because of the pharmaceutical industry—and it makes getting healthy easier.” Research is also changing how people with diabetes monitor their blood sugar. Traditionally, they’d prick their fingers several times a day, but today, a tiny sensor underneath the skin can transmit a reading every five minutes to a smartphone, showing how the body responds to insulin, food or exercise. This constant awareness can help patients avoid high or low blood sugar or allow for intervention before a situation becomes severe. However, lack of public funding and differences in private coverage means access to this technology is out of reach for many. This is the case for many diabetes medications, supplies and devices, where government coverage varies across jurisdictions “Access is often limited to paying out of pocket or to people with employee benefits that cover it,” says Dr. Aronson. “These drugs may be more expensive, but they save lives, improve productivity and reduce health care costs. Governments should factor these benefits into their relative cost planning.” Diabetes Canada estimates that diabetes costs the health care system $3.4 billion a year, a number that’s expected to rise to $5 billion by 2026. “The older, more affordable drugs carry the risks of weight gain and unwanted low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), which both translate to high costs in hospital emergency rooms,” says Dr. Aronson. “Those high costs could be reduced significantly with a movement to new types of therapy.” This story was created by Content Works, Postmedia’s commercial content division and Patient Diaries, on behalf of Innovative Medicines Canada (IMC) and an IMC member company]]>

Investment and Partnership Announcements

CNW – Adaptiiv Receives FDA 510(k) Clearance to Market 3D Bolus Software – Adaptiiv, an innovative medical technology company announced today that it received 510(k) clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to market 3D Bolus Software, an advanced software solution that enables the creation of customized personal medical devices using 3D printing, used primarily in the treatment of cancer. ACOA: Covina Biomedical Inc. Solidifying Place in the Bone Cement Industry –  the Government of Canada is supporting Covina Biomedical Inc. with a $500,000 repayable investment as it advances a proprietary bone cement used in the repair of knee implants, the single biggest problem in orthopedics today. IMV: Nasdaq Approves Listing of IMV Inc. Common Shares –  IMV Inc., a clinical stage immunotherapy company, today announced that its common shares have been approved for listing on the Nasdaq Capital Marketunder the symbol “IMV.” ACOA: Helping Spring Loaded Technology Ramp up Production to Improve Mobility–  The Government of Canada is providing this award-winning company with a $460,458 repayable contribution to help it upgrade its manufacturing operations, increase productivity and improve the quality of life of more people affected by mobility issues. Sona Nanotech Limited Delivering Innovative Treatment Tools to Global Markets- The Government of Canada is supporting Sona Nanotech Limited’s efforts to establish a development and production facility for gold nanorod technology production in the Dartmouth area. ACOA: Adaptiiv Medical Technologies Perfecting Customized Medical Software-  The Government of Canada is supporting Adaptiiv Medical Technologies’ revolutionary ideas in the creation of patient-specific boluses to improve the delivery of more effective and accurate radiation doses to targeted areas. ACOA: Precision BioLogic Inc. Banks on Developing New Diagnostic Tools-  The Government of Canada is supporting Precision BioLogic Incorporated’s breakthrough ideas in bioscience and the research required to develop new diagnostic products for use in clinical coagulation laboratories. WEBWIRE: McCain Foods makes significant strategic investment in vertical farming- McCain Foods Limited has completed a strategic investment in TruLeaf Sustainable Agriculture, a highly innovative Canadian agricultural technology company. TruLeaf has developed proprietary indoor vertical farming technology to grow fresh and nutritious leafy greens of high quality and flavour, in an environmentally sustainable way, 365 days per year. News Release ACOA: Windsor Expansion Helps BioVectra Meet Global Market Demand-  The Government of Canada is investing $5,000,000 in BioVectra Inc. to help the Charlottetown-based biotechnology and pharmaceutical ingredient manufacturing company expand its operations to Nova Scotia. Densitas Receives 510(k) Clearance for Breast Density Software-  Breast imaging analytics innovator Densitas Inc. announced today that it has received 510(k) clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to market its machine learning breast density assessment software. ENTREVESTOR: ABK Raised $9M in Equity in August- ABK Biomedical has raised more than $9 million in an over-subscribed round of equity funding that closed last August.  The larger equity base has allowed the company to borrow $3 million from the Atlantic Innovation Fund. ENTREVESTOR: Appili Raises $4.3M in Equity Funding- Halifax drug discovery company Appili Therapeutics Inc., has raised $4.3 million in equity financing to further its operations and add to its number of drug candidates.]]>