Healthier, Wealthier, Smarter Health Research Showcase

Ontario is a health research powerhouse. Researchers at Lawson Health Research Institute recently travelled to Queen’s Park to showcase the game-changing research being conducted at hospitals across the province.

The Council of Academic Hospitals of Ontario (CAHO) wanted to bring research right to Queen’s Park with the opportunity to see first-hand the breadth, depth and variety of real, world-class research happening in Ontario.

Lawson researcher Dr. Mandar Jog and members of his team, Greydon Gilmore and Jack Lee, showed Ministers, advisors and Members of Ontario’s Provincial Parliament some examples “in action” of the smart technology that has been developed as part of their research.

The London Movement Disorders Centre is investing in the use and development of smart technologies to improve the treatment for Parkinson’s Disease. Multi-sensors are being used to evaluate and assess patients with symptoms such as gait and balance, tremor, stiffness and slowness.

This research has resulted in a new way of recording tremor and effectively treating it with injections of Botulinum toxin. Over 100 patients have experienced improvements to the severity of their tremors. A new technology for the freezing of gait with spinal stimulation has also been pioneered. The team continues to optimize current treatments and develop new methods to improve access to specialty health care and remote monitoring of patients.

“Our research makes Ontario healthier because the development of smart technology allows for faster recovery and better treatment for those with tremor and Parkinson’s Disease,” says Dr. Jog. “By offering innovative treatments early on, patients can maintain their independence and standard of living. Many of the patients we see are in their 40’s and 50’s, and after treatment they are able to stay active and maintain their careers.”

The team found that the government officials in attendance enjoyed the full-body wearable demonstration of the technology and were interested in seeing the accelerated development of this kind of technology to ensure that Ontario patients get the best care possible through Canadian-made innovations.

“Jeff Yurek, MPP for Elgin-Middlesex-London, was exceptionally proud of the efforts by London researchers in creating life-changing treatments for tremor and other Parkinson-related disorders,” explains Dr. Jog. “Many of those in attendance have a personal interest in the success of these types of technologies, as most have family members who could benefit from innovations such as these that significantly improve care for patients.”

Dr. David Hill, Lawson Scientific Director, also attended the event and was pleased that all Ontario’s research hospitals were able to show government officials the value of health research and continued investment in this enterprise.

“Ontario needs to drive discovery while also being strategic in our health research investments, and ensure that knowledge is translated into practice to create value both for our patients and for our economy,” says Dr. Hill.

“At Lawson, we are uniquely positioned to improve outcomes for health, health care delivery and economic growth. We have the right people, we are in the right place, we have the right tools, and with the help of various levels of government, we hope to see sustained investment in research and innovation also.”

Lawson is the research institute of London Health Sciences Centre and St. Joseph’s Health Care London. Every day, our researchers work to make Ontario healthier, wealthier and smarter.

CAHO represents Ontario’s 23 research hospitals that play a unique and vital role in the province’s health care system. The mission of the CAHO community is to harness collective research and innovation strengths to advance word-leading patient care, a high-quality health care system and a knowledge-based economy.