Two teams of local health-care professionals have been awarded a total of over $80,000 for their respective projects through the Elaine and Michael Davies Award for Innovation.
This was the inaugural year for the Davies Award for Innovation and 18 applications were submitted, with two being chosen — one involving a Kingston Health Sciences Centre (KHSC) proposal, and the other a Providence Care proposal. While the Davies Charitable Foundation provides funding to a number of different organizations across many sectors, the income from the Elaine and Michael Davies endowment fund is to be used to foster hospital-based innovation, according to the University Hospitals Kingston Foundation (UHKF).
The KHSC team’s proposal is tied to the development of a smartphone-based app for health-care providers to enhance their experience while navigating their patients through the local heart failure (HF) care pathway, according to UHKF. The pathway was launched earlier this year by KHSC and local health-care partners to provide guidance for primary care physicians managing patients with HF. Led by Principal Investigator Dr. Aws Almulfleh, cardiologist and physician lead of KHSC’s Heart Function Clinic, the app will reportedly be compatible with both Apple and Android operating systems, and consist of a series of prompts that help provide guideline-based diagnosis and treatment of patients with heart failure.
“We believe that by helping streamline the heart failure (HF) pathway in the community, more patients will benefit from the life-saving HF treatments which will reduce the need for Emergency Department visits, hospital admission, and hopefully deaths related to HF,” said Dr. Bryce Alexander, cardiology fellow at KHSC. “While other apps have been created to help guide HF management, this app will be designed and maintained to provide information specifically relevant to local health-care providers.”
According to the release, the estimated development cost of the app will be approximately $25,000 per year for the two years of development, launch, testing, implementation and then ongoing maintenance, for a total of $50,000.
The Providence Care team’s research project, led by Registered Nurse and Clinical Educator Angela Dickieson, is intended to demonstrate a better way to protect our elderly from the negative effects of falls (hip fractures, hip dislocations, head injuries, functional decline, and possible death) with a trial of airbag vests from a company that designed this product specifically for an elderly population, UHKF explained.
According to the release, reducing the adverse effects of falls will decrease acute hospital visits and admissions and provide additional peace of mind to clients, families, and staff. The initial funding will be utilized to purchase multiple vests in several sizes as well as replacement helium canisters benefiting clients within the Seniors Mental Health Unit and Seniors Rehabilitation Program at a cost of just over $34,000.
“Falls are the leading cause of death for older Canadians and falls make up approximately 28 percent of emergency room visits,” said Dickieson. “Individuals experiencing neurocognitive decline/degeneration are at an even higher risk for falls than the general elderly population. This initiative is poised to bring about a transformative shift in our approach to whole-person care and we are incredibly grateful.”
Teams from both KHSC and Providence Care submitted proposals to the Elaine and Michael Davies Award for Innovation, which is funded by an endowment established by Michael L. Davies, former Chair of the Board and Life Governor of Kingston General Hospital (KGH), and his wife Elaine. Visit the Davies Charitable Foundation website here: https://www.daviesfoundation.ca/
Learn more about Michael and Elaine Davies and their contributions to the Kingston community in a video produced by the Community Foundation for Kingston and area.