February 28, 2024

Alberta Innovates Provides $12.4 million to Advance Health Innovations

EDMONTON, ALBERTA, February 26, 2024 Some of the most common reasons for a visit to an emergency department are injuries to your shoulders, arms, elbows and wrists. Determining the extent of these types of injuries may take months from booking an MRI until the scan. An X-RAY requires both time and an expert to interpret the results, causing a delay in treatment. What if there was a better way to determine these upper-body injuries? Dr. Abhilash Hareendranathan, from the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of Alberta, is a recipient of an Accelerating Innovations into Care (AICE)-Concepts award from Alberta Innovates, and believes he has an answer to that question.

Dr. Hareendranathan is looking at using Point of Care Ultrasound (POCUS) to determine injuries in the upper body. The method is faster, safer, and provides immediate information for clinicians. The challenge is, conventional POCUS requires significant training time and expertise to interpret the results. Dr. Hareendranathan has developed an artificial intelligence tool to aid with that. The Ultrasound Arm Injury Detection (US-AID) allows healthcare providers to collect high-quality scans that provide accurate results to treat upper-body injuries.

Dr. Hareendranathan was successful in Alberta Innovates’ AICE-Concepts program. This unique opportunity is part of the suite of AICE programs designed to advance health technologies toward market adoption with the aim of providing positive economic and health impacts for Alberta. He was one of 10 applicants who were successful in this year’s competition. Awardees will share nearly $6.3 million dollars in funding. Projects include everything from new diagnostics for detecting infectious diseases to new personalized treatments for brain disorders. Applicants have between 24 – 36 months to complete their projects.

“We congratulate all the successful applicants. Funding medical innovations is critically important to advancing technologies from the lab into clinics around Alberta. That’s not only good for health innovation but to providing health care for all Albertans.” – Nate Glubish, Minister of Technology and Innovation

LevMax-Health, another Alberta Innovates’ program, is also announcing its funding results today. LevMax-Health helps cultivate a health innovation ecosystem in Alberta. It provides support for emerging areas of health research that are developing solutions for unmet clinical needs. Projects funded by LevMax-Health include faster detection of brain MRIs for newborn infants, all the way to advanced wearable robotics. This year, 10 awards are being provided to researchers and innovators around Alberta for a total of $6.1 million. Projects must be completed between 24 – 36 months.

“Creating innovation in the health system requires support at all levels, from the earliest stages right through to those that are commercially viable. When innovators like those in the AICE-Concepts and LevMax-Health programs succeed, we achieve better patient outcomes and a stronger economy.” – Laura Kilcrease, CEO, Alberta Innovates

Download a copy of the full press release at the link below.