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UOHS 2019 Elevator Pitch Winners

$200 PRIZE

Mohamed Abdelazez

UOHS 2019 - 1st Place Elevator Pitch Winner 

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$150 PRIZE

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The objective of this study is to propose and validate an alarm gating system for a myocardial ischemia monitoring system that uses ambulatory electrocardiogram. The PeriOperative ISchemic Evaluation study recommended the selective administration of β blockers to patients at risk of cardiac events following noncardiac surgery. Patients at risk are identified by monitoring ST segment deviations in the electrocardiogram (ECG); however, patients are encouraged to ambulate to improve recovery, which deteriorates the signal quality of the ECG leading to false alarms. The proposed alarm gating system computes a signal quality index (SQI) to quantify the ECG signal quality and rejects alarms with a low SQI. The system was validated by artificially contaminating ECG records with motion artifact records obtained from the long-term ST database and MIT-BIH noise stress test database, respectively. Without alarm gating, the myocardial ischemia monitoring system attained a Precision of 0.31 and a Recall of 0.78. The alarm gating improved the Precision to 0.58 with a reduction of Recall to 0.77. The proposed system successfully gated false alarms with future work exploring the misidentification of fiducial points by myocardial ischemia monitoring systems. The reduction of false alarms due to the proposed system will decrease the incidence of the alarm fatigue condition typically found in clinicians. Alarm fatigue condition was rated as the top patient safety hazard from 2012 to 2015 by the Emergency Care Research Institute.

Melissa Black

UOHS 2019 - 2nd Place Elevator Pitch Winner 


Obesity can lead to a number of serious health problems, yet the prevalence of obesity in Canada is rising. As of 2015, ≥64% of adults living in Canada were considered overweight or obese, defined as having a body mass index (BMI) ≥25kg/m2. The relationship between physical activity (PA) and obesity is complex, but it is widely acknowledged that regular PA confers numerous health benefits and may aid in weight management for those who are overweight/obese. Considering overweight/obese women are generally physically inactive, we developed a brief tailored intervention drawing on self-determination theory (SDT) to promote PA in this population. We are currently conducting a pilot study to compare the effects of our main intervention which provides women with six weekly behavioural support emails plus a consumer wearable activity monitor, to an intervention receiving an activity monitor without email support, and to one receiving only a paper copy of the Canadian PA guidelines. Data are being collected from 60 women through a combination of self-report and direct measures three times: baseline (week 0), post-intervention (week 7), and follow-up (week 21). Multilevel modelling will be used to analyze the data to determine if changes in PA are related to changes in basic psychological need satisfaction and motivational regulations over time. Rationale for the study and baseline characteristics from 34 participants will be presented, along with anticipated contributions.

$100 PRIZE

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David Ripsman

UOHS 2019 - 3rd Place Elevator Pitch Winner 


Cavities are the most common kind of bacteria infection in humans. This disease process is driven by the bacterium, S. mutans. S. mutans, which is present both in individuals that do and do not have cavities, is far more prevalent in individuals of a lower socioeconomic status. Cavities are painful, can lead to bacterial boils, systemic infection or even the infection of critical organs, like the heart. Bacteria in the gut can be modified by bacterial transplants. The transplant of fecal into those affected by the severe diarrheal infections, caused by C. difficile bacteria, has been shown to be an effective approach to eliminate this resilient bacterium. A similar approach can be employed to prevent the development of cavities in people. Bacteria can be isolated and purified from a donation of spit from the mouth of a healthy individual, who does not have cavities or S. mutans. These bacteria can be added to saline. The ability of the bacteria solution to eliminate S. mutans can be tested, first, by rinsing an artificial tooth model colonized by S. mutans and then, by including the bacteria solution in the water of a mouse model of S. mutans driven cavities. If this model is successful in eliminating S. mutans and cavities in these models, it can then be tested as probiotic rinses in people who have S. mutans. These rinses may act to change the bacterial environment of an at-risk individual to an environment that will resist the development of cavities. 

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