” …patients have this immense capacity to care for themselves. They can do incredible things given the opportunity.“- Dr. Joseph Cafazzo
Dr. Joe Cafazzo is helping transform health care. Call him Doctor App, a modern biomedical engineer. Or simply say that he empowers patients, allowing them to stay out of hospital.
Dr. Joseph Cafazzo is the inaugural Wolfond Chair in Digital Health and Lead at Healthcare Human Factors and eHealth Innovation at the University Health Network. As a biomedical engineer, Dr. Cafazzo observes healthcare delivery from the inside-out and works on ways to keep people out of hospital by creating technologies that allow for self-care at home.
Over time he has built an intricate network of clinicians, designers, engineers, and researchers that challenge the norms of healthcare and enable patients and their families. Together they push the boundaries of what’s possible, which has led to the creation of technologies that act to facilitate patient self-care of complex chronic conditions such as diabetes, asthma, end-stage renal disease and congestive heart failure.
His roles have also included that as senior director at the Centre for Global eHealth Innovation, a modern facility housing a multi-disciplinary team of more than 60 faculty, associates and students at Toronto’s University Health Network (UHN). His team of doctors, nurses, top software engineers and designers develop ways to keep people out of hospital by creating technologies allowing for self-care at home for those with chronic conditions such as diabetes, asthma, end-stage renal disease and congestive heart failure.
These strategies are aimed at helping people before their conditions become acute and medical intervention is required. An example of their innovation is “Bant,” an iPhone app developed by the UHN team which simplifies diabetes management. It connects via Bluetooth to a LifeScan glucometer. Diabetic teenagers find this cool because they are rewarded with iTunes store credits every time they use their glucometer. Dr. Cafazzo has advised and conducted research for public sector policy makers and private sector medical technology companies on the design and safety of technology in healthcare.
He delivers presentations of this often-complex subject in a clear, straightforward manner. He is also an associate professor at the University of Toronto and a recipient of the Career Scientist Award presented by the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care.