RI-MUHC research team, Emily McDonald and Todd C. Lee, ties for Marika Zelenka Roy Innovation Prize
Source: MedE-News and Steinberg Centre for Simulation and Interactive Learning. The third edition of the McGill Clinical Innovation Competition (CLIC) roused overwhelming interest across the McGill-affiliated network. Drs. Emily McDonald and Todd C. Lee, a team from the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC), earned recognition for their MedSafer app, tying with the GyroClear biomedical team for a prestigious innovation prize at the virtual event on May 21.
Offered in collaboration with the Montreal General Hospital Foundation, the Marika Zelenka Roy Prize recognizes the best solution to an unmet clinical need for the care of a patient and the highest likelihood of success in being translated.
“The Marika Zenka Roy Innovation Prize will help us reach our goal of commercializing our deprescribing software, MedSafer, in order to make it more widely available for older adults who are suffering from the harmful side effects of polypharmacy (taking multiple medications),” says Dr. Emily McDonald, who is also an assistant professor of medicine at the McGill University and a physician in the Division of General Internal Medicine at the MUHC.
A ”medication check-up” for safe deprescribing
MedSafer addresses a widespread problem. Many older adults are now taking five, ten or 15 medications. Polypharmacy can cause side effects such as memory and balance problems. Deprescribing is a solution that requires a healthcare professional to review a patient’s medications and suggest which ones can be stopped, a process that can be time-consuming and requires expert knowledge. MedSafer is an app that helps guide a “medication check-up” by providing scientific information on the harms and benefits, and instructions for safe deprescribing.
Inspired by McGill alumnus Dr. Raymond Hakim, the objective of CLIC is to encourage innovative thinkers within the Faculty of Medicine and across McGill to conceive and develop promising ideas that will have a direct and positive impact on Canadian or global health care. This year, a total of 46 proposals were reviewed by an independent panel of judges—all leaders in clinical care, academia, industry, engineering and business—and five finalist teams were selected to pitch their innovative projects. Learn more