Halifax company developing next generation of prosthetics

A lack of innovation in prosthetics in recent decades means opportunity for Halifax start-up Awenza Health Inc. Founded two years ago, the company is working to disrupt the prosthetics market and provide better solutions for patients through new technologies. 

The need 

Many current products on the market, says CEO Sam Awara, cause high levels of discomfort and even pain in some situations. So Awenza is building a suite of products to solve these issues for those with limb differences. 

Enhancing athletic performance through AI

Injuries and bad habits can derail an athlete’s career and quality of life. Pascal McCarthy learned this first-hand when his professional volleyball career was cut short due to recurring injuries. That’s when he saw the gaps in the medical system when it comes to treating sports injuries, including concussions, and decided to do something about it. 

Breakthrough tool predicts likelihood of stroke

Karina Gasbarrino uses AI to tackle the second-leading cause of death and third-leading cause of disability worldwide – stroke. Her journey started more than a decade ago when she lost her grandfather to a sudden stroke. Since then, she has devoted her academic career to his memory, helping to advance early detection and diagnosis of harmful fatty deposits in the arteries of the neck. Rupturing of these plaques is the main cause of strokes. 

Indigenous ways of knowing: the path to mental wellness

There are significant mental health disparities between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in Canada, largely due to a legacy of colonization. Though Indigenous health is legally a federal responsibility, mental health services vary dramatically between provinces and territories.

The COVID-19 pandemic: It’s also a mental health issue

Gustavo Betini, a PhD student in the school of Public Health Science at the University of Waterloo, has spent the past year immersed in studying the mental health effects of COVID-19. His research has shown that, even though fear of contracting the virus is waning, almost a quarter of Canadians continue to report having high anxiety and depression related to the pandemic.

Startup develops device to support women’s pelvic floors

Negin Ashouri is on a mission to elevate women’s quality of life, one medical device at a time. Through her business FemTherapeutics, she created an innovative, made-to-measure, biodegradable, and disposable intravaginal prosthetic called a pessary to help women suffering from pelvic organ prolapse (POP). 

Collaboration with biotech incubator creates jobs for researchers

For Toronto-based Dose Biosystems, a focus on researching and developing the next generation of probiotics brings a hiring challenge: finding and onboarding highly specialized talent. Coming directly from doctoral programs, new employees encounter an unfamiliar environment that requires new skills and different ways of working.

Best gift ever: a fully staffed lab-in-a-box

There are few words more painful to imagine than “your child has cancer.”

Overhearing these life-altering words prompted Mitacs research intern Taylor Jamieson-Datzkiw to pursue a career in pediatric oncology — that is, cancer treatments for children and young adults.

Pets have reason to smile thanks to start-up innovation

Gum disease is a condition that shows up in 85 percent of cats and dogs before the age of four. Without proper treatment, the illness is painful and can lead to other health issues such as heart or kidney disease.

To improve the health of pets and prevent the issue, Quebec entrepreneur Andrée-Ann Adam has been working on a first-of-its-kind, all-natural dental gel.

Special bracelet provides key to COVID-19 monitoring and contact tracing

As of July 27, 2020, the number of COVID-19 confirmed cases worldwide reached 16.3 million people, with 114,000 cases in Canada. About two to eight percent of COVID-19 cases experience severe symptoms that lead to respiratory distress, organ failure, and even death. Currently, regular medical checkups consist of one-on-one phone calls to monitor the patient’s vital signs remotely.

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