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Healthcare Change Makers

Nov 29, 2021

For this special edition of Healthcare Change Makers, HIROC has partnered with the Association of Family Health Teams of Ontario (AFHTO) to bring you the voices of health leaders advancing emergent technologies in clinical practices.

In today’s episode, we speak with Dr. Ervin Sejdić, Research Chair in Artificial Intelligence for Health Outcomes at North York General, and Faculty Member at the University of Toronto. An engineer by training, early on in his career Dr. Sejdić identified a passion for data analysis and an interest in clinical medicine. His career today brings those two passions together.

We talk with Dr. Sejdić about his team’s ongoing research in dysphagia, sensor-based prediction of falls, analysis of electrocardiograms, and the analysis of electronic health records.

Dr. Sejdić says the application of AI in medicine is still in its infancy. He sees the analysis of medical images coming as the next big splash for AI in clinical practice. We also talk with Dr. Sejdić about how we can make use of wearables, leveraging the sensors in our devices to learn about patient behaviour.

The next challenge for Dr. Sejdić is finding ways to translate his research from university and hospital labs into real-world solutions. He’s optimistic about working with start-ups and industrial partners to develop his research into products that can change lives.

At the 2021 AFHTO conference, Dr. Sejdić presented a session on “Artificial Intelligence and Robots in Primary Care” alongside Dr. Mohamed Alarakhia. After this, check out Dr. Alarakhia’s episode to learn more about how these experts are building a foundation for AI in medicine.


“I always knew that science plays a major role in every modern country, but it did not hit me until I was actually in the White House, meeting the American president, that it has that kind of a role, and that it is taken seriously.” – ES

“I would encourage all young students to actually consider science and research as a potential way to contribute to society.” – ES

“In theory, everything works. In practice, nothing works.” – ES

“I think that’s going to be the next big splash that AI will make in the medical world… we will be able to use AI algorithms to quickly analyze some of the medical images and come up with a summary for a clinician.” – ES

“R&D is one aspect, but developing a product is a completely different beast. And typically, you cannot easily do it in a university lab.”

“AI is about to change healthcare in ways we cannot predict. If our organizations don’t act on it in a timely manner, they will be playing a catch-up game.”

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