The Ottawa Hospital opens digital health lab at Algonquin College

April 18, 2018

April 18, 2018 (OTTAWA) — Algonquin College and The Ottawa Hospital are expanding their collaboration on health research, innovation and training with the opening of “The Ottawa Hospital at Algonquin College”. The newly renovated space – located within part of Algonquin’s Applied Research and Innovation facilities – will serve as a hub for collaboration, particularly in digital and mobile health (mHealth).

The Ottawa Hospital mHealth Lab, led by Dr. Kumanan Wilson, recently moved into the space in Algonquin’s F building. The 22-member team began collaborating with Algonquin in 2016 on an alien zombie-themed digital comic book to encourage immunization. New collaborations are continuing to use mobile and digital technologies to improve health.

“It’s a wonderful relationship,” Dr. Wilson, a senior scientist and internal medicine specialist at The Ottawa Hospital and professor at the University of Ottawa. “The energy and the enthusiasm at Algonquin is exactly what we are looking for. Algonquin is producing the type of talent we need.”

mHealth is just one area of collaboration between Algonquin and The Ottawa Hospital. Other areas include clinical trials, biotherapeutics manufacturing, multimedia design and nursing. In 2017, the two institutions signed a Memorandum of Understanding to embark on a unique partnership in various areas of health research, innovation and training.

“I am very proud to welcome The Ottawa Hospital to Algonquin College,” says Cheryl Jensen, President of Algonquin College. “This move is an exciting step in the expanding relationship between our institutions. It will serve to advance areas of collaboration and create more applied research opportunities for our learners in the cutting-edge field of digital health.”

“We are excited by the opportunity to work with the students at Algonquin College to find innovative solutions that improve health outcomes and value in health care,” said Dr. Jack Kitts, President and CEO of The Ottawa Hospital.

Dr. Wilson’s first project with Algonquin, called Immunity Warriors: Invasion of the Alien Zombies, is now used across Canada to teach children about their immune system. Multimedia design students from Algonquin’s Health and Wellness Research Centre played a major role on the project, which was funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.

Dr. Wilson’s team has also developed health apps alongside leading scientists at The Ottawa Hospital, including a mobile stroke rehabilitation platform, a chronic kidney disease app and a digital version of clinical decision rules for emergency department clinicians. The mHealth Lab’s main project is CANImmunize, an app that aims to improve vaccination for people in Canada. Another major stream of research is focused on using big data to improve newborn health. This project is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and is a partnership with CHEO and the University of Ottawa.

Algonquin graduates and co-op students are already key members of multiple projects at The Ottawa Hospital mHealth Lab. The Lab also plans to launch an educational speaker series on campus in the fall.


Ruth Dunley
Communications Manager
Algonquin College
613-727-4723 ext. 6452

Chris Lackner
Communications Officer
Algonquin College
613-727-4723 ext. 2091

Jenn Ganton
Director, Communications and Public Relations
Ottawa Hospital Research Institute