Chief Innovation Officer Danina Kapetanovic and her team aim to help deliver ‘Care Everywhere’; a vision supported by the Jewish General Hospital Foundation

The Jewish General Hospital (JGH) and its associated healthcare organizations in the CIUSSS West-Central Montreal have a vision to provide “Care Everywhere.”

The concept is that everyone should be able to access the health-related care they need in the way and in locations that are best suited to them, their health and their situation. A key to being able to do that, of course, is technology.

But what technology? And how can people with the ability to create such tools design products that are safe, easy to use and, most of all, clinically effective? Is there a way to encourage people working in healthcare to welcome technology that could cause radical changes in how they have worked for many years?

These are among the many challenges in developing “Care Everywhere” that are being addressed by a unique organization at the JGH and its CIUSSS – the Connected Health Innovation Hub called OROT ( It was created in 2020 thanks to seed funding from the JGH Foundation, which has continued to be a key supporter. The name, OROT, is not an acronym but the Hebrew word for “illumination.”

“The name is appropriate because the goal of OROT is to illuminate the path for innovation in healthcare throughout the JGH and our CIUSSS,” said Danina Kapetanovic, a speech-language pathologist who is the Chief Innovation Officer at the CIUSSS and has been Head of OROT since its founding.

How the pandemic provoked change

That start was in April 2020, just as the profound impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic were starting to be felt in the health system. “That meant people were suddenly ready to think differently about how care is provided,” said Kapetanovic. “It was a good stimulus for innovation.”

OROT has a mandate to become self-sustaining, and it already has a working revenue generation model, but the support of the JGH Foundation was crucial in OROT’s inception. That support remains important even as it grows, adds staff to create a “small but mighty” team and attracts new partners. “The JGH Foundation helped to make our vision possible. We couldn’t have accomplished all we have without the generosity of donors,” Kapetanovic said.

She concedes that the idea of “Care Everywhere” is ambitious and broad. “What OROT does is help teams across the CIUSSS consider how they can turn that far-reaching concept into a concrete plan for their profession or their work. We are the organizational engine to create an innovative environment.”

OROT has facilitated many meetings and workshops to help teams develop their ideas about what technology could do for their work. “The diffusion of innovation is a complex process and requires many tools,” Kapetanovic said.

In order to focus its efforts and resources on the most pressing issues, OROT identifies critical unmet needs and creates challenges around them for technology providers to try to meet. The current list includes healthy aging, the healthcare workforce shortage, virtual care and optimization of workflows.

The other aspect of OROT’s work is helping those developing new technology. Their challenge, she said, is that they need “a keen understanding of healthcare” to know either what the needs might be or how the technology they already have, or are developing, should be made most effective to both help care and be accepted and easily adopted in the health system.

To help technology businesses even more, the newest project for the JGH and OROT is the development of an innovation collaboration centre within the hospital itself where businesses could set up temporarily, either to learn in detail about how their technology could help within the institution or to provide a base for a company while they are actually rolling out new technology. This project is awaiting what Kapetanovic hopes will be a new major donation to the JGH Foundation to make it possible by funding renovations.

OROT-aided technologies already in use

Some OROT projects are already bearing fruit. With support from the JGH Foundation, OROT worked with an Israeli company, Biobeat Technologies, to help them bring to Canada their innovative wireless chest patch, which allows continuous, remote, clinical-standard monitoring of many of a patient’s vital signs. This became one of the key devices for the hospital’s very successful Hospital@Home project, which allows people to be “hospital patients” while staying at home. OROT also helped Biobeat connect with local distributors, and their product has now been adopted by several other Canadian health institutions.

OROT also collaborated with a local startup, Eugeria, which sources technologies for seniors, to bring an innovative Dutch product called Tovertafel, or Magic Table, to Quebec. Tovertafel is a therapeutic play system which includes a projector mounted on the ceiling equipped with infrared sensors that capture even the smallest hand movements of players. The projector displays interactive games and colourful images on a table or the floor to encourage play and create activities that will stimulate and occupy people with dementia. It has been launched at the CIUSSS’s Donald Berman Maimonides and Jewish Elder Care Geriatric Centres.

Albeit its short existence, OROT has already been recognized, including becoming a finalist this year for the prestigious Prix Galien USA healthcare award in the category of “Best Incubator, Accelerator or Equity,” putting it in the company of such well-known groups as the Mayo Clinic Accelerator, Johnson & Johnson JLABS and the Innovation Accelerator of the National Health Service in the United Kingdom.

“Our goal is not to build technology for its own sake,” said Kapetanovic. “OROT builds an understanding of what the vision of ‘Care Everywhere’ looks like at all stages and determines how we can help get there.”

They are already casting a positive light down that path.

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