MaRS Innovation provided crucial commercialization funding to support research from The Hospital for Sick Children
The new product, the OtoSim™ program and training device, is the first in a series of training systems directed at improving the accuracy of ear examinations. Using simulation-based training is part of a wider trend in medicine.
In otoscopy, healthcare professionals use a device called an otoscope to examine the ear and diagnose ear problems. Using OtoSim’s products would allow otoscopy training to take advantage of modern simulation technology.
Improved training will lead to better diagnosis, which in turn will result in reduced use of the antibiotics that are erroneously prescribed when infections are not present.
The Women’s Auxiliary at SickKids provided early funding for the OtoSim™ device; the University of Toronto UME Curriculum Renewal Fund provided funding for a clinical trail.
MaRS Innovation provided commercialization funding and business support for the OtoSim™ device, which included funding the final commercial design and filing a patent application.
“We developed OtoSim™ to fill a huge training need,” says Dr. Vito Forte, MD, FRCSC—chief of Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery at SickKids, professor in the Department of Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery at the University of Toronto’s (U of T) Faculty of Medicine.
Forte is one of the OtoSim’s™ inventors and chair of OtoSim Inc.’s board. “Ear ailments in both adults and children account for many visits to healthcare providers. OtoSim™ will improve training and bring about better patient care.”
Dr. Paolo Campisi (MSc, MD, FRCSC, FAAP), is an otolaryngologist at Sick Kids, the co-inventor of the OtoSim™, and associate professor and undergraduate director, Department of Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery at U of T.
Campisi cites testing a group of third-year medical students who showed that adding three hours of OtoSim™ training to their regular curriculum increased their diagnostic accuracy by 44 percent. “This represents an enormous improvement for a minimal additional training effort,” he says.
“We are confident that this breakthrough technology will be bought by medical schools, teaching hospitals, paediatric hospitals and other institutions to improve teaching outcomes,” says Andrew Sinclair, Ph.D, a senior director at MaRS Innovation and OtoSim Inc.’s CEO. “The device’s modest cost makes for a compelling and low-risk way instructors can assess improvements in their student training.”
The OtoSim™ also allows an institution to add units incrementally, moving from teaching one-on-one to a single instructor teaching more than a dozen students simultaneously.
“OtoSim™ epitomizes the enormous reservoir of discoveries suitable for commercialization that Toronto researchers and scientists are making,” says Dr. Raphael Hofstein, president and CEO of MaRS Innovation. “MI is proud to play a crucial role in bringing those discoveries to market while creating new companies, new jobs and, ultimately, new industries.”
The results of the OtoSim™ study will be presented at the Triological Society at the Combined Otolaryngology Spring Meetings (COSM) in Chicago on April 30, and will subsequently be posted on the OtoSim website.
The OtoSim™ product launch will take place at the COSM in Chicago on April 29. It will also be exhibited at the Canadian Society of Otolaryngology (CSO) AGM in Victoria BC May 22 to 24, at the American Academy of Otolaryngology (AAO) and OTO EXPO in San Francisco on Sept. 11 to 14, and at the Society for Ear, Nose and Throat Advances in Children (SENTAC) in Kansas City December 1 to 4.
OtoSim™ units will be available for purchase over the Internet beginning in June 2011.
About The Hospital for Sick Children
The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) is recognized as one of the world’s foremost paediatric health-care institutions and is Canada’s leading centre dedicated to advancing children’s health through the integration of patient care, research and education. Founded in 1875 and affiliated with the University of Toronto, SickKids is one of Canada’s most research-intensive hospitals
and has generated discoveries that have helped children globally. Its mission is to provide the best in complex and specialized family-centred care; pioneer scientific and clinical advancements; share expertise; foster an academic environment that nurtures health-care professionals; and champion an accessible, comprehensive and sustainable child health system. SickKids is proud of its vision for Healthier Children. A Better World.
About MaRS Innovation
MaRS Innovation provides an integrated commercialization platform that harnesses the economic potential of the exceptional discovery pipeline of 16 leading Ontario academic institutions. MaRS Innovation is a not-for- profit organization with an independent, industry-led Board of Directors, funded through the Government of Canada’s Networks of Centres of Excellence and contributions of its member institutions. MaRS Innovation advances commercialization through industry partnerships, licensing and company creation.