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Kitchener Waterloo Society for Innovation in Medicine (KW SIM) Panel

 Collaborative Innovation: Bridging the Gap between Healthcare and Tech 

About KW SIM


The Kitchener-Waterloo Society for Innovation in Medicine (KWSIM) is a group of healthcare and STEM students united by a shared passion for medical technology. Through interdisciplinary collaboration, they aim to drive technological innovation in the health sector, by connecting students early on in their professional journey.


About the PANel


The KWSIM will be presenting an interdisciplinary panel of leaders in healthcare technology, who will discuss the process of taking innovative ideas from research to implementation. The goal is to identify gaps between the healthcare and technology sectors, propose solutions to fostering meaningful collaboration in KW, and inspire students as well as professionals to be leaders in KW’s unique health-tech environment.


  • Dr. Sophiya Benjamin, Geriatric Psychiatrist at Grand River Hospital


  • Dr. Alex Wong, Associate Professor and Research Chair at University of Waterloo

  • Dr. Farnoud Kazemzadeh, CEO of Elucid Labs

  • Michael Millar, CEO of Verto

  • Tina Mah, VP Innovation and Research at Grand River Hospital

  • Dr. Chris Dainton, Emergency Medicine and Founder of Medical Service Trip Inc.


ModeratorDr. Sophiya Benjamin, Geriatric Psychiatrist at Grand River Hospital


Dr. Benjamin is a Diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in general adult psychiatry and in geriatric psychiatry. She completed her residency and fellowship at Duke University in North Carolina. She works at the Specialized Mental Health program at Grand River Hospital, Freeport caring for patients with advanced dementia and severely responsive behaviors.  She is co-developer and geriatric psychiatrist at GeriMedRisk which is an interdisciplinary telemedicine geriatric clinical pharmacology and geriatric psychiatry consultation service for clinicians. She is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and the Postgraduate Research Lead in Psychiatry at the Waterloo Regional Campus. 

PanelistDr. Alex Wong, Associate Professor and Research Chair at University of Waterloo

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Alexander Wong, P.Eng., is currently the Canada Research Chair in Artificial Intelligence and Medical Imaging, co-director of the Vision and Image Processing Research Group, and an associate professor in the Department of Systems Design Engineering at the University of Waterloo. He has published over 450 refereed journal and conference papers, as well as patents, in various fields such as computational imaging, artificial intelligence, computer vision, and multimedia systems. He has received numerous awards including three Outstanding Performance Awards, a Distinguished Performance Award, an Engineering Research Excellence Award, a Sandford Fleming Teaching Excellence Award, an Early Researcher Award from the Ministry of Economic Development and Innovation, a Best Paper Award at the NIPS Workshop on NIPS Workshop on Transparent and Interpretable Machine Learning (2017), a Best Paper Award at the NIPS Workshop on Efficient Methods for Deep Neural Networks (2016), two Best Paper Awards by the Canadian Image Processing and Pattern Recognition Society (CIPPRS) (2009 and 2014), a Distinguished Paper Award by the Society of Information Display (2015), two Best Paper Awards for the Conference of Computer Vision and Imaging Systems (CVIS) (2015,2017), Synaptive Best Medical Imaging Paper Award (2016), two Magna Cum Laude Awards and one Cum Laude Award from the Annual Meeting of the Imaging Network of Ontario, and AquaHacking Challenge First Prize (2017).

PanelistDr. Farnoud Kazemzadeh, CEO of Elucid Labs

An entrepreneur, engineer, astrophysicist, inventor, professional basketball referee, and co-founder and CEO of Elucid Labs, Farnoud is an internationally recognized leading expert in optics and photonics specializing in interferometry, spectroscopy, holography, and microscopy. As an engineer/astrophysicist, he has placed instruments on various telescopes, planetary probes, and the International Space Station. As a serial entrepreneur, Farnoud has successfully lead the design and development of high-performance optical devices at several startups. Farnoud is now leading Elucid Labs, bringing to market technology for personalized precision medicine for detection, diagnostics, targeted therapeutics, and treatment planning. He is an Adjunct Professor at University of Waterloo where he teaches undergraduate classes, supervise students, and generally satisfies his desire to be involved in pure scientific research. Farnoud holds 10 patents, has authored over 50 academic publications, and has been recognized with various academic excellence awards. 

PanelistMichael Millar, CEO of Verto

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Michael Millar is the CEO and Founder of Verto Inc. and an Adjunct Lecturer in the Institute of Health Policy, Management, and Evaluation at the University of Toronto. With a combination of expertise in software development, agile & lean solution design, risk & governance, and systems-level strategy, Michael is passionate about implementing transparent and impactful technologies that empower clinicians to better manage populations of patients with complex chronic diseases. Michael and his team have a track record of partnering with 6 Ontario hospital networks (20+ hospitals), tackling issues with cross-sector collaboration and transforming the patient experience one successful implementation at a time.

PanelistTina Mah, VP Innovation and Research at Grand River Hospital


Tina Mah was appointed Grand River Hospital’s vice president of research and innovation in June 2017. Tina is responsible for extending GRH’s existing research partnerships into the area of innovation-building partnerships with academic institutions, industry groups and government agencies fostering development activity in the health sector.

Tina completed her PhD in Health Studies and Gerontology at the University of Waterloo, holds a Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy from the University of Alberta and a Master of Business Administration from Wilfrid Laurier University. Tina has held senior management positions across the care continuum including hospital, home care, community, and private consulting services. She has held senior leadership roles at GRH since 2008.

PanelistDr. Chris Dainton, Emergency Medicine and Founder of Medical Service Trip Inc.


Dr. Christopher Dainton is an emergency physician and founder of Medical Service Trip, a global health social enterprise that maintains an online directory of ratings for medical mission organizations in Latin America. His academic research focuses on best practices for short-term clinical volunteers. In 2016, he developed QuickChart EMR, an award winning electronic medical records app designed to meet the needs of healthcare volunteers in remote settings.

For more information about the KW SIM visit kwsim.ca