Autism 2014

October 09

We will be attending the Autism 2014 Geneva Centre for Autism International Symposium on October 23-24! It will be held at the Metro Toronto Convention Center (255 Front St. W, Toronto, ON)


Geneva Centre


Be sure to visit us at Booth #57 located in the Techie Zone (Room #104)

The Geneva Centre for Autism brings together Professionals, Educators, Parents and Researchers from all over the world to discuss the leading research and clinical practices in the field of Autism.

We will be showcasing the latest version of TalkingTiles where personalized care plans can be created that includes augmentative and alternative (AAC), visual schedules and learning activities that can be utilized in both the school and home environment.

We’ll also be debuting our newest app, Mozzaz Care, which specializes in care team collaboration through remote care planning, activity scheduling, notifications, data usage, observation recordings and remote user monitoring; enabling individuals and care givers to effectively deliver and manage personalized care plans for individuals with Autism.

For more information on this event, visit

I’ve had the privilege of having Dr. Reg Reynolds on my son’s autism care team over the last several years. Although now officially retired, he still has passion in the autism treatment research and for the autism community. In fact he has wrote a great book “Teaching Children with Autism: An ABA Primer”. This book is a “must share” book with anyone connected to autism. It is written in plain English and systematically walks the reader through a number of concepts and applications that any parent could easily grasp. It’s packed with great sources of information on specific topics.


Teaching children with autism


ABA, short for Applied Behavior Analysis, has the most research support in the treatment for autism. As Dr. Reynolds says, “It’s not perfect and there are many myths and misconceptions but it is a proven technique when implemented properly.”

ABA is not a technique that should only be used in a school or therapy setting. Dr. Reynolds strongly urges parents to learn the teaching strategies and apply them in all their interactions with their child for a few reasons:

“First, experience has shown that a child’s progress in ABA is directly related to the extent to which his or her parents are involved in his or her teaching/training. Second, there are many opportunities for teaching/learning outside of any formal instruction program which may be set up for the child, and most of that teaching has to be done by the parents. Third, because ABA for children with autism is most often provided within the context of intensive behavioral intervention (IBI), and because this is expensive and outside funding is usually limited, parents should learn how to provide the instruction that their child is likely to need on an ongoing basis for many years to come.”

I look forward to my continued conversations with Dr. Reynolds and I’ll be sure to share additional insights on this blogposts.

Teaching Children with Autism, An ABA Primer (2013) by Dr. Reg Reynolds is published by Lulu Enterprises (ISBN 978-1-300-74618-8) and is available on their website,

I love research that can drive practical health outcomes to the general public. One interesting initiative being sponsored by the California Healthcare Foundation is using online cognitive behavioral therapy for managing and overcoming pain due to health issue.


ReThink Pain


“Chronic pain affects about 100 million American adults — more than those affected by heart disease, cancer, and diabetes combined. Despite treatments that include surgery, medication, rehabilitative and physical therapy, and complementary and alternative approaches, many people with chronic pain will never recover to the point where they are pain free.”


ReThink Pain 2


Research is showing that teaching patients how to cope with their personal responses to pain can help minimize pain's impact on their activities of daily living. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), a psychotherapeutic approach that teaches techniques for recognizing and restructuring negative thoughts and behaviors, has been successfully used to help chronic pain sufferers in group and individual settings. CBT shows patients how to handle the social and psychological aspects of chronic pain, including depression, anger, and anxiety, while developing self-management skills like activity scheduling and good sleep habits to manage symptoms. The challenge in delivering CBT for chronic pain by therapists has limited availability to patients due to cost, provider availability, and reimbursement issues. To increase access to the psycho-educational aspects of CBT for chronic pain sufferers, CHCF is looking to mobile health and health IT to make it more accessible and timely.

Read more: California Healthcare Foundation

83% of IT executives report they are using cloud services today for healthcare IT according to the 2014 HIMSS Analytics Cloud Survey. Health IT is moving to cloud and it’s no longer a “nice to have.” – It has become a necessity.


Healthcare Organizations


As health organizations transform how they serve their patients, consumers, and partners, cloud computing provides a way to reduce costs, simplify management, and improve services in a safe and secure manner.

At Mozzaz, our solution is built on Microsoft’s Windows Azure Cloud platform which is secure, scalable, reliable and based on industry standard technology. This also allows us to easily deploy to private cloud environments running in secure data centers when an organization requires additional security and privacy measures. Check out Microsoft’s Azure Trust Center to review their security and privacy certifications.


Healthcare Organizations 2


By moving to the cloud, healthcare organizations can effectively deliver coordinated care which requires convenient access to data that can be shared securely within a hospital, health system, or across an entire community.

Apple’s HealthKit has finally been released as part of the iOS 8.0.2 update - which was rushed out late last week after problems were found with the iOS 8.0.1 update.


Apple healthkit


HealthKit is designed to collect health data from various apps and make it available in Apple's new Health app for both users and healthcare providers. Company officials say it addresses two of the most pressing questions in the industry today – how to pull data from consumer-facing devices and make is easy-to-access and meaningful for healthcare providers.


Apple healthkit 2


"Developers have created a vast array of healthcare devices and accompanying applications, everything from monitoring your activity level, to your heart rate, to your weight, and chronic medical conditions like high blood pressure and diabetes," Apple Senior Vice President Craig Federighi announced at the company's developers' conference in June. But "you can’t get a single comprehensive picture of your health situation. Now you can, with HealthKit. HealthKit provides a single place that applications can contribute to a composite profile of your activity and health."

At Mozzaz our team has already started digging into what’s possible with this platform and the initial impressions seem very exciting – especially with our new data collection & analytics engine built into the Mozzaz platform that will support data correlations from a whole host of newly accessible health data. Stay tuned!

I recently met with the Life Sciences team at Toronto’s MaRS Discovery District as a partner in their Transforming Health initiative. Emily and the team have put together a fantastic paper with concept that can really apply to healthcare systems around the world.

Here are a few tidbits. I would encourage you to read the full paper.

The report investigates two interdependent thrusts that underpin radical transformation:

  • Decentralization: Moving care outside of provider settings and into the home and community
  • Connectivity: Open data sharing and communication across users and healthcare providers

Why? The current healthcare delivery model is just not sustainable – both from a cost and quality of care perspective.

Health spending as a part of GDP continues to grow but raises the question “Are we maximizing our return on investment in healthcare?”


Transforming Health

Transforming Health 2


System under Pressure

Four challenges that are putting pressure on the current healthcare paradigm—the first two are largely population driven, while the latter two are system driven:

  1. managing the ubiquity of chronic illness
  2. caring for an increasingly aging population
  3. the increasing cost of labour; and
  4. the adoption of new medical technologies


Shifting Left toward Community-Based Healthcare

In place of formal, institutionalized care, health systems are now making a more patient-centric “shift left” toward settings where the care goes to the patient, instead of the patient going to the care.


Transforming Health 3


The path forward calls for an integrated community-based health delivery model with a promise to improve citizen’s health while keeping costs under control.

Great work MaRSDD team! We’re proud to be a partner and part of the conversation in transforming healthcare.

In observance of Disability Employment Awareness Month, WalletHub ranked the nation’s best and worst cities for people with disabilities to live. And the winner… Overland Park, Kansas! The factors were based on three key areas — economic environment, quality of life and health care — to assess each locale and determine what the site called “the most suitable conditions for individuals with disabilities.”

You can check out the full report here with all the details and the methodology behind the study.


2014 Best


Top 10 list:


2014 Best 2

There are many potential use cases for big data analytics (‘BDA’) in health care. BDA can be used to: help researchers find causes of, and treatments for diseases; actively monitor patients so clinicians are alerted to the potential for an adverse event before it occurs; and personalize care so precious resources associated with a treatment are not administered to a patient who cannot benefit from the intervention.


Big Data 1

Source: IBM

Now that we have our data analytics engine built in Mozzaz, we’re starting to gain new insights derived from big data analytics that will serve to advance personalized care plans, improve patient outcomes and avoid unnecessary costs. Here are some innovative ideas and solutions we envision in harnessing BDA:

  • Clinical decision support – BDA technologies that sift through large amounts of data, understand, categorize and learn from it, and then predict outcomes or recommend alternative treatments to clinicians and patients at the point of care.
  • Personalized care – Predictive data mining or analytic solutions that can leverage personalized care in real time to highlight best practice treatments to patients. These solutions may offer early detection and diagnosis before a patient develops disease or behavioral or mental health issue.
  • Public and population health – BDA solutions that can mine web-based and social media data to identify triggers and help predict behaviors or outbreaks based on consumers’ search, social content and query activity.
  • Clinical operations – BDA can support initiatives such as wait-time management, where it can mine large amounts of historical and unstructured data, look for patterns and model various scenarios to predict events that may affect wait times before they actually happen.
  • Policy, financial and administrative – BDA can support decision makers by integrating and analyzing data related to key performance indicators.


Another great piece of visual artwork that conveys the message.

Big Data 2

Source: Big Data and the Holy Grail of Museum Metrics