User:Carlos Rizo

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Carlos Rizo

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Current fellows

Carlos is the former Chief Imagineer (Ideas Officer) at the Cell and now co-founder of My healthcare Innovation. Carlos has 23 years of experience in healthcare, half of which have been dedicated entirely to healthcare innovation. Carlos is a medical doctor, trained in Colombia and a researcher focused on the impact of the Internet in healthcare. He is a former fellow on eHealth, consumer health informatics and healthcare innovation from the University Health Network's Centre for Global eHealth Innovation where he co-evolved one of the first Internet clinics for cancer patients. Carlos is an inventor, has published in medical and health policy peer-reviewed journals, and blogs and micro-blogs about healthcare innovation on Twitter and Facebook. He belongs to the first generation of 'e-patients' and is a member of the Journal of Participatory Medicine's editorial board. Carlos is also the organizer of the Healthcamp Toronto unconference (citizen participation in healthcare reform) and Quantified Self Toronto Meetup (self tracking for behavioural modification).He is a patient by accident, a physician by training and a life-long learner currently enrolled as a PhD candidate at the Department of Health Policy Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto, examining success' and 'failure of Health Information Systems.Carlos is a former fellow on eHealth and Innovation at the University Health Network's Centre for Global eHealth Innovation, and on Consumer Health Informatics at the Patient Education Network, Princess Margaret Hospital. Carlos has written on medical peer-reviewed journals, blogs on disruptive innovations and patient advocacy and micro-blogs about healthcare innovation, randomness, and life on Twitter and Facebook.

A rapid, Web-based method for obtaining patient views on effects and side-effects of antidepressants This project was undertaken to develop a rapid method for obtaining a widespread sample of patient views on the efficacy and side-effects of antidepressants.

A Web-based method is described for rapidly and objectively obtaining patient views on the effects and side-effects of treatment with antidepressants. The method entails a systematized search of many URLs (Uniform Resource Locators, or Web page addresses), using keywords and phrases to extract the named drug and symptom that are reliably relevant to the medication being taken by the individual reporting the experience online. Unwanted medical conditions (e.g., cancer) are excluded.

Three successive searches of thousands of Web pages revealed a cumulative total of 835 "mentions" of patient experience on duloxetine, 756 for venlafaxine, 637 for citalopram, 636 for sertraline, 559 for paroxetine, 457 for fluoxetine, 318 for desvenlafaxine, 289 for fluvoxamine, and 210 for mirtazapine, in association with various symptoms. A comparison of the associated symptoms for each of the antidepressants found that the prevalence of the combined factor of fatigue, drowsiness, tiredness or lethargy ranged from 6.4+/-0.8% down to 2.9+/-0.15% of the mentions, where the S.E. was derived from three repeats of the Web-based analysis. The prevalence of dizziness or vertigo ranged from 7.6+/-0.8% down to 1.9+/-0.3% of the mentions.

Given the increasing number of patient narratives about drug experiences on open-access Web forums, this rapid novel method will have increasing utility in post-marketing surveillance and in comparing the effects of psychiatric medications.

PMID: 20705344 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
Assessing and Responding in Real Time to Online Anti-vaccine Sentiment during a Flu Pandemic The perceived safety of vaccination is an important explanatory factor for vaccine uptake and, consequently, for rates of illness and death. The objectives of this study were (1) to evaluate Canadian attitudes around the safety of the H1N1 vaccine during the fall 2009 influenza pandemic and (2) to consider how public health communications can leverage the Internet to counteract, in real time, anti-vaccine sentiment.

We surveyed a random sample of 175,257 Canadian web users from October 27 to November 19, 2009, about their perceptions of the safety of the HINI vaccine. In an independent analysis, we also assessed the popularity of online flu vaccine-related information using a tool developed for this purpose. A total of 27,382 unique online participants answered the survey (15.6% response rate). Of the respondents, 23.4% considered the vaccine safe, 41.4% thought it was unsafe and 35.2% reported ambivalence over its safety. Websites and blog posts with anti-vaccine sentiment remained popular during the course of the pandemic.

Current public health communication and education strategies about the flu vaccine can be complemented by web analytics that identify, track and neutralize anti-vaccine sentiment on the Internet, thus increasing perceived vaccine safety. Counter-marketing strategies can be transparent and collaborative, engaging online "influencers" who spread misinformation.
Assessing and Responding in Real-Time to Online Anti-vaccine Sentiment during a Flu Pandemic Traditional communication and education strategies by public health authorities are limited in their capacity to counteract public concerns about vaccine safety.

Efforts to counter the arguments of the anti-vaccine movement, to calm fears and to provide accurate information require sustained, effective public health communication.

In order to evaluate, in real-time, Canadian Internet users’ attitudes to the safety of the H1N1 vaccine after Health Canada approved the vaccine, we surveyed a random sample of Canadian Internet users from October 27 to November 19, 2009 (Step A). In Step B, we determined which vaccine safety Internet sites were most trusted by the public by deploying a dynamic ‘Internet robot’ that informed us (i) which Uniform Resource Locators (URLs) discussing ‘myths and facts’ about the H1N1 vaccine were being most widely shared and discussed among English-language Internet users, and (ii) which Web sites, blogs, and links were being shared on social media sites.
Cell creating new Semantic Media Wiki website The Cell has migrated it's minimalistic one page website to a Semantic MediaWiki (SMW). SMW is a free extension of MediaWiki – the wiki-system powering Wikipedia – that helps to search, organise, tag, browse, evaluate, and share the wiki's content. While traditional wikis contain only text which computers can neither understand nor evaluate, SMW adds semantic annotations that let you easily publish Semantic Web content, and allow the wiki to function as a collaborative database. SMW's goal is to make Semantic Web technologies usable by the masses. The Innovation Cell's Semantic MediaWiki now joins over 500 public active wikis around the world, in addition to an unknown number of private wikis. Notable public wikis include the Metacafe wiki, SNPedia, Metavid, MetaBase, the Math Images Project, the Sunlight Foundation's OpenCongress wiki and's Chickipedia. Organizations that use SMW internally include Pfizer, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research and Development and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. SMW has especially gained traction in the health care domain for collaboratively creating bio-medical terminologies and ontologies. One example of SMW in healthcare is LexWiki which is jointly run by the Mayo Clinic, National Cancer Institute (NCI), World Health Organization (WHO) and Stanford University. Semantic MediaWiki is also supported on at least three wiki farm websites: Referata by default, as well as Wikia and YourWiki on user request.
Cell's Imagineer quoted on self tracking and self monitoring
Colombia's oldest paper highlights Cell's mission
DSM-Twitter: Are We Happy Or Sad Right Now? Using our real-time analysis of depression surveillance on Twitter, there were 417 tweets - within 15 miles of Toronto - expressing sadness (or what Twitter calls a "negative attitude") during 17 minutes on March 12 (from 1:06pm EST to 1:23pm EST). During the very same time frame, there were 1,500 tweets from Toronto showing happiness or a "positive attitude." This suggests that the ratio of happy comments to sad comments in the Toronto area was 3.6 to 1.
HealthCamp Toronto 2009 The Innovation Cell teamed with IBM and organized the first HealthCamp held in Canada. HealthCamp is a global movement pushing change in healthcare to engage participants in meaningful conversations about healthcare innovation. HealthCamp Toronto followed the format of 'unconferences' -- a participant-driven conference centered around improving the patient experience. Impact Achieved More than 100 global “Web influencers” (including patients, providers, policy makers, journalists) from different countries, with different training, and from different ethnocultural backgrounds met face to face, and many more followed the conversation online (via Twitter™).
Innovation Cell is formed in February 2009 as an independent healthcare innovation think/do-tank Please read more about us at
Introducing myhospitalidea partership project with the Ontario Hospital Assocation The Ontario Hospital Association (OHA) and the Health Strategy Innovation Cell are pleased to present an interactive webcast on October 20 showcasing the roll-out of In the spirit of the Excellent Care for All Act, 2010, will harness the power of the public’s ideas to continuously improve hospital quality. will track what the public believes are the most exciting hospital “ideas in action” – real implementations in Canada and around the world that are gaining attention for their merit and growing success as measured by web analytics. When is released, it will be a social forum to invite new, low-cost ideas from the public – and a place to celebrate the most exciting hospital ideas that have been implemented in hospitals in Canada and around the world to improve quality of care. Join this webcast to learn about the opportunities for a select group of OHA member hospitals to help steer the evolution of The webcast will explain the process of joining the Collaboration Council, the criteria for Council selection, and timelines and obligations of Council hospitals. The webcast will explain how leverages trends in social media and collaborative open innovation. An example of collaborative health care innovation is the Innovation Cell’s leading patient-led idea generation platform: The Innovation Cell, a not-for-profit think tank at Massey College, specializes in building collaborative innovation tools and capturing and analyzing real-time health information from the web.
Italian newspaper SecoloXIX profiles Cell's imagineer Please be kind to check page 29. Unfortunately no URL available.
MaRS Medicine 2.0 Conference ”Perfection”, “Micro-Thanks” and “Micro-Ideas”: New Crowd-sourcing Concepts to Improve the Patient Experience and Foster Constructive Deliberation on the Web
Mental HealthCamp Toronto MHCTO crystallized as an idea at the HealthCampTO organized by the Innovation Cell ( in September 2009, after the inspiration of Canada’s inaugural MentalHealthCamp in Vancouver.
Ontario Hospital Association and Innovation Cell Partner on In the spirit of the Excellent Care for All Act, 2010, will harness the power of the public’s ideas to improve hospital quality. is a collaborative project between the Health Strategy Innovation Cell and OHA that will dynamically track what the public believes are the most exciting hospital “ideas in action” – real implementations in Canada and around the world that are gaining attention for their merit and growing success as measured by Web analytics. will be a social forum to invite new, low-cost ideas from the public to improve the quality of care. Upon release of, it will be a place to celebrate the most exciting hospital 'ideas in action’ that have been implemented in Canada and around the world
Participatory storytelling online - Innovation Cell publishes new research showing the power of participatory storytelling online Measuring patient satisfaction is an important quality improvement technique. The World Wide Web offers new approaches to understanding patient satisfaction and stories about healthcare encounters. In this paper, we suggest that there is a wealth of patients' stories being told online, in real-time, on social networking and on social rating Web sites. This patient-generated, publicly available information can complement existing patient satisfaction data and can provide insights into patients' values, perspectives and expectations - and can suggest ways to improve the patient's experience along the continuum of care.
Releases new survey to redefine patienthood
The Change Foundation and the Innovation Cell partner to probe how Social Media can improve patient care "A new quality improvement lens: making sense of online patient conversations in social media to deliver on the promise of patient focused care" is a partnership collaboration between the Health Strategy Innovation Cell and The Change Foundation.

The project spans across 12 months and is working with healthcare provider organizations to use online patient dialogue to improve quality. The project consists of 3 phases:

  • Phase 1: Scanning the horizon – the Innovation Cell, in cooperation with partner organizations will conducting a scan of leading practices using online dialogue and engagement to improve quality in healthcare and other sectors. From this scan retrospective case studies will be extracted and should outline challenges, opportunities and legal considerations of using online patient dialogue information.
  • Phase 2: Development of case studies – the Innovation cell will work closely with partner organizations to develop and test emerging best practice guidelines on enhancing quality improvement and patient-centred care using social media tools.
  • Phase 3: Wrap up – Learnings from the scan and case studies will inform the development of an e-Tool kit to share insights and lessons learned from real-time patient and caregiver stories.
Toronto Star Article on MentalHealthCamp Toronto
Towards a New Model of Healthcare Awards Improving patient engagement in decisions about relevant healthcare information
You Changed My Life Small, subtle, low-cost healthcare interventions - a thank-you note; consistent expressions of kindness; discussions about common interests, in other words, connecting - matter greatly to people's health and expectations of care.