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Dr. Payal Agarwal

Dr. Payal Agarwal

Family Physician

Dr. Payal Agarwal is a practicing family physician in Toronto.  She holds an undergraduate degree in Systems Design Engineering from the University of Waterloo, where she refined her software design and development skills while working at several technology companies.  During her medical studies at the University of Toronto, Payal’s research efforts focused on the development of novel technologies to improve health care delivery and education. As an Innovation Fellow at WIHV, Payal is currently focused on the creation of new models of care by adapting proven methodologies from the design, technology and entrepreneurship fields, with a specific focus on virtual care. She also consults for several healthcare startups around product design and usability and will be starting a Masters in Health Service Research at the University of Toronto in September 2016.


Latest Reviews

Practical Apps 1: Migraines

As many of us know, migraines are a significant concern in primary care with an estimated 8% of Canadians known to be suffering from migraines. However, that is likely an underestimate as many patients do not seek medical treatment for their symptoms Even for those who are diagnosed, migraines can often be a challenge to primary care providers to deliver adequate relief of symptoms, leading to significant impact on work, sleep and quality of life.

Dr. Andrew Chou

Dr. Andrew Chou

Family Physician

Dr. Andrew Chou is a practicing family physician in Toronto.  He completed his medical degree and residency at the University of Toronto. During his training, he became interested in the use of technology in medicine. He currently works in a community-based family practice where technology is used to enhance patient care and improve clinic efficiency.


Latest Reviews

Practical Apps 6: Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Bloating, cramping, gurgling, farting, diarrhea and constipation: these are some of the many symptoms we hear about from patients suffering from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). It’s overwhelming when patients come in and dump – if you’ll pardon the term – all of their dietary permutations, probiotic choices and descriptions of their stools all at once. Many apps are available that offer to help patients document their IBS symptoms and, by extension, help the physician sort through them. These apps can help with the diagnosis of IBS as well as monitor treatment responses. Not all apps, however, are created equal.

Dr. Matthew Cruickshank

Dr. Matthew Cruickshank

Family Physician

Dr. Matthew Cruickshank is a practicing family physician in Toronto. He holds an undergraduate degree in Computer Engineering from Queen’s University where he developed skills in the development and implementation of technology products and an understanding of how they can enhance traditional systems. He studied medicine at University of Western Ontario and completed his residency at University of Toronto. During his medical education he developed an interest in practice optimization with novel uses of technology. Matthew is currently practicing family medicine at a community-based family practice in Toronto that has a focus on technology integration in family practice to optimize the patient and physician experience.


Latest Reviews

Practical Apps 8: Adult Asthma

Smartphone apps have great potential to improve patient care for asthma, a dynamic disease that can require treatment modification between visits, sometimes urgently. Asthma education, self-monitoring and self-management are very important for effective treatment. Apps have the potential to help by providing asthma education between physician visits, by allowing patients to more easily self-monitor their condition and by helping patients self-manage medications in response to their symptoms.

Practical Apps 2: Insomnia

Insomnia is a common problem encountered in family medicine that causes significant morbidity for patients. A survey of Canadian adults found that 40.2% met at least one symptom of insomnia,13.4% met all criteria and 13% had consulted a healthcare provider for sleep difficulties at least once in their lifetime. Patients with insomnia have daytime fatigue, increased physical discomfort and increased psychological distress.

Dr. Farahnaz Daya

Dr. Farahnaz Daya

Family Physician

Dr. Farahnaz Daya is a family physician practicing in Toronto. She brings a unique perspective with experience in multiple healthcare systems around the world. She holds a medical degree from the University of Leicester, U.K., where she gained firsthand experience designing and implementing community public health initiatives that leveraged mobile health to empower patients toward preventitive screening. During her family medicine residency at Dalhousie University, she recognized the gaps in care experienced in underserved areas and saw the value that health technologies could offer to bridge those gaps. This inspired her to pursue a Master’s Degree in Public Health at Harvard University with a focus in Global Health and special interests in mHealth technologies and maternal and child health.


Latest Reviews

Practical Apps 7: Menstrual Cycle Tracking

As clinicians, we have all had the experience of walking into an exam room when the only note on the chart reads “women’s issue”. Menstrual histories are notoriously filled with inaccuracy and are challenging for the patient and physician to gather. Wouldn’t it be great if our patient could easily and accurately track her periods? And she happened to have this data with her? Enter the era of smartphone menstrual tracking apps.

Dr. Rajesh Girdhari

Dr. Rajesh Girdhari

Family Physician

Raj is a staff physician in the St Michael’s Academic Family Health Team and Women’s College Hospital Substance Use Service. He completed an MD at McGill University and MBA at York University.


Latest Reviews

Practical Apps 4: Alcohol Consumption

Alcohol is one of the most used and abused legal substances in the world. I’m sure that we all know friends or family members who have had problems with alcohol use at some point in their lives. Treatments for alcohol use have traditionally rested on abstinence-based modalities, such as “detox” centres and 12-step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous.

Dr. Kavita Patel

Dr. Kavita Patel

Family Physician

Kavita is a family physician with a longstanding interest in healthcare information technology. Her various experiences include co-founding a company to develop an electronic paramedic form, interning at the Centre for Global eHealth Innovation performing usability studies on electronic medical records and consulting at eHealth Ontario to develop the provincial electronic health record. She knows good data is essential to making healthcare decisions and empowering patients is essential to improving health outcomes. Healthcare applications have the potential to tie these two elements together.


Latest Reviews

Practical Apps 3: Hypertension

Hypertension affects about one in four Canadian adults, and can cause complications such as cardiovascular disease, kidney disease and death. Research shows that self-monitoring blood pressure (BP), self-management and self-adjustments of medications and M-Health based support groups can achieve reductions in blood pressure.

Dr. Stephen Pomedli

Dr. Stephen Pomedli

Family Physician

Dr. Stephen Pomedli is a family physician and the co-founder of ConsultLoop, an online referral platform that helps connect family doctors with specialists and betters the referral process for patients. He studied medicine at Harvard Medical School and completed a Master’s in International Health Policy at the London School of Economics. After his residency at St. Michael’s Hospital, he undertook a Global Health fellowship at the University of Toronto, looking at best practices in family medicine in Canada, the United States and Brazil. As a previous Innovation Fellow at Women’s College Hospital, he worked with a group of clinicians, entrepreneurs, designers and policy-makers to find new approaches to designing healthcare services, especially for patients with complex health care needs.

Follow Dr. Pomedli on Twitter @pomedli


Latest Reviews

Practical Apps 5: Smoking

Quitting smoking is really tough. As physicians, we know that encouraging and supporting smoking cessation is one of the most important things we can do to impact the health of the ~18% of Canadians who smoke. But as with all addictions, the quitting process can be frustrating for patients and providers alike.

Practical Apps 9: Chronic Pain

Chronic pain is a complex experience, with multiple causes, huge variations in symptoms and many factors and treatment modalities that may better, worsen or not affect the pain at all. This can make monitoring and reducing pain quite challenging [1, 2].

The apps reviewed excelled in different ways: Manage My Pain and Chronic Pain Tracker feature strong reporting functions that reflect the complexity of chronic pain and communicate to physicians in an effective way. Pain Coach provides information and techniques to support self-management, while CatchMyPain has a strong online support community. Thus, each might help different patients in different ways.

Important Information about Practical Apps

OTN is making available articles and other information (“Information”) on various health-related apps that may be of value to patients, and their caregivers, with respect to a variety of medical conditions. While OTN and its content providers are endeavouring to provide helpful and accurate Information, the Information is subject to a number of restrictions and provisions. Read more...

About Practical Apps

Practical Apps is a collaboration between OTN and WIHV.

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