Registration for Techna 2019 is now open. This is a by invitation only event. If you have not received an invitation and would like to attend, please contact Meera at


MaRS Auditorium
101 College Street . Toronto . Ontario
M5G 1L7

Schedule & Speaker Bios

Below is the event schedule for Techna 2019: Human/Machine Interfaces. Here you can view the agenda and speaker bios by clicking the event times below. Video recordings of individual speeches will be available on this page after the event within each segment. The Techna 2019 Symposium will feature a live tweeting system for participants to add comments in parallel to the discussions and presentations.


8:15-9:00 – Breakfast and Registration

9:00-9:15 – Opening Remarks

Senior Director, TECHNA and Diagnostic Innovations, UHN

Dr. Luke Brzozowski leads TECHNA’s Technology Development Team, comprising over fifty technical project managers, engineers, software developers, as well as operational, quality, regulatory, marketing, and financial professionals who lead, manage, and carry out health technology productization programs and projects in a hospital environment.

Prior to joining TECHNA at its inception (then as Director of Operations and Engineering), Luke held management positions in the development, marketing, legal, and regulatory departments in the health technology industry and pharmaceutical CRO. Luke is the recipient of the 2003 Governors General’s Gold Medal for his Doctorate.

9:15-10:00 – Keynote: Reimagining Work in the Age of AI

Managing Director of Information Technology and Business Research, Accenture Research

H. James Wilson is managing director of IT and Business Research at Accenture Research, where he leads global research programs on the impact of AI on work. Wilson is co-author of the best-selling, Human + Machine: Reimagining Work in the Age of AI (Harvard Business Review Press). He is author or contributing author of eight books on the impact of technology on work and society, including most recently, AI, Analytics, & The New Machine Age (HBR Press 2019) and How to Go Digital (MIT Press 2019).

Wilson wrote “The Jobs Artificial Intelligence Will Create,” MIT Sloan Management Review’s #1 Most-Read article of the year, and is a longtime contributor to The Wall Street Journal and HBR. His latest HBR article is, “The Future of AI Will Be About Less Data, Not More.”

Abstract: This talk will look at the unprecedented new jobs, work processes, and skills required for working with artificial intelligence systems. H. James Wilson, co-author of the best-selling book, Human + Machine: Reimagining Work in the Age of AI (Harvard Business Press), will draw on significant global research as well as case studies to describe the actions that leaders must take to responsibly start and shape an AI-focused initiative inside your organization.

10:00-10:45 – Post-Keynote Panel

Chief Digital & Technology Officer, MD Anderson Cancer Centre

Dr. David Jaffray graduated from the University of Alberta with a B.Sc. in Physics (Hons.) in 1988 and completed his Ph.D. in the Department of Medical Biophysics at the University of Western Ontario in 1994. Following graduation, he took a position as Staff Physicist in the Department of Radiation Oncology at William Beaumont Hospital in Michigan where he instigated a direction of research that garnered funding from the NIH and from congressionally-directed funding programs. Dr. Jaffray became a Board Certified Medical Physicist (ABMP – Radiation Oncology) in 1999.

In 2002, Dr. Jaffray joined the Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto as Head of Radiation Physics and a Senior Scientist within the Ontario Cancer Institute. David holds the Fidani Chair in Radiation Physics, is the Director of the TECHNA Institute for Health Technology Development at the University Health Network and recently became the Executive Vice President of Technology and Innovation at the University Health Network. He is a Professor in the Departments of Radiation Oncology, Medical Biophysics, and Institute for Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Toronto. His primary area of research has been in the development and application of image-guided therapy. He has over 5 patents issued and several licensed, including, kilovoltage cone-beam computed tomography for image-guided radiation therapy. Dr. Jaffray has >200 peer-reviewed publications in the field, >100 invited lectures, and holds numerous peer-review and industry sponsored research grants. He sits on numerous scientific and research boards and has contributed to the NIH and CIHR grant review process for several years. He is an active member of the AAPM and teaching role in workshops and annual meeting of the American Society of Therapeutic Radiation Oncology (ASTRO). He has an active interest in commercialization and led the development of a variety of commercial products including software and hardware for QA and the development of small animal irradiator systems for basic research. He has successfully supervised over 20 graduate students and fellows.

Dr. Jaffray has won each of the major prizes in the field of the medical physics, including, the Sylvia Sorkin-Greenfield Award, The Farrington Daniels Award, and the Sylvia Fedoruk Award. In 2004, Dr. Jaffray was identified as one of Canada’s Top 40 Under 40 and was recognized by The University of Western Ontario with their Young Alumni Award in 2004. His current research interests focus on the development of imaging technologies and methods with a focus on image-guided interventions, including radiation therapy, drug delivery, and surgery.

UX/UI Strategist

Executive Director, Surgical services, UHN

Patient Partner, UHN

In November 2014 I sustained a C5 C6 spinal cord injury. Prior to that I worked as a commercial industrial electrician. Since then my life has done a complete 180° turn. All the things I thought mattered, really didn’t matter. I now had to face a whole new world of actual problems, adaptations, and just simply surviving day to day, literally minute to minute.
My journey has taken me through the full spectrum of the healthcare system from the 911 call, emergency decompression surgery, ICU, inpatient, outpatient, rehab, transitional housing, and finally living independently in the community.
As my recovery began to progress, I began to look into how I could re-engage myself with life.  Advocacy quickly became a natural and easy fit for me.. Now 4 years out I am a Patient Partner with UHN.

I have been involved in work with the patient portal, HAC’s, imaging speaking panels, the AODA council and many more.

I am indebted to the people at UHN who saved my life after my accident and to the current staff that have helped me give my new life meaning purpose and dignity.

It is both my pleasure and honour to give back to my community, collaborate with UHN staff, and be a Patient Partner.

Team Lead, Toronto Video Atlas project, UHN

Albert graduated from the University of Toronto with a Masters degree in Biomedical Communications in 2010.

He is currently serving as Team Lead of the Toronto Video Atlas project, headed by Dr. Ian McGilvray at the Toronto General Hospital.

The Video Atlas project aims to deliver surgical education to trainees worldwide through innovative, cutting edge technology and media, including high definition surgical footage, 3D computer animation, and most recently augmented and virtual reality.

Albert has taken an active role in developing experimental virtual reality modules for use in surgical education, as well as surgical planning. A few select modules can be viewed in detail at

10:45-11:00 – Break

11:00-12:00 – AI and Sensory Technologies

Interim Radiologist-in-Chief, Joint Department of Medical Imaging

Dr. Schmidt is Professor of Radiology at the University of Toronto, and the interim radiologist-in-chief of the Joint Department of Medical Imaging (JDMI) at the University Health Network, Sinai Health System and Women’s College Hospital.

She trained in Germany, where she graduated from Medical School in 1988, and finished her residency as a diagnostic radiologist in 1993. Following a research fellowship at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) in 1994, Dr. Schmidt went back to Germany, and returned to North America in 1997, where she remained on the faculty of the Department of Radiology at UCSF until she moved to Toronto in 2002. Since then, Dr. Schmidt is a staff radiologist in the cardiothoracic division in the JDMI.

For more than 10 years, from 2007-2018, Dr. Schmidt was the Site Director for Medical Imaging at Women’s College Hospital. For 6 years, she was also the head of the chest section in JDMI, before she became head of the cardiothoracic division in March 2016. In February this year she was appointed as interim radiologist-in-chief.

In 2003, Dr. Schmidt started the Lung Cancer Screening Study at PMH as part of the International Early Lung Cancer Action Program (I-ELCAP), and she is the local Principal Investigator of the Pan-Canadian Early Lung Cancer Detection Study. More than 5000 individuals have been screened under her supervision in those research studies. Since early 2017 she is the Radiology Quality Lead of the High Risk Lung Cancer Screening at Cancer Care Ontario.

Co-Founder, Imagia

Alexandre Le Bouthillier holds a PhD in Operations Research from the University of Montreal and completed a post doctorate program at the University of Geneva. He is the co-founder of Planora, an artificial intelligence & optimisation company. Alexandre was VP Science & Technology at RedPrairie (now JDA Software) following the acquisition of Planora.

Financial angel, he invests talent and capital in technological ventures. He has received scholarships and other academic awards from government research funding agencies, corporations and professional associations. His research and work interests include operations research, artificial intelligence (machine learning, deep learning), healthcare, oncology, brain, big data & cloud infrastructure.

He is cofounder of Imagia, an artificial intelligence driven company in the fight against cancer, board member at the MILA (Quebec Institute of Machine Learning headed by Prof. Yoshua Bengio), board member of IVADOMEDTEQ and Montreal InVivo.

Scientist, KITE/UHN

Director of R&D, Muse

12:00-1:15 – Lunch – AR Art Exhibit

ReBlink Pop-up Show, Impossible Things

1:15-2:15 – AR/VR Technologies

Surgeon, Unity Health Toronto

Medical Physicist, Ottawa Hospital

Justin Sutherland is an Assistant Professor of Radiology at the University of Ottawa and a medical physicist at the Ottawa Hospital.  He is also the founder of realizeLAB, a medical virtual reality research lab based at The Ottawa Hospital that focuses on exploring unique and creative ways that virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR) can be used to facilitate the jobs of medical professionals, particularly in the domain of medical image interaction.  Justin’s innovations include the development of a comprehensive framework for using modern virtual and augmented reality technologies in the clinical setting, which have been recognized with awards from the Journal of Digital Imaging and numerous invited presentations at the annual meetings of the Radiological Society of North America and elsewhere.

Abstract: Medical image review has progressed through a few technological iterations – from films displayed on lightboxes to radiology workstations consisting of LCD monitors that can present a mix of 2D and volumetric images. Today, there is a growing number of virtual reality (VR) systems capable of creating immersive simulated virtual environments. When use correctly, and carefully, these VR technologies can improve the way clinicians interact with medical images.

This talk will begin by describing the distinguishing features and functions of various virtual and augmented reality technologies, stratifying them along a few key technology-defining characteristics. A comprehensive framework for applying these technologies to advanced visualization of medical images and models will then be presented and discussed, before examining the deceptively complex question of how to quantify and measure image quality within a virtual environment. Using these concepts, several past and present projects based in VR at The Ottawa Hospital will be presented with the aim of showing how this exciting technology has potential to change the way we interface with medical images.

Associate Director, PERK Lab/Queen’s University

Dr. Andras Lasso is associate director of Laboratory for Percutaneous Surgery at Queen’s University, specialized in translational research and system development for minimally invasive interventions. Andras is lead contributor of software packages including 3D Slicer and PLUS toolkit, which are used by academic groups and companies worldwide.

Prior to joining the lab at Queen’s University, he worked for 9 years for GE Healthcare as senior engineer, developing software components for Innova interventional X-ray systems and Advantage Workstation, and led development of advanced image visualization, quantification, real-time image fusion and guidance applications.

Abstract: Virtual reality (VR) systems allow experiencing dynamic 3D content in a fully immersive virtual environment, which has been shown to be useful in variety of medical applications. VR hardware is now easily accessible and very affordable, but software development can be challenging, since commonly used VR software frameworks are not well suited for medical applications. 3D Slicer, a widely used open-source medical image visualization and analysis application, has been extended with a new VR interface ( This interface allows leveraging 3D Slicer’s powerful features in VR, while the software also remains usable as a regular desktop application. Use cases in surgical planning, training, and education will be presented, along with practical advice how to implement such applications rapidly, with minimal development overhead.

Director, Strategic Partnerships & Innovation, FingerFood

2:15-3:15 – Digital Humans

Head of JLABS Canada

As Head of Johnson & Johnson Innovation, JLABS in Canada, Allan is responsible for external engagement, innovation sourcing, company onboarding, portfolio management, operational excellence, educational programming and P&L. He catalyzes and supports the translation of science and technology into valuable solutions for patients and consumers across the pharmaceutical, medical device, consumer and healthtech sectors.

Allan joined the JLABS team from Janssen Canada, where he has spent the last 12 years in positions of increasing responsibility in business development, marketing and market access. His most recent role was Therapeutic Lead Immunology and Primary Care where he was responsible for market access strategy for a complex product portfolio exceeding $1 billion. Allan started his career at PARTEQ Innovations, the technology transfer arm of Queen’s University at Kingston where he was responsible for technology assessment and new company start-up. He then moved to Paladin Labs, where he successfully completed numerous in-licensing transactions for specialty pharmaceutical products for the Canadian market. Allan subsequently worked in business development for two early stage biotechnology companies in Canada leading their business development and partnering initiatives prior to joining Janssen.

Allan received his Ph.D. in Neuropharmacology from Queen’s University at Kingston, Ontario and his MBA from McGill University in Finance and Strategy.

CEO, Pentavere

Global Practice Lead: Healthcare & Life Sciences, IPSoft

S. Vincent Grasso is the Healthcare & Life Sciences Global Practice Lead for IPsoft Inc., the world’s leading private AI company. His role involves the design and construction of innovative enterprise clinical solutions incorporating the company’s autonomic and cognitive assets. Dr. Grasso leverages his subject matter expertise within the domains of clinical healthcare, technology, and business to optimize value contribution, market differentiation, and competitive advantage

VP Platform Development, UneeQ

3:15-3:00 – Break

3:30-4:15 – Debate Human/Machine or Machine/Human Interfaces?

Executive Director, Healthcare Human Factors, UHN

Director, KITE/UHN

Professor, Computer Engineering, University of Toronto