Innovating with the IWK

UPDATE: Due to low registration numbers, tonight’s event has been cancelled. Please check our calendar for other activities that might be of interest.

Do you want to help break healthcare?

The IWK Health Centre is in the midst of rolling out a new innovation strategy, one that works best by engaging with our community and academic partners.  Innovation Services at the IWK has legal, business and medical expertise, and can provide advice, mentorship, and resources for those interested in entrepreneurial health care innovation aimed at women’s and children’s care.

Dr. Brett Taylor, Lead Physician Information Management

Dr. Brett Taylor is the medical consultant for innovation at the IWK, and will present a brief (20 min) power point presentation on the opportunities and resources available to under- and post-graduate programmers, computer scientists and engineers.  Funding opportunities and protection of developer IP will be discussed.  A question and answer session will follow.

Come be disruptive with us 😊


CS Students Develop Winning Solution to Support Dementia Sufferers

by Rebecca Rawcliffe

A team of students from Dalhousie’s Faculty of Computer Science took home $7,500 from the Nova Scotia Sandboxes “Introduction to Innovation” Bootcamp to develop their ideas for a tech-based solution to support individuals suffering from dementia.

Master of Applied Computer Science students Aishwarya Ravichandran and Harish Gopinath’s team MyMem, beat 19 other teams from Dalhousie, Acadia, NSCC, St. Mary’s and Mount Saint Vincent to claim first place in the intensive four-week long bootcamp.

“We recognized that dementia and associated memory loss can cause major problems for those living with the condition, including loss of independence and peace of mind,” says Aishwarya. “We wanted to develop a solution for dementia sufferers and their families to makes things easier for them.”

Through AI based personalized voice command, the team identified a way to use technology to help people living with dementia recall information quickly and independently.

“We are also exploring the use of cognitive brain games, featuring a potential sufferer’s memories, to identify the different stages of dementia for family and caregivers,” adds Aishwarya. “We believe this could have a huge impact on the way disorders such as dementia are approached.”

MyMem were also first place winners at Hacking Health Halifax in March 2017.

Hands-on introduction to innovation

The Introduction to Innovation Bootcamp, aimed at post-secondary students and new graduates, was developed by sandboxes from across the province, including ShiftKey Labs based out of the Faculty of Computer Science, to introduce new entrepreneurs to start-up methodologies and design thinking, providing them with the support and advice to develop their innovative ideas.

Four weeks of hard work, including a 2-week residency at Acadia, culminated in final pitches in front of a panel of expert judges and potential investors at Dalhousie’s Faculty of Computer Science on May 25, with $15,000 dollars up for grabs for the top three placing teams.

“From supporting the local beer and wine industry to youth retention in Nova Scotia, we saw an impressive range of ideas come out of the bootcamp from the next generation of entrepreneurs,” says Grant Wells, manager of ShiftKey Labs. “Initiatives such as this prove how much emerging start-up talent there is in the Province, and through Nova Scotia Sandboxes we are dedicated to supporting entrepreneurs get their ideas off the ground.

“MyMem’s pitch stood out for the judges as it has real potential to be developed as a product which could change the way in which health professionals approach dementia and related disorders.”

The top three placing teams included third-place Kinematic World — also from the Faculty of Computer Science — which took home $3,750 to develop their mobile fitness game to encourage increased physical activity amongst gamers.

All three now go forward to a second Project Incubation Bootcamp. This advanced 12-week session will support teams with existing projects to take their ideas to the next level, with a total of $50,000 in prize money available to winning teams.

Hacking Health Halifax: Design Thinking Café

After the success of our first café, we’re extra excited to announce Hacking Health Halifax’s second Café & Design Thinking Workshop! This time, we’re ready to take a hands-on approach.

During a facilitated session, we’ll challenge you to identify key healthcare challenges in multi-disciplinary groups. Together, we’ll learn a repeatable, design thinking process that can be used leading up to and during the hackathon weekend. As always, this session is admission-free. Of course, we’ll save time at the start and finish of the design thinking session to mix, mingle and meet new people!

We’ll be hosting cafes and workshops leading up to a weekend hackathon in November 2016! Visit Hacking Health Halifax for more details.

Who should attend?  Anyone is welcome, so long as you have a passion for innovation and a willingness to share your expertise.

Special thanks to Innovacorp for sponsoring this event!

Hackers & Makers

Work on meaningful problems. Help improve healthcare. Get connected, and practice your skills.

Health Professionals & Patients


Collaborate with tech experts to solve problems in healthcare. Let your ideas inspire practical solutions.

Entrepreneurs & Other Stakeholders


Support and participate in grass-roots, collaborative problem-solving to improve the healthcare system.

Let’s Talk Tech!

Every Monday, Interdisciplinary PhD student Colin Conrad (and guests) will be hosting “Let’s Talk Tech!” open to everyone with an interest in Computer Science and working with/hiring developers. Free coffee and guest wifi will be provided.


Coffee and Code with Colin Conrad

Every Monday, Interdisciplinary PhD student Colin Conrad will be hosting a “coffee and code” session where students interested in topics focused on Computer Science can take part in informal discussions about coding, programming languages/frameworks, technology-related start-up ideas or projects, and more. Free coffee and guest wifi will be provided.


Design Thinking: A Framework for Innovation

On November 4, ShiftKey Labs members took part in Design Thinking event. Facilitated by Jenny Baechler, participants learned about the tools and techniques of design thinking as an approach to innovation. We explored ideas from some of the leaders in design thinking including Tim Brown, David Kelly and Roger Martin. These leaders have made design thinking an important piece of the start-up ecosystem.  Topics included building a culture of innovation and creative problem solving. These topics provide teams with resources to tackle early-stage ideation – strategies for brainstorming, framing opportunities and creating human-centred solutions that have an impact. Students loved taking part in this hands-on, high-energy workshop!

Jenny Baechler

Facilitator Jenny Baechler is the Associate Director of the Corporate Residency MBA program and a Lecturer for the Rowe School of Business at Dalhousie University. She holds an MA in Peace and Conflict Studies from the European University Centre for Peace Studies and is a PhD Candidate in Dalhousie’s Interdisciplinary PhD program. Her research integrates the fields of public administration, peace/conflict studies, international development studies and complexity theory and explores opportunities for and barriers to cross-boundary collaboration (whole-of-government) within the context of international stabilization and peacebuilding efforts.

ShiftKey Labs would like to say a huge thanks to Ms. Baechler for facilitating the workshop and for all students who participated!

Design Thinking Workshop

Web Worker Tutorial

It is so difficult to cope up with the fast-paced development in web technologies. A big chunk of server side programming is taken over by new technologies like AngularJS, Dojo, JQuery and more generally JavaScript. With the advancement of technology, there are also rising concerns on scalability, security, maintenance, code readability, privacy, performance, efficiency and many more. Similarly, the same concerns arise when we talk about Big Data and Cloud support to manage enterprise data through REST services.

The intention to start this group is to share ideas and experience around these emerging technologies and look for common issues that we face in day to day work. Also, to group together to work on a common idea or a problem that has long lived in industry and has no solution provided up till now. We look forward to meeting technology experts on this domain to get together and share their experiences and to welcome newcomers who want to learn new technology and get hands-on experience. We also would get a chance to meet industry experts and entrepreneurs who have founded their own company in Halifax and want to share their experiences. This is also a platform to present an innovative idea of your own and gather feedback from co-workers working in the same platform for many years. So, please don’t hesitate to join us in our meetup.

This Meetup

In our next meetup we would be going through Web Worker Tutorial presented by Jacky and the group will listen to new ideas for a fun project to do together.

We would also run through some general examples in AngularJS and other frameworks on how to run this properly. For a detailed description, please visit our meetup page:

Web Worker Tutorial and AngularJS

Tuesday, Oct 13, 2015, 6:30 PM

ShiftKey Labs Dalhousie CS Building
6050 University Avenue Halifax, NS

13 tech-innovators Went

In our next meetup we would be going through Web Worker Tutorial presented by Jacky and the group will listen to new ideas for a fun project to do together.We are invited by ShiftKey Labs in Dalhousie Computer Science building to meet new people “tech-innovators” who might have great ideas but don’t have enough resources to work on it.Our group w…

Check out this Meetup →

Please note that this tutorial is recommended for those with previous coding experience in HTML, CSS, JavaScript. Familiarity with JavaScript frameworks such as AngularJS would also be of benefit. If you have questions about this tutorial, please contact the event organizer, Suhaib Qaiser via the contact information listed in the “Organizer” section below.

To register, please use the form below.

Registration Form

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