SOURCE: Cisco

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October 06, 2014 12:00 ET

University of Calgary's W21C, Cisco and Alberta Health Services Collaborate to Expand Health Care Innovation

Groundbreaking Initiatives Taking Care From the Hospital Through to the Home

CALGARY, AB--(Marketwired - Oct 6, 2014) -  The University of Calgary's W21C Program, Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) and Alberta Health Services (AHS) today announced collaborations on initiatives to strengthen the development of health care solutions in Alberta through advanced technologies and strategies. Specifically, a new collaboration with the University of Calgary will focus on using Cisco® technology to revolutionize patient care, both in the hospital and in the home.

At the forefront of the collaboration is the development of the Alberta Health Innovation Centre (HIC), a virtual hub spearheaded by Cisco. The HIC will utilize expertise from multiple "living lab" environments that will showcase technology-based health care solutions to assist in improving the quality, access and sustainability of health care in Alberta. One of the primary hubs for the HIC is the W21C, a not-for-profit research and innovation initiative based in the Cumming School of Medicine at the University of Calgary, and the Calgary zone of AHS.

"The O'Brien Institute for Public Health's W21C Program at the University of Calgary is seen as an invaluable partner with the health care system in Alberta," said Dr. Verna Yiu, Vice President Quality and Chief Medical Officer, Alberta Health Services. "For over 10 years, W21C has provided answers to difficult clinical questions in a timely fashion, and has been a true resource for Alberta Health Services. Its willingness to partner with industry leaders like Cisco on longer-term initiatives has also resulted in AHS's ability to provide better patient experience and care to Albertans. Specific examples include its work on simulation with Emergency Medical Services; infrastructure planning for the building of the South Health Campus through the lens of patients, families and health care providers; and comparing models of care practices between different facilities within the province, to list a few."

"W21C focuses on exploring innovation in real world environments, supported by a strong foundation for capturing and disseminating new discovery and technology," said Dr. Peter Sargious, executive lead for the initiative in W21C. "As a hub within Cisco's virtual Health Innovation Centre, W21C will explore innovations in health care not only relevant to our communities in Calgary and Alberta, but also on a national level, and to modern health care systems all over the world."

"AHS looks at the O'Brien Institute and W21C as one of the only partners that can bring together expertise from researchers in population health, simulation, design, clinical outcomes, and comparative effectiveness research," said Dr. Yiu. "This breadth of expertise, powered by cutting edge technologies from leaders like Cisco, allows health systems to solve some of the more challenging issues of our times."

"Cisco believes that the future success of effective and efficient health care delivery in Canada must include adequate and appropriate use of technology, with the end goal being improved care delivery," said Nitin Kawale, president, Cisco Canada. "Cisco builds strong, holistic relationships with government in order to help foster innovation, increase productivity and support economic and social development. Our collaborations build on that vision, and strengthen our commitment to better the lives of all Canadians."

About Cisco
Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) is the worldwide leader in IT that helps companies seize the opportunities of tomorrow by proving that amazing things can happen when you connect the previously unconnected. Cisco products and services are supplied in Canada by Cisco Systems Canada Co., a wholly owned subsidiary of Cisco Systems, Inc. For ongoing news, please go to http://thenetwork.cisco.com and http://newsroom.cisco.com/canada.

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About W21C
The W21C is a not-for-profit research and innovation initiative based in the University of Calgary and the Calgary zone of Alberta Health Services. W21C serves as a research and beta test-site for prototypical hospital design, novel approaches to health care delivery, human factors research, and innovative medical technologies. www.w21c.org

About O'Brien Institute for Public Health
With over 370 members, the O'Brien Institute for Public Health is a virtual hub/network that integrates research groups, academics, health professionals, community leaders, and policy makers across the health continuum to catalyze excellence in population health and health services research. Together, O'Brien Institute members strive to produce new knowledge and evidence to inform the public health agencies and health systems tasked with keeping us (and making us) healthy -- achieving the institute's vision of better health and health care: http://obrieniph.ucalgary.ca

About the University of Calgary
The University of Calgary is a leading Canadian university located in the nation's most enterprising city. The university has a clear strategic direction to become one of Canada's top five research universities by 2016, where research and innovative teaching go hand in hand, and where we fully engage the communities we both serve and lead. This strategy is called Eyes High, inspired by the university's Gaelic motto, which translates as 'I will lift up my eyes.' 

For more information, visit ucalgary.ca. Stay up to date with University of Calgary news headlines on Twitter @UCalgary and in our media centre at ucalgary.ca/news/media

About Alberta Health Services
Alberta Health Services is the provincial health authority responsible for planning and delivering health supports and services for more than four million adults and children living in Alberta. Its mission is to provide a patient-focused, quality health system that is accessible and sustainable for all Albertans.

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