HALIFAX: In a recreation of the popular TV show Dragons' Den, delegates at the 2017 CST-CTRMS Joint Scientific Meeting had the opportunity to select the most innovative solution in transplant care from among 25 submissions across Canada as part of the inaugural 2017 CST-Astellas T3 (Transformative Thinking in Transplant) Competition.
The objective of the T3 Competition is to identify and provide plausible implementation solutions in the areas of patient care, education, adherence, organ donation, quality of life improvement with the ultimate goal of advancing long-term health outcomes and quality of life for Canadian transplant patients.

Kevin Wen captured first place with, "The One App to Rule Them All" aimed at developing a smartphone app for use by both transplant recipients and HCP to improve immunosuppressive medication adherence and communication and was the recipient of the $50,000 grant.

The second prize and third prize finalists also presented their innovative transplant ideas and were each awarded with $25,000 grants. Mark Belan on behalf of Christine Ribic featured, "TransPLANTS: An Animated Guide to Renal Transplantation" created to increase health literacy through an innovative and educational animation module for patients referred to renal transplantation. Chia Wei Teoh demonstrated the, "My Transplant Buddy App" that plans to improve kidney transplant outcomes for children and their families.

The T3 Competition, funded by a grant from Astellas Pharma Canada, was designed by and for the transplant community as a way to inspire innovative solutions in transplant care and quality of life improvement. The finalists were judged by the CST Steering Committee, comprised of leaders from the transplant community, who looked for projects and ideas that advanced health outcomes and quality of life for Canadian transplant patients. More specifically, the selected finalists demonstrated the plausibility of their idea, the creativity and originality of their innovation as well as their ability to implement the proposal. But the final choice was up to the live audience who had the opportunity to witness the three finalists present their idea and answer questions.

"The advancements we have seen in transplantation over the last number of years are largely due to the expertise, insight and dedication of the men and women who work in the field," said Milka Lukovich, Director, Hospital Business Unit for Astellas Pharma Canada. "Tonight was about recognizing these individuals - from the transplant surgeons and physicians, to the coordinators, nurses, pharmacists, social workers, dieticians and other healthcare professionals. As Astellas marks twenty years of innovation in immunosuppressive therapy in Canada, we could not think of a better time to provide support to the CST in advancing the kind of innovation that will impact the patients and their families who are at the core of everything we do," she concluded.

The Competition was open to members of the Canadian Society of Transplantation, the professional organization that encompasses physicians, surgeons and other healthcare professionals who work in the area of transplantation.

"We are justifiably proud of Canada's many accomplishments in advancing transplantation both here and globally, but tonight gives us even more reason to be enthusiastic and hopeful for the future," said Dr. Atul Humar, president of the CST. "Today, more than 4,500 Canadians are reportedly on the waiting list for a solid organ donation1 and thanks to advances in medical science the number of organ transplants increased overall by 23 per cent over the last 10 years2. In partnering with Astellas on the T3 Competition, the Canadian Society of Transplantation has gone beyond the expected to explore new and different ways that we can be the catalysts of change."

Three grants including a grand prize of $50,000 and two finalist prizes of $25,000 each were awarded to help bring these new innovations to life.

The event was emceed by Canadian comedian Mike MacDonald whose personal experience as a transplant recipient helped underline how organ transplantation allows many individuals to go on to lead and enjoy active lives.

(Posted on 03 October 2017, 1685698010 3O231O217O107)