December Innovation – Infrascanner

The handheld revolution isn’t slowing down anytime soon. It seems that there will be no slowing down until you can do ANYTHING and EVERYTHING in the palm of your hand – that’s innovation for you!

Last month we profiled the Heart Hero App, a great handheld medical tool for the masses. For December, we are talking about the Infrascanner Model 1000, an innovative hand-held tool (without an innovative name) that can identify patients with critical internal head injuries.

Heart Hero


The purpose of the Infrascanner is to provide early detection of intracranial hematomas; a life-threatening internal bleeding that happens in the skull. Intracranial hematomas form when a head injury causes blood to accumulate within the brain or between the brain and the skull and in some cases surgery is needed to drain blood from a hematoma.

Health care providers can use the Infrascanner to determine who needs an immediate brain imaging study such as a CT-scan and who does not. By placing a higher priority on those whose injuries are more severe, doctors can provide improved care to each individual patient.

The Infrascanner uses a technology called near-infrared spectroscopy that penetrates bone and tissue. The blood caused by hematomas absorbs the light differently than other areas of the brain giving the scanner a clear picture of what’s happening inside the skull. Trained health care providers can then use the information to determine the likelihood of an intracranial hematoma.

According to the Brain Injury Association of Canada, there are over 18,000 hospital stays each year due to traumatic brain injuries. With one quick assessment the Infrascanner can expedite the emergency care process and give doctors the edge they need to accurately evaluate a vast amount of these patients.

“While patients with suspected brain injuries routinely receive a CT scan, this portable device offers emergency room physicians a non-invasive mechanism to aid in assessing whether an immediate CT scan is needed,” said Christy Foreman, director of the Office of Device Evaluation at FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health.

Portable medical technology has made huge leaps forward in recent years, but technologies such as the Infrascanner are still in their infancy and will continue to develop. Currently the Infrascanner is able to detect 75 percent of hematomas detected by a CT scan. While this is a huge accomplishment, there are still improvements to be made before the Infrascanner is as accurate as a CT scanner, but I am sure we will get there soon.

Can’t wait to see what sort of innovations 2012 will bring us! 

JPOCSC – A New Kind of Care

How does the new state of the art Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre (JPOCSC) differ from a traditional hospital? The key is in the title, the JPOCSC provides “outpatient care” only. Outpatient care describes any medical care that does not require an overnight stay in a hospital; for example visits to the doctor’s office, clinics and a day surgery centre are all considered outpatient care.

So why build the JPOCSC, isn’t it just a very large doctor’s office, why is this different?

The answer is that typical hospital stays are very expensive. Each room that is in use is very costly and takes up limited hospital resources. These rooms are often filled with individuals who need surgery, but many of these surgeries are procedures that do not require a hospital stay. In today’s age up to 65% of surgeries do not require an overnight hospital setting.

Outpatient care is a divide and conquer tactic that is meant to keep costs down, as well as free up rooms in traditional hospitals. 

JPOCSC The Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre has a vision of creating better health in the community by providing an integrated and seamless network of outpatient care services for residents of the Fraser Valley.

The facility embodies a new care delivery model by offering a one-stop approach to patient care, integrating both traditionally acute and community services and various clinical services.  Day surgery, diagnostics, specialty services and community health clinics will all be under one roof for the first time.

The JPOCSC is at the forefront of clinical service models, use of technology and green-space design.  As a state-of-the-art facility and the first of its kind in the Fraser Valley, the experience of working in the facility is new to all physicians and staff. 

Fortunately for us at Iridia, we have had the pleasure of working closely with Fraser Health on this project. Our president and founder has recently been appointed the Medical Coordinator of the JPOCSC. To read about about this appointment please see our post from earlier in the month: Leading the Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre



What an AED Save Really Looks Like

I am sure you have read the stats before, but here they are again:

  • In Canada, 35,000 to 45,000 people die of sudden cardiac arrest each year. 
  • Early defibrillation is the only effective treatment for Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA). 
  • For every one minute delay in defibrillation, the survival rate of a cardiac arrest victim decrease by 7 to 10%
  • After more than 12 minutes of ventricular fibrillation, the survival rate of adults is less than 5%.

These statistics do not paint a pretty picture, and even now, with all the technology at our disposal, AED saves are frighteningly rare. There is no “good time” to have an SCA, but when an individual does survive, it is usually a combination of having an SCA at the “right place and the right time.”

At Iridia, it is one of our goals to increase access to Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs), as well as create more awareness of these devices. Again, the only cure for SCA is early defibrillation.

It’s one thing to hear about a statistic, it’s another to see it in action:


With increased access and widespread awareness, hopefully we will see an increase in  similar outcomes.



Professionalism is not an option, it is a must


Professionalism can be difficult to define because it’s about so many things. It’s not just about knowing how to do a job well, it’s about attitude, behavior, and how you present yourself and represent your company. It’s demonstrating a willingness to learn, working collaboratively with others, and living up to commitments. It’s also about avoiding the kinds of behaviors that cause trouble in the workplace, like gossip, negativity, and one-upmanship.

A professional is open to the views of others and the possibility that there might be a better way – they are not threatened by the good ideas of others. They make decisions based on the best interest of the company. They are fair and treat everyone with respect, even people they do not particularly like. Professionals evaluate their own performance, have high expectations of themselves and others and constantly strive to improve.

At Iridia, we don’t just ask for professionalism, we expect it of everyone, at every level of our business. We expect people to live up to their commitments, to treat people with respect, to be skilled at what they do, to do their work well and with enthusiasm, to give 100% to their work, and to represent our company with pride and integrity. Is it a lot to ask? Sure. Is it an option to be any other way? Not according to this core value!

Professionalism is what sets one person, one company, apart from another. We want to be known for having high expectations in this area, and for delivering to our customers and to each other, the very best of ourselves.

Leading The Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre

Iridia would like to extend congratulations to our president and founder, Dr. Allan HolmesDr. Holmes has recently been appointed to the position of Medical Coordinator at the new Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre (JPOCSC) in Surrey, BC.

Over the years, Dr. Holmes has been a driving force behind the implementation of many projects that involve developing Emergency Protocols and Guidelines. Examples of recent projects he has worked on include the Surrey Memorial Triage Improvement Project and the creation of a Health Care Framework for Al Gharbia region of Abu Dhabi. He is also a key member of the current team looking at how to improve the care of Stroke Patients across B.C. through his facilitation work to create a BC Clinical Leadership Statement on the management of Acute Stroke.

Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre

As part of his role at the JPOCSC, Dr. Holmes is responsible for providing leadership and coordination for the medical staff practicing in the different Programs functioning in the facility. Dr. Holmes will also ensure medical staff activities at the facility are consistent with the overall facility and program direction.

Iridia is certain Dr. Holmes will serve well in his role as Medical Coordinator and fulfill the vision of delivering the best health care possible.