WHO WE ARE
Techna is an institute of University Health Network, in collaboration
with the University of Toronto, focused on the accelerated development
and exploitation of technology for improved health.
The Techna Institute is designed to shorten the time interval from technology discovery and development to application for the benefit of patients and the health care system. It will also stimulate and facilitate the innovation cycle through a continuum of clinically driven innovation, technology & process development, and translational research.
While technology has existed as an essential platform for UHN research, Techna represents a paradigm shift towards demand-driven activities, and the organizational alignment of the needs of the research hospital and the research enterprise.
TECHNA strives to develop and bring technology into clinical use. Our current fronts represent the strengths of the institute and the technology foci we envision to have the greatest impact on human health in the near future.
Techna is aiming to advance its imaging discoveries through the development of image processing techniques, novel contrast agents, and innovative hardware. Key programs leading its growth include the Quantitative Imaging for Personalized Cancer Medicine (QIPCM), Techna’s imaging core lab supporting multi-center clinical trials and the Open Mind Program, our the burgeoning neuroimaging program. Open Mind promises to expand our imaging processing and analysis capabilities while developing an open science platform to enable collaborative efforts to cure diseases of the mind.
Modernizing the way surgery is performed since its inception, TECHNA’s the GTx program has been a leader at UHN in the development of image-guided surgical techniques and navigation. TECHNA will continue to build the OR of tomorrow with its Surgility program. A new agile technical support team for UHN’s ORs, Surgility will ensure existing technology within a surgical suite is optimized for use, implement new and advanced external technologies into the OR, and develop better/cheaper technological solutions for the OR.
Techna has already experienced commercial success with the automation of treatment planning and image contouring for radiotherapy. We look to continue this success by expanding our data science capacity with the recruitment of AI and machine learning scientists who will work together to develop deep learning models for improved healthcare delivery and patient outcomes.
In a Digital age and convergence of machine and man through mobile health technologies, robotics, and sensors. Human factors engineering will be a key component in driving these advances.
Techna aims to go beyond research, by engineering technology to address unmet clinical needs. Techna will also actively engage academics, clinicians, industry and government as a network of partners in the development and deployment of novel health technologies. Techna plans on having a long-lasting impact, through clinical practice change, improved health outcomes, and a growing industry sector.
FOUNDING PRINCIPLES OF TECHNA:
1. Engagement of Academic Clinicians is essential to innovation
- Needs: Identified in the clinical environment by anyone working in the clinical environment with a mandate for innovation (i.e. physicians, nurses, allied health professionals, engineers, etc)
- Diverse: Multiple levels/types of clinical programs engaged in the institute to develop novel technologies or solutions
- Educate: Integrates clinical training programs with an environment where innovation is the expectation
2. Beyond discovery to collaborative development and exploitation
- Integrate existing research assets and clinical programs from multiple disciplines throughout UHN, U of T, and partners
- Focus on the development of novel technologies for health and improvements to clinical practice
3. Partnerships are essential for growth and deployment
- Partnerships and collaborations encompassing training, expertise, facilities, commercialization and funding.
- The institute will facilitate access for relevant partners outside of UHN / U of T (i.e. other academia or industry)