SIAT researcher Dr. Sylvain Moreno named Digital Health CEO of the Year

June 27, 2022

School of Interactive Arts & Technology (SIAT) associate professor Dr. Sylvain Moreno has recently been named Digital Health CEO of the Year by CEO Monthly magazine.

“This award is not my accomplishment but the result of the work of a village: the SIAT community,” says Moreno of the CEO Monthly magazine accolade.

Moreno was recognized with this remarkable award for his service as CEO and scientific director of the Digital Health Circle, a BC-based non-profit organization that helps to support health technology companies in the creation of innovative new digital technologies, especially those that help to improve health outcomes for senior citizens.

Many of the companies that the Digital Health Circle work with have limited clinical expertise, insights into health care needs, and access to networks of health tech experts. These gaps often make the development and implementation of new technologies difficult.

“We fill that gap by supporting technology creators and empowering the creation of effective new health technologies that have impact with patients and healthcare workers,” Moreno recently shared with Best Startup Canada.

The Digital Health Circle’s leading program is the Innovation Sandbox, a digital technology research and development program that provides companies with access to networks of health technology experts to help companies better understand their users’ needs and support project development and product creation.

“Our work involves partners from academic partners and governments to not-for-profits and private corporations,” says Moreno. “This multi-stakeholder research focus has led to scientific breakthroughs that are translated into real life in products and policies.”

Digital Health Circle team

Since beginning his role as CEO and scientific director in 2018, the Digital Health Circle has had a large community impact by helping to bring 20 new digital health technologies to market and helping to generate more than $52 million in new revenues for their partners.

In a recent project, the Digital Health Circle worked in partnership with an alcoholism treatment program called ALAViDA to help validate TRAiL, a digital health app meant to reduce substance abuse disorders.

In coordination with ALAViDA, Digital Health Circle developed and conducted a series of research activities that produced key insights on how ALAViDA could improve the TRAiL app and increase its adoption with frontline health care workers. (Download the PDF for more information on this collaboration).

At SIAT, Moreno’s research focuses on neuroplasticity—the brain’s ability to change and adapt—and its implications for cognitive health. He has developed research and educational programs focusing on interactive media and neuroscience, including the development of interactive computer-based systems that improve cognitive function.

Moreno and researchers at the Digital Health Circle recently published a study identifying a causal relationship between participating in certain lifestyle activities and preventing a decline in cognitive health. These findings could have a significant impact on clinic practices and result in better health outcomes for Canadians and seniors around the world.

Going forward, Moreno hopes to continue contributing to the creation and development of innovative health solutions through his work at SIAT and the Digital Health Circle.

“The main goal of our work is to positively impact the life of Canadians by creating technology that answers their need and allow them to live independently and have a high quality of life,” says Moreno.