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How can we design clever solutions for health and make them more socially relevant? This is the core question that was addressed during our TEDx MontrealQuartierLatin event.

Here are the presentations of this great day, grouped by theme (12 presentations total):

• Design practices: from problem-setting to problem-solving
« New frontier for perceptual-cognitive enhancement »
Jocelyn Faubert
  Professor and NSERC-Essilor Industrial Research Chair, School of Optometry, Visual Psychophysics and Perception Laboratory, University of Montreal
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« From robot snakes to surgical implants »
Philip Breedon
  Senior lecturer, School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment, Nottingham Trent University
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« The integration of three worlds through “Design for Health” »
Pascale Lehoux
 Canada Research Chair on Health Innovation, University of Montreal
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• Innovative processes and their impact on health care and business
« Road map from start up to global leader »
Marwan Abboud
  Consultant in medical device engineering
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« Design to promote independent living »
David Seidel
 Ph.D. candidate, Department of engineering, University of Cambridge
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« Biosongs of people said to be silent »
Stefanie Blain
  Ph.D., Biomedical Engineering and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Toronto
More info
• Design of places (health care settings, homes, neighborhoods, cities)
« Children and the architecture of children's hospitals »
David Theodore
 Candidat au Ph.D., Graduate School of Design, Harvard University
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« Bixi is the new fixie: pondering public bicycle sharing in North America »
Daniel Fuller
  Ph.D. Candidate, Département de médecine sociale et préventive, University of Monteal
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« Concevoir des villes favorables à la santé »
Sophie Paquin
  Urban planner, Public Health Division, Montreal Regional Health and Social Services Agency
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• Design by, and for users
« End-users in e-health design: it's do or die, but how to do it? »
Sampsa Hyysalo
  Research fellow, University of Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies
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« Co-designing for dementia »
Lauren Tan
  Ph.D. Candidate, Northumbria University, Newcastle, and the UK Design Council
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« Lending an (un)helping hand: from "better than nothing" to "fits like a glove" »
Jorge Silva
  Research Student Coordinator, Inclusive Design Research Center, OCAD University
More info
Demonstrating how an immersive virtual environment helps both athletes and elderly persons improve their perceptual-cognitive skills, Jocelyn Faubert suggests that some challenges associated to ageing may not be inescapable.
Arguing in favor of greater collaboration between designers of surgical devices and physicians, Philip Breedon shows how innovative materials may transform reconstructive surgery and inspire artistic performances.
Examining the challenges and trade-offs involved in the design of three different medical devices, Pascale Lehoux calls for the development of socially responsible and sustainable health innovations.
Taking stock of his 15-year experience in creating and bringing to the market a world-leader innovation in the field of cardiology, Marwan Abboud explains how success may be achieved and pitfalls avoided.
Stressing demographic changes associated to ageing, David Seidel argues in favor of universal design principles that could, by focusing on a number of key functional capabilities, enable everyone, including the “oldest olds” to live at home independently much longer.
Stefanie Blain, inspired by her interactions with voiceless children in a complex continuing care unit, explains how turning their physiological signals into music would enable caregivers and family members to connect with these children’s personhood and emotions.
David Theodore shares his views on the history of pediatric hospital architecture and describes an original research that relied on an active participation of children and young people.
Daniel Fuller argues that the success of the Montreal’s public bicycle sharing program “Bixi”, lies in its technological features and capacity to reconnect users to their forgotten identity as cyclists.
Sophie Paquin explains how greater collaboration between urban planners and public health researchers could enable the creation of cities that encourage healthy living. She also invites North Americans to revisit their “love affair” with the automobile.
Sampsa Hyysalo shares six lessons he learned through his research on the contribution end-users bring to the design of health technology and explains how they generate creative ideas that companies sometimes fail to recognize.
Lauren Tan discusses the positive impact on the UK government policy of the Alzheimer100 project in which designers adopted a co-design approach with people with dementia and their carers to generate novel ideas regarding the delivery of dementia care.
Jorge Silva argues that when designing assistive devices biomedical engineers should seek to “scratch where it itches.” By adopting alternative business models such as open source systems, users of assistive devices are revolutionizing design and production processes, creating technologies that fit the needs of a larger population.

Jocelyn Faubert ( est professeur titulaire à l’École d’optométrie de l’Université de Montréal et titulaire de la Chaire industrielle CRSNG-Essilor sur la presbytie et la perception visuelle. Expert internationalement reconnu des questions de perception visuelle, de la vision chez les personnes âgées et de neuropsychologie, le Dr Faubert dirige une équipe de chercheurs à son laboratoire de psychophysique et perception visuelle. Ses recherches lui ont valu, en 2000, le prix scientifique des Instituts de recherche en santé du Canada (IRSC). Il détient des brevets internationaux et américains pour un appareil, le Online spectroreflectometry oxygneation measurement in the eye (OSOME), qui permet de mesurer le taux sanguin par un simple examen de la rétine. Il agit également à titre d'expert pour les comités de rédaction de revues scientifiques telles que Nature, Vision Research, Optical Society of America et Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Philip Breedon ( is a professor at the School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment at Nottingham Trent University (UK) and is a Chartered Engineer and a Chartered IT Professional. His research interests evolve around technical textiles/smart fabrics, wearable technologies, biomimetics, swarm robotics and the utilisation of ‘smart materials’ for medical applications. Phil is also an associate editor for the Australasian Medical Journal for Health and Design, Chair of the UK’s East Midlands Materials steering group and Chair of Nottingham Trent University’s materials research group. He also leads a smart packaging research and technical innovation pool development initiative with PepsiCo Europe. Sponsored by the British High Commission, Phil was recently one of two UK invited specialists in smart textiles and materials to visit New Zealand to explore commercially orientated collaborative research and development opportunities.

Pascale Lehoux ( est professeur au Département d’administration de la santé et titulaire de la Chaire de recherche du Canada sur les innovations en santé à l’Université de Montréal. Formée en design industriel et en santé publique, ses travaux s’appuient sur la sociologie de l’innovation et la recherche qualitative. Ceux-ci ont porté sur les dossiers médicaux informatisés, la télémédecine, les unités mobiles et satellites de dialyse et les technologies utilisées à domicile. Son programme de recherche actuel se concentre sur les processus de design des technologies. Elle a publié 70 articles et un livre, The problem of health technology (Routledge, 2006). Elle dirige le blogue « Innovation en santé. Pour s’y retrouver! » (, une initiative qui vise à soutenir un débat public informé sur les politiques relatives aux innovations.

Marwan Abboud (, Founder and President of a BizDev International focusing on the innovation of medical devices, has held a number of leadership positions in the development of cardiovascular therapeutics and diagnostics systems. Recently he served a critical position of Vice President of Advanced Research and Intellectual Property of AF Solutions at Medtronic. In 1995, Marwan Abboud joined the driving forces that lead to the creation of CryoCath Technologies Inc. He held critical leadership R&D position that enabled the company to become the leader in cryoablation after developing the first cryoablation catheter ever used on human in 1998. Marwan is an inventor on more than 100 US patents and patent applications. He holds a masters degree in biomedical engineering and a B.Sc. in electrical engineering and brings over 20 years of successful senior engineering management experience.

David Seidel ( has a background in epidemiology and recently finished his Ph.D. in the Department of Engineering at the University of Cambridge. His project investigated the potential impact of design changes on the ability of older people to live independently by extending the usability of products and services. David became interested in the topic when he was a master's student at Cambridge. For his thesis, he analyzed data from a large population-based study of older people in the United Kingdom and found that those disabled in activities necessary for independent living do not necessarily deteriorate but may actually improve or completely recover their function. Besides typical risk factors such as age, gender and chronic conditions, the environment seemed to play a crucial role in the recovery process. David is the author of several published articles in leading journals.

Stefanie Blain ( recently received her Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering and Rehabilitation Sciences from the University of Toronto. Her doctoral work investigated the potential for autonomic physiological signals to enhance person-environment interaction in children with profound disabilities. She is currently completing a two-year postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Michigan developing practical brain-computer interfaces for in-home use by people with limited ability to move and to speak. Influenced by her musical training, her research interests also include arts-based interventions in healthcare settings and technologies for the communication of expression and emotion.

David Theodore (, Trudeau Scholar and SSHRC Fellow, is a doctoral student in the departments of the History of Science and of Architecture, Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning at Harvard University. He recently taught in Montreal in the School of Architecture, McGill University, as a research associate, and in the Department of Design, Concordia University. He is a mentor in the Health Care, Technology and Place CIHR training and research initiative at the University of Toronto. An active design journalist and critic, he is a regional correspondent for Canadian Architect, a contributing editor at Azure, and a contributor to The Phaidon Atlas of 21st-Century World Architecture. He has co-authored research articles on medicine and architecture in Social Science & Medicine, Technology and Culture, CBHM, and Scientia Canadensis.

Daniel Fuller ( est candidat au Ph.D. en santé publique dans l'option promotion de la santé à l’Université de Montréal. Il est boursier du Conseil de recherches en sciences humaines du Canada et travail sous la direction de Lise Gauvin et Yan Kestens. Formé en psychologie de l’activité physique au College of Kinesiology de l'Université de la Saskatchewan, ses intérêts de recherche incluent : le transport actif, l’environnement bâti, l'épidémiologie de l'activité physique et la psychologie de la santé. Son projet de thèse porte sur le potentiel des interventions touchant l'environnement bâti. Plus spécifiquement, il étudie l'impact du déploiement de BIXI, un programme de vélo en libre-service à Montréal, sur l'activité physique, les collisions et la santé.

Sophie Paquin ( est urbaniste et conseillère scientifique à la Direction de santé publique de l’Agence de santé et services sociaux de Montréal. Elle développe un programme de recherche et de transfert des connaissances sur l’urbanisme et la santé pour les acteurs institutionnels et communautaires. Elle est également professeure associée au Département d‘études urbaines et touristiques à l’École des sciences de la gestion de l’Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM). Elle est aussi chercheure au centre Léa-Roback sur les inégalités sociales. Ses champs d’expertise incluent : l’urbanisme favorable à la santé, la sécurité urbaine, les instruments d’urbanisme, la mobilité, le potentiel piétonnier et le développement durable, le partenariat intersectoriel et la qualité de vie, ainsi que les problématiques sociales urbaines.

Sampsa Hyysalo ( is a Fellow at the Collegium for Advanced Studies at the University of Helsinki. He received his Ph.D in Behavioral Sciences in the University of Helsinki and holds a Docentship in information systems, specialising in user-centered design. His research focuses on user involvement in innovation and the co-evolution of technologies, practices and organizations. His recent book “Health Technology development and use: From practice-bound imagination to evolving impacts” (Routledge, 2010) sums up his twelve year research engagement with these topics on various health care technologies. His work can be accessed also through twenty peer review articles and a guidebook for practitioners and students “Users in product development: Knowledge, Research and Methods” (Univ. of Art and Design Helsinki Press, 2006/2009) which is, alas, to date only available in Finnish, that is, deep encrypted for the majority of world’s population.

Lauren Tan ( is a Ph.D. candidate completing a research programme co-sponsored by the School of Design at Northumbria University in Newcastle upon Tyne (UK) and the Design Council in London (UK). Her thesis is titled: Understanding design methodology in the public and social sector: Seven roles of designers in the Dott 07 (Designs of the time 2007) projects and their relevance to sustainable development contexts. It explores the different roles of the designer in designing for services and social issues. These roles identify the designer as Co-creator, Researcher, Provocateur, Social entrepreneur, Capability builder, Facilitator and Strategist. Lauren holds a Bachelor of Design Honors degree (Visual Communication) from the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) and a Master of Business (Organisational Strategy) from the University of Sydney (Australia). She has worked in graphic and communication design, landscape architecture and management consulting.

Jorge Silva ( is a researcher with the Inclusive Design Research Centre at OCAD University (formerly the Ontario College of Art and Design), a volunteer with the Tetra Society of North America, and the co-founder of Komodo OpenLab, an independent R&D lab specializing in the creation, adaptation and support of open assistive technologies. Jorge is always looking for ways to remove the barriers that prevent people with disabilities from implementing their own solutions to the issues they face on a daily basis. He is currently working with powered wheelchair users and people with visual impairments in order to fix the design flaws that prevent them from using smart-phones and other mobile devices. Jorge has also published several scientific peer-reviewed papers on these topics and his work has been featured in media outlets like CBC and the Discovery Channel.

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