Mobile Medicine

“I want to empower patients to take control of their health,” says first-year internal medicine resident Jeffrey Alfonsi, a recent graduate of the University of Toronto MD program.

That’s why he started SYNapps, a company that specializes in the development of mobile applications to improve the safety and quality of care provided to patients.

Alfonsi — who also has a Bachelor of Applied Sciences in Systems Design Engineering — worked with Professor Liesly Lee (Department of Medicine and Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre), to develop the two mobile application SYNapps currently offers.

The first is the iPhone/iPad app called the Toronto Expanded Disability Severity Score (EDSS) Calculator, which helps neurologists determine the severity of multiple sclerosis based on symptom complex and diagnostic data and is available in English, French, Arabic, or Spanish. The other is MED Log, which lets medical residents log their interaction with patients so they may receive customized feedback, helping them improve the quality of care they provide.

“These apps are the result of significant collaboration between hospitals, departments and disciplines,” says Alfonsi, who received the Faculty’s prestigious Ankle Award for his work with SYNApps . The award — sponsored by Carlo Fidani and the Fidani Foundation — is given annually to a student for an innovative project that improves health care systems.

Alfonsi is now working with Dr. Ian Chen from the Hospital for Sick Children on the second phase of MED Log, which will enable doctors to track information — such as a patient’s blood pressure — in real time and send patients customized plans to help them reach their goals.

*This story was published in UofT Faculty of Medicine’s annual Dean’s Report. 

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