CANet Annual Report

The Cardiac Arrhythmia Network of Canada (CANet) is made possible by the Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE) – a program of the Federal Government of Canada to mobilize Canada’s best research, development, and entrepreneurial expertise.

Along with our private, public and government partners, CANet gratefully acknowledges host support from Western University and the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry.

Dr. Pierre Boyle Chair of the Board

We are pleased to share and report that CANet continues to move aggressively towards the achievement of the goals outlined in our Strategic Plan and to position Canada not only as the leader in arrhythmia research and patient engagement but as a world leader at the forefront of the healthcare sector.

The advancement of the Network’s Patient Engagement and Empowerment strategy over the past year has been instrumental in evolving full patient integration in research across Canada. In our Network, patients are members on all committees and the Board, and are actively integrated from the review process of grants to patient leads in funded research Programs/Projects. Building on this integration, CANet is at the forefront, working with other Canadian patient advocacy leaders, in shaping these future guidelines and policies.

The Network continues to demonstrate research excellence through the facilitation and funding of multi-disciplinary, multi-provincial, and multi-sectoral collaborative Programs/Projects with strong commitments from Canadian partners. We are also excited to see the Network’s strong partnership with IBM result in the launch of Heart-SIGN, our innovative data sharing and analytics platform that provides a mechanism for arrhythmia investigators across Canada to share research, help spark new ideas, and create better treatments with precision personalized management for future arrhythmia patients.

Over the last year, the HQP program has continued to enhance the skills and capabilities of the next generation of researchers and clinicians. The CHAT program has seen 10 of its members graduate, enter the workforce, and become the Network’s first CHAT Alumni – 25% of CANet’s HQP goal.

Lastly, at the core of the Network’s continued success are our growing connections with the best and brightest arrhythmia researchers in the world, our trainees, our fully engaged patients and our partners. Together, we are committed to world-class patient-focused excellence in research, international collaborations, and solutions-driven outcomes that will impact the lives of the millions of Canadians suffering from arrhythmia-related illnesses.

Dr. Anthony Tang Scientific Director and CEO

Building upon our Network goals and strategies, we have seen yet another successful year within CANet.

During this time of innovative research and technological advancement, CANet continues to form several new exciting collaborative partnerships.

Through a strong partnership with IBM, we have been successful in launching Heart-SIGN (System for Information Gathering and Networking). Heart-SIGN addresses key functionality gaps and assists in the achievement of the sharing and analysis of multidimensional data collected from patients with atrial fibrillation, syncope, and sudden cardiac death.

Our clinical application VIRTUES (Virtual Integrated Reliable Transformative User-Driven E-Health System) has now been implemented and will strategically transform care pathways by delivering the best care to the patient at the right time and in the right environment. Through the combination of wearable biosensor technology, digital multi-media interfaces and validated analytics, VIRTUES will immediately integrate symptom-driven validated physiological data into patient-specific, personalized context and trigger an appropriate care plan from a set of plans previously co-developed with the patient. As an mHealth application, VIRTUES is a vital technological building block towards the realization of the transformation of care pathways in the management of arrhythmias.

Our Network will continue to grow with world-class researchers, collaborative partners and most important, the inclusion of patients as members on all Network committees and councils. This ensures that patient engagement continues to be an integral part of not only the design but also the implementation and evolution of the Network’s strategic plan.

We will continue to invent, prove, and implement innovative solutions across all research tracks while our research programs/projects are designed to ensure that the Network remains solution-driven.


By The Numbers

Enhancing Patient Centred Care

Our patient connections are critical in the development of new technologies and will help CANet achieve our goal of advancing knowledge and improving health outcomes.

Jacinthe’s Story 3:12

Remote Cardiac Monitoring of Higher-Risk Emergency Department Syncope Patients After Discharge

Patients are experts in disease. When we talk with patients that have lived through disease experiences, we learn what their goals are.

– Dr. William McIntyre (Clinical and Research Fellow, McMaster University)

Tim’s Story 3:00

Remote Patient Monitoring For Cardiac Implantable Electronic Devices

Patients Are The Driver

As CANet continues to advance the Patient Engagement and Empowerment strategy, partnerships with the Centre of Excellence for Partnership with Patients and the Public (CEPPP) and the Heart and Stroke Foundation will be integral in translating clinical research findings into practice.

Getting patients involved is critical to the survival of research

– Karen Giddens (Research Associate, Nova Scotia Health Authority, CHAT Member)

The inclusion of patients as members on all Network committees and councils is a key enabling mechanism. We ensure that patient engagement continues to be an integral part of not only the design but also the implementation and evolution of the Network’s strategic plan.


Leading Arrhythmia Research & Innovation

Over the past fiscal year, the Network has launched and completed Round 2 and Round 3 of its flagship research competition program – the Strategic Research Grant (SRG). For these competitions, six Programs/Projects were funded across Canada totaling $1,972,376 and bringing in $2,675,979 in matching funds (cash/in-kind) over three years.

The following videos highlight the impact of our research projects.


In Canada, 25,000 new pacemakers and 7,000 new implanted cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) are implanted every year.

Dr. Parkash’s study focuses on the utilizing remote monitoring to change how patients are being followed. Over the last year, one of the key aspects that has been confirmed is the need for the inclusion of the ability for the remote monitor to communicate a status update on the implanted device.

Through CANet, Dr. Parkash is creating a link for the patient to be able to access information on what the remote session revealed to the carrying physician.

RemoSync Study

The vision of the program is the optimization care for low-risk syncope patients.

A risk score has been developed for low-risk patients who do not need to be transported to the emergency department. Dr. Venkatesh Thiruganasambandamoorthy’s study has enrolled over 2,800 patients out of a sample size of 4,100 in the validation phase of this study.


CANet’s multidisciplinary and multi-sectoral Highly Qualified Personnel (HQP) training programs continue to evolve, changing the research landscape. Offering new programs, including the CHAT Discovery Grant (an NCE and Canada first), CANet/C-SPIN mentorship collaboration, and with the implementation of the National Development Program, we continue to strengthen existing programs by adding elements that cannot be implemented due to either limited resources or the inability to initiate cross-institutional programs.

At its foundation, the Network continues to emphasize the importance of nation-wide research collaboration, with both colleagues and partners early in HQP development, to ensure that this concept is implemented into their future professional careers.

It’s such an invaluable tool be able to come to these workshops and gain the experiences that are so vital and are missing in a typical education and residency program

– Dr. Zardasht Oqab (Cardiology Fellow, University of Calgary and CHAT Member)

In alignment with the strategic goals of the NCE, HQP are now represented on all relevant committees and councils within the Network including a fully operational CHAT Executive Committee composed of HQP from all fields across the Network.

With a staggering growth to 145 members, we’ve seen our first set of CHAT Alumni with 10 who have graduated and entered the workforce.

Knowledge Mobilization

Knowledge and Technology Exchange and Exploitation

With a focus on overall Network goals, by implementing our knowledge mobilization strategies, we have integrated the Network’s Knowledge and Technology Exchange and Exploitation (KTEE) program into a Strategic Communications Plan.

CANet has an ultimate goal of generating social and economic benefits through the translation of ideas and innovations from the Network to Canadian receptors.

The featured activities illustrate our KTEE successes through the execution of strategies aimed at the realization of its goals:

Goal: Build capacity for KT among researchers/end users.
Strategy: Build capacity through education to support the development and integration of knowledge translation within the funded programs.
Mechanism: In order to address this gap, funded network investigators were invited to participate in a workshop aimed at addressing the need for learning how to utilize integrated KT. Through this workshop, 90% of the participants confirmed that their knowledge in KT has increased and the participants identified that they felt that they were able to implement the presented strategies and mechanisms.

Goal: Increase awareness and share knowledge.
Strategy: Facilitate connections among diverse stakeholders and support collaboration.
Mechanism: Integrate feedback from patients, the research community, HQP, partners and many of the committees in CANet by utilizing different methods of communication.

Through the Business Development Committee, composed of leading industry experts, entrepreneurs, and venture capital partners, CANet has identified more than 7 commercial opportunities that the Network will continue to monitor and grow. We are pleased to say that CANet has contributed to the start-up of one company and advanced the development of technologies in the fields of medical device, digital health, and pharmaceuticals in the last year.

This (CANet) is the place to be, to be a part of this network because you have people from across Canada and all different types of disciplines. You have clinicians, scientists, engineers and qualitative researchers all working together.

– Dr. Katherine Allan (Post Doctoral Fellow, McMaster University)

At the core of the Network’s continued success are our growing connections with the best and brightest arrhythmia researchers in the world, our trainees, our fully engaged patients and our partners.

Together, we are committed to world-class patient-focused excellence in research, international collaborations, and solutions-driven outcomes that will impact the lives of the millions of Canadians suffering from arrhythmia-related illnesses.

The Network has seen consistent growth in its second year as we continue to actively engage new academic; industry; government; not-for-profit partners and Network Investigators in order to expand our community.

Our new collaborations with large partners including IBM, Medtronic and Baylis Medical, along with smaller Canadian companies like Kinduct Technologies continue to position CANet for world-class research breakthroughs.

Through our partnership with CANet, we have been able to deepen our understanding of the application of our technology and enhanced our ability to educate our staff on the clinical perspectives that result in the development of next-generation technology.

Dr. Kris Shah (President, Baylis Medical Inc.)

CANet is committed to bringing health care professionals, academia, government, industry, not-for-profit organizations, and patients together to support the development of innovative and impactful research.

Through the Network, the best minds in the field are brought together to transform arrhythmia care and achieve targeted health and economic outcomes for Canadians. Our collaboration and partnerships are facilitated through sharing research results and impacts through 10/20/30 Forums and the Annual Scientific Conference; research funding opportunities; and face-to-face engagement of new researchers and institutions.

The development and support of industry partnerships is a key component in the translation of research outcomes within the care pathway for arrhythmia patients. Through several network mechanisms including providing funding to support research initiatives developed in partnership with industry and the integration into the development of HQP initiatives, we continue to work together to support the identification and cultivation of industry partnerships.

In clinical practice, research relationships with government, not-for-profit, and hospital partners are integral to the translation of clinical research findings into practice and policy changes. Our collaborative relationship with Clinical Trials Ontario (CTO) leverages the operational systems developed through CTO and allows research sites to use the information and support available from CTO’s streamlined research ethics review system (SRERS).

2016 Annual Scientific Conference

CANet’s Annual Scientific Conference was held September 15-16, 2016 in Calgary, AB. Several lectures, track-specific workshop/ brainstorming sessions, and a new innovative forum took place. More than 180 clinicians, researchers, research professionals (e.g. nurses, associates, managers, and technicians), trainees, patients, government and industry partners attended the annual conference.

This year included an interactive Awards Dinner Gala which featured presentations from the three top CHAT Discovery finalists. The CHAT Discovery grant is an HQP program in which successful applicants are provided experience in being a principal investigator – conducting their own proposed research project and managing their own funding budget – during their education with the help of a mentor. Electronic voting for the best CHAT Discovery candidate determined the grand prize winner of $25,000.

Along with this year’s conference, Dr. L. Brent Mitchell (CANet Track Captain – SCD, Professor, Cardiac Sciences, Libin Cardiovascular Institute) chaired the organizing committee for the Network’s first Public Forum in Calgary, Alberta. This public event was attended by more than 60 local arrhythmia patients and their caregivers from clinics around Calgary and the surrounding area.

We are grateful for our sponsors which include the following partners: Bayer, Medtronic Canada, Boston Scientific, St. Jude Medical, Bristol-Myers Squibb Pfizer, Biosense Webster, and Baylis Medical.

The CANet Annual Scientific Conference has now become a prominent arrhythmia networking conference in Canada.



94% applause rate

462 page likes

3,858 engaged users

91,415 total reach

7,764 users

14,979 sessions

38,805 page views


Through the Network’s communication vehicles, there has been a vast increase in public engagement and recognition across CANet’s social media platforms (Newsletters, Facebook, Twitter, Vimeo and LinkedIn).

70% of CANet’s Twitter audience is aged 25-44 and 64% of CANet Facebook audience is 45 or older.  Twitter followers have increased by 123% and the Network has received an impressive 94% “applause rate” – this rate of engagement reinforces that CANet is providing relevant content for its audience


Statement of Financial Position

For the year ended March 31, 2017, with comparative information for 2016

 Networks of Centres of ExcellenceNon-funding Agencies20172016


Network Centres of Excellence grants 4,372,219 - 4,372,219 2,242,748
Partner contributions - 200,000 200,000 188,381
In-kind contributions - 566,102 566,102 293,680
Amortization of deferred capital contributions - 148,630 148,630 148,630
Other revenue - 29,851 29,851 20,609
4,372,219 944,583 5,316,802 2,894,048


Research grants and awards 2,461,836 - 2,461,836 1,269,339
Salaries and benefits 756,079 - 756,079 576,891
In-kind expenses - 566,102 566,102 293,680
HQP training and awards 433,197 1,900 435,097 4518
Audit and professional fees 339,333 14,846 354,179 41,274
Travel, networking and workshop 171,518 13,920 185,438 166,617
Annual scientific conference 137,696 - 137,696 144,125
Amortization expense 1,896 148,630 150,526 150,526
Communications 46,794 - 46,794 32,892
Supplies and other 19,094 4,326 23,420 18,252
Sponsorship - 1,500 1,500 10,000
Rent - - - 3,672
Computers and equipment 4,776 - 4,776 3,167
4,372,219 751,224 5,123,443 2,714,953
- 193,359 193,359 179,095
Net assets, beginning of year - 179,095 179,095 -
Excess of revenue over expenses - 193,359 193,359 179,095
Net assets, end of year - 372,454 372,454 179,095

Board of Directors

Dr. Pierre Boyle (C)
Chair, Board of Directors

Ms. Krista Connell
CEO, Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation

Dr. John Capone
Vice President, Research, Western University

Dr. Shurjeel Choudhri
Senior Vice President, Bayer Canada

Mr. Vincent Dumez
PAC Chair, Co-Director, Office of Collaboration and Patient Partnership, Universite de Montreal

Mr. Neil Fraser
President and CEO,
Medtronic Canada Ltd.


Dr. Paul Morley
Founder & Chief Science Officer,
Zelos Therapeutics

Dr. François Philippon
Institut Univérsitaire de Cardiologie et de Pneumologie de Québec

Mr. Michael Gilbert
President and CEO, Synergiq Solutions

Dr. Katherine Allan (OBS)
Post-Doctoral Fellow

Dr. Anthony Tang
Scientific Director and CEO

Dr. George Wells (OBS)
Associate Scientific Director

Dr. Bryce Pickard (OBS)
Managing Director and COO

Our Collaborators

click to view

Cardiac Arrhythmia Network of Canada

Dr. Anthony Tang
Scientific Director and CEO

Dr. George Wells
Associate Scientific Director

Dr. Bryce Pickard
Managing Director and COO

Dr. Kevin O’Neil
Director of Research

Fabian A. Folias
Director, Digital Marketing and Communications

Natalie Szudy
Partnerships and Knowledge Mobilization Manager

Dimitri Popolov
Research Data and Systems Manager

Kristy Hao
Manager of Accounting and Contracts

Norah Cuzzocrea
Communications and Projects Manager

Suzanne Rogers
Administrative Officer