Community Learning Space

Press Release

November 6, 2002
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Agfa supports health informatics research
at the University of Waterloo by funding research chair

WATERLOO, Ont. -- Responding to the critical need for better use of information technology in all facets of the health system, Agfa is providing funds to establish a research chair in health informatics at the University of Waterloo.

This chair is a cornerstone in a major UW research program that will link experts from numerous disciplines to investigate, develop, apply, refine and evaluate health informatics solutions to fundamental problems faced by the Canadian health care system.

The Agfa Research Chair in Health Informatics was announced jointly by John Glass, General Manager of Agfa HealthCare, Steven L. Nakashige, CEO of Agfa HealthCare Informatics, and David Johnston, President of the University of Waterloo.

"The results of this research program will have impact not only on the Canadian health system, but health care around the globe," said John Glass. "Canada and the University of Waterloo have an opportunity to provide innovative solutions to fundamental information problems currently inherent in most health systems.

"Both the operation and evaluation of the health system are severely hindered by the fact that appropriate data and information are often not available and that existing data and information are not easily exchanged among the various operating units and personnel within the system," explained Dominic Covvey, the chairholder heading the research program.

"The health system is a knowledge organization, and data and information are its life-blood," he added.

"As a university with strengths in several key disciplines, including accounting, applied health sciences, computer science, economics, engineering and life sciences, we are positioned to provide leadership in the many areas of the health system that require information to function adequately," commented David Johnston.

"We are delighted to be a research partner with the University of Waterloo and to be supporting what we believe to be the first chair in health informatics in Canada," stated Steven Nakashige. "Our proximity to UW will further strengthen this close research partnership."

Initially the university's health informatics program will focus on developing new concepts, methods and tools to identify, define, collect, store, analyze and disseminate information to support evidence-based care in all aspects of the health care system. Enhancing collaboration in multidisciplinary research teams will be a key part of this new research program.

The results of this research program will strengthen the ability of consumers, clinicians, managers and policy makers to access, interpret, evaluate critically and respond to the health information they encounter in their interactions with the health system.


For further information, contact:

Prof. Dominic Covvey, (519) 888-4567, ext. 5996;

Renee Stacey, Manager, Media Relation, (519) 746-2900;

Jim Fox, Manager, UW News Bureau, (519) 888-4444;

Release no. 226 -- November 6, 2002