DeGroote graduate realizes new vision for health care system

October 31, 2013 | Hamilton, Ontario
Contributed by Lisa Dzikowski, Communications Intern

DeGroote MSc eHealth graduate Kenneth Nwosu combines his knowledge in telecommunications and eHealth to make an impact in the health care industry.

healthAchieve2012-An MSc eHealth graduate from the DeGroote School of Business, Kenneth Nwosu, had a life-changing experience in 2008 when his mother in Africa was diagnosed with cancer. After his mother encountered many uncoordinated health care visits and misdiagnoses, Nwosu was inspired to work in healthcare to improve the system. He combined his knowledge in telecommunications and eHealth as well as his passion to develop a two-way interactive video conferencing program for health care consultants called “Twives“.

Earning his undergraduate degree in Nigeria in electrical engineering had led to a career in telecommunications for Nwosu. He emigrated to Canada in 2000 and continued to work in the telecommunications field. However, his mother’s illness spurred him to change careers, and therefore he chose to enrol in the MSc eHealth program at DeGroote to gain knowledge of the field. The program brought him into contact with Electronic Medical Records (EMR), the collection of electronic health information about patients, and allowed him to apply himself through hands on learning.

“I enjoyed being in a class with medical professionals and people from everywhere. Whenever a question or a case was thrown at us, it was interesting how people came from different views. I also liked the fact that we could collaborate, that we could attack questions from different angles and still come up with almost the same answer,” says Nwosu.

Ultimately, I want people anywhere to be able to connect, ask for help and have someone help them.

In order to make an impact in the health care system in North America and abroad, Nwosu developed a two way interactive video conferencing program called Twives, a version of Skype created specifically for healthcare consultants. The difference is that Skype requires high bandwidth to operate whereas Twives could work on very low amounts of bandwidth. Nwosu developed Twives primarily because Skype would not work in remote areas in Nigeria, as the country does not have the high speed internet that North America offers. Twives is mostly used by specialists for consulting, where for example a specialist in Toronto can deal with a patient in Northern Ontario without making the patient travel for the consultation.

“I believe I already am making an impact, as I presented Twives to government ministers from Africa at a conference in Toronto. Ultimately, I want people anywhere to be able to connect, ask for help and have someone help them,” says Nwosu.

After his mother passed away during the eHealth program, Nwosu was not discouraged, but inspired to continue to make a change. Nwosu may return to Africa in the future in order to help people there by taking the knowledge he learned in Canada and replicate it in Africa. For now, he is happy to help remotely from Canada.

“I want to earn my PhD so that I can actually be part of that program at McMaster that I believe in so much. Hopefully with the experience I gain, I can also help create joint ventures with other universities in Africa so that we could create a similar program for them over there,” says Nwosu.2b95ff1

Nwosu previously worked at eHealth Ontario and is currently working with Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB).

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