Recent articles in the media


REDWOOD CITY, CA – Mar 1, 2018 – Startup Grind inducted 50 Companies to the 2018 Class of Startups. The Startup Program recognizes the Top 50 companies handpicked from 115 countries, 400 cities around the world to exhibit Startup Grind Global 2018. Startup Grind Startup Program Top 50 companies are an elite group of pre-seed and seed stage companies who have collectively raised more than $40 Million and hail from countries as far away as Mauritius, Japan, Bangladesh, Australia and as close as Guatemala, Canada, New York, Virginia, Georgia, Ohio, Wisconsin, Texas, Nevada, Washington, California and more.

Startup Exhibition companies were given access to a global audience at the annual Global Event ( held February 12th through February 14th in beautiful historic downtown Redwood City.

“We started this program after seeing many of the Accelerators and Incubators not doing much to really help companies,” says Derek Andersen, founder & CEO of Startup Grind. “We really wanted to make an actual difference in the startups trajectory and leverage all of our resources and network to their advantage.”

“Of the 7,000 plus startups that were considered, 130 were selected representing the Startup Grind community across 80 countries and the Top 50 have been inducted into our Global Startup Program for 2018. These startups have great teams, traction, technology, and massive markets,” says Andersen.

Among the Top 50 is a Canadian health information communication technology (ICT) company, Think Tank Innovations Ltd. Headquartered in Calgary, Alberta and Vancouver, British Columbia, the company has been transforming the way healthcare professionals take and share clinical photographs and collaborate using their smartphones with its app, ShareSmart.

Think Tank is led by thought leaders in health information privacy and clinicians committed to elevating patient outcomes and safety. Practicing plastic surgeon and Chief Clinical Implementation Officer of the company, Dr. Justin Yeung, and his team of researchers received national acclaim for its work on national guidelines on utilizing smartphones in the clinical setting. An active patient advocate and impassioned clinical educator, he insists “we need to proactively safeguard sensitive patient information and change the culture of blithe disregard for the risks associated with using apps not intended for healthcare.”

When ShareSmart launched in 2016, it was touted as the ‘WhatsApp’ of healthcare, but the platform is much more. “ShareSmart was made specifically for healthcare,” says Jonathan Chan, product specialist for ShareSmart. “You can collect both verbal or written patient consent, collaborate with a network of trusted healthcare colleagues and organize clinical images on your smartphone. On the facility side, you have access to a powerful audit dashboard through a ShareSmart extension called Monocle, that aligns with local health information privacy legislation, including HIPAA, Albertan Health Information Act (HIA), Canadian PIPEDA, and the forthcoming EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

“We are humbled and proud to be included in the company of such great ventures each making the meaningful impact with technical innovation. Coming out to Startup Grind affirmed that there is the appetite among the global angel and venture capital community to back Canadian-led companies. Those who have had experience working with Canadians shared that they know that they can expect second-to-none corporate governance, balanced fiscal prudence and relatively better valuations,” shared Tabata.

About Think Tank Innovations and ShareSmart

Think Tank is a health information communications technology innovation company, committed to elevating patient safety and reducing healthcare professional risk through the development of intuitive SaaS tools. We launched the ShareSmart App in 2016 and are in pilot with 2 additional solutions, ShareSmart Web and Monocle. ShareSmart Web is a desktop extension of the ShareSmart App, and Monocle is a powerful dashboard for health institutions. ShareSmart boasts a network of over 18,000 healthcare professionals, including doctors, nurses, dentists, paramedical professionals and medical sales representative practicing around the world.

Canada Health Infoway
University of Calgary research team wins award for National Guidelines for Clinical Photo Sharing and Smartphone Use (Jan. 2018)

With the advantages of photography in clinical practice along with the convenience of a mobile device, it is not surprising that over 89% of Canadian doctors and 100% of medical trainees use smartphones to take clinical photographs of patients.1 However, without dedicated secure medical photo sharing apps, health care professionals have turned to iMessage and Whatsapp and their personal phone’s photo album to store and communicate. This has led to a rate of 1 in 4 patient information breaches amongst smartphone users. Despite regular use of their smartphones for clinical photography, half of the clinical respondents in the study felt uncomfortable with this practice. They cited questions of security, privacy and confidentiality as the main reasons for their discomfort, along with not being familiar with their regional policies1. Because health information in the photographic form is considered some of the most sensitive and personal information that an individual can possess, their concern is well founded.

Dr. Justin Yeung and his research team at the University of Calgary designed a study in 2017 to look at the provincial rules and guidelines on smartphone use and found that the majority of provincial colleges had inadequate recommendations. In addition, these recommendations were often extrapolated around the use of dated technologies such as email and faxes.2 The research team consisted of cybersecurity experts, medical ethicists, health care professionals, and both anglophone and francophone lawyers. Referencing provincial college and Canadian Medical Protective Association principles combined with best practices from other industries, this study included National Guidelines for Clinical Photo Sharing and Smartphone Use, which earned medical student Mieke Heyns, a Research Symposium award at the recent University of Calgary Surgery Research Symposium.

The guidelines included recommendations on six major areas:

  • consent
  • audit
  • transmission
  • storage
  • retention and
  • breach

National guidelines and best practices such as these are vital as the healthcare sector embraces the digital age. With health information becoming more digitally available and security features turning to biometric data, the need for protection of these assets must be a priority.

With the best practices of security and privacy in mind, Dr. Yeung created a multidisciplinary team to design and launch ShareSmart. Recognized by the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada and by those in multiple provinces, ShareSmart is an innovative solution for health care professionals to use their own smart phones to take clinical photos and conduct messaging securely, in compliance with privacy laws. ShareSmart supports “connecting for digital health”, elevating modern health care through secure, digital health solutions, for the benefit of the patient.

We are pleased to sponsor the Infoway Partnership Conference as one of four featured Canadian start-ups.

Alberta Medical Association – Dr. Gadget
The best gadget is the one that’s with you (Nov. 2017)


As I considered the topic of this article, it occurred to me that I hadn’t talked about gadgets here for quite some time. My next thought was: Which gadgets should I highlight? Should I focus on artificial skin transplants designed to treat diabetes or power prosthetic devices? Maybe I could review Bluetooth cochlear implants or an artificial iris that responds to light much like the natural eye? What about smart shoe insoles or battery powered clothing? Or contact lenses that monitor blood glucose? Maybe a vibrating pen that makes it easier for Parkinson’s patients to write? Or, perhaps tissue nanotransfection which uses a small coin-sized silicone chip that “injects” genetic code into skin cells, converting them from one type to another?

While all of these are interesting, I came to the conclusion that the best gadget I own, and is actually working well, is my smartphone. With that thought in mind, I would like to highlight a dozen uses of this tool in medical practice.

Communication device First and foremost, our smartphones allow us to be in contact with the rest of the world by voice, email or text. Some physicians use encryption software such as Canadian-developed ShareSmart to take clinical photos and discuss patients with their colleagues using text messages in a secure environment.*

Camera All modern smartphones have a built-in camera that allows physicians to take high-quality pictures. I often use a different app that allows photo input such as Notes on iOS (iPhone) so that these photos do not go into my photo library. Many electronic medical records (EMRs) use this capability through a dedicated app to allow direct private communication with the patient record.

Flashlight Most smartphones incorporate a flash module that you can quickly access as a flashlight to allow for better visualization in the exam room.

Magnifying glass The camera feature can double as a magnifying glass when you are looking for that corneal foreign body (with no slit lamp available) or need a better look at a skin lesion. However, the latest versions of iOS has a setting that produces a lighted magnifier through a triple-click of the home button. You can find it by following this path: Settings – General – Accessibility – Magnifier (on).

Photocopier Some of my patients bring in lists of concerns or personal health readings such as blood pressures or glucose readings on paper. Rather than take time to transcribe these documents, I quickly use my phone to take a photocopy, and if my EMR allows it, attach it directly to the chart.

Mirror I have used the patient’s phone as a mirror using the front facing (Skype or FaceTime) camera in the exam room when the real item is not available.

Timer Your phone helps you easily maintain your schedule by setting timers and alarms.

Personal assistant All modern smartphones understand simple commands to help manage calendars, set reminders, do web searches and even send text messages through Siri, Cortana or Google. This personal assistant function sometimes saves a considerable amount of time.

Notepad Note-taking capabilities are available on all smartphones. Notes can be entered in the usual manner using the keyboard, but most devices also allow for dictation, which I have found generally quite accurate. I have used this as a reminder to follow up with learners on an assignment or to do more in-depth research on a particular patient concern. Most note-taking apps allow you to add photos, web links or soundbites.

Audio recorder Smartphones are excellent audio-recording devices.

It is very possible that your patients are using this feature during your interaction with them. Perhaps in the future, we will be able attach sound files to the patient file, saving considerable charting time. Clinical resource Many medical apps transform our mobile devices into incredibly useful resources. Some of these apps have been reviewed in previous Dr. Gadget articles, and I expect many more will be developed in the future.

Specialized diagnostic tool Your phone can become, for example, a dermatoscope, an ultrasound viewer, an ophthalmoscope, a sphygmomanometer, a colposcope or a heart monitor using dedicated attachments and their associated apps.

Like most gadget geeks, I enjoy the thrill of learning about and playing with the newest and best tech toys. I doubt this will change, but I will make a concerted effort to understand and utilize all the power of the best gadget I own – the one that is always with me.

*Editor’s Note: If you intend to use secure messaging to communicate patient information, even if encrypted, a privacy impact assessment is required for submission to the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Alberta

Canada Health Infoway
Recognizing Digital Health in Canada (Nov. 2017)

Celebrating Canadians, clinicians and organizations advancing digital health

TORONTO, Nov. 9, 2017 /CNW/ – Health care organizations from across the country are coming together to celebrate the positive impact that digital health is making for Canadians during Digital Health Week, November 13-19, 2017.

“Digital health is transforming health care delivery in Canada,” said Michael Green, president and CEO, Canada Health Infoway. “There are countless stories about how digital health is making a difference for clinicians and Canadians. It better enables clinicians to access the information they need to make decisions more quickly and empowers patients to better manage their health through online portals and other digital tools and services. This is a week dedicated to celebrating these advancements.”

Digital Health Week was created as a way to raise awareness about the important work going on to advance health technology and evolve health care in Canada.

With dozens of participating organizations involved, there are many activities, announcements and events planned. A few include:

  • Partnership Conference Webcast – The opening keynote presentations on November 14 and 15 will be webcast live from Calgary.
  • #HCLDR TweetChat – Join the conversation on Tuesday, November 14 at 8:30 p.m. ET using #HCLDR and #ThinkDigitalHealth.
  • Women Leaders in Digital Health Award – This award, sponsored by COACH: Canada’s Health Informatics Association, will be announced during the week.
  • #OnesToFollow – A list of digital health leaders one “must follow” on Twitter will be released on November 14.
  • Digital Health Week Fête – Connect with people who are passionate about digital health on Monday, November 13 in Calgary.
  • Social Media – There will be plenty of social media activity happening using #ThinkDigitalHealth.
Visit for more information and to see what else is planned.

Digital Journal
Canada’s Best Kept Medical Secret Goes Global (Oct. 2017)


Think Tank Innovation’s medical app, ShareSmart, was today launched globally, bringing the much-lauded secure clinical messaging iOS and Android app to hospitals and other healthcare facilities around the world.

The medical app has been updated with localized health information and privacy compliancy, ensuring that medical staff and healthcare professionals can enjoy state-of-the-art encrypted communication and photo sharing without worrying about breaking the sacred bond of trust – and their Hippocratic Oath. While many are describing the app as the “WhatsApp of the healthcare world,” the reality goes far beyond the popular chat messenger’s functionality.

“Apps such as WhatsApp and iMessage are great for communication, and many healthcare professionals enjoy using them – but they simply don’t meet the standards of both health information and personal privacy legislation,” explained Rena Tabata, CEO of Think Tank Innovations Ltd., the developers behind ShareSmart.

“ShareSmart offers secure clinical messaging that enables healthcare professionals to collect clinical photography consent from patients, organize those photos, and then collaborate with their colleagues using these photos and chat functionality. Access to patient information can be given and revoked in seconds.”

With each instance of a reported privacy breach costing health care professionals and their institutions steep monetary fines and an administrative nightmare, ShareSmart fills a much-needed gap in the marketplace. The app was created when two doctors, Justin Yeung and Demetrios Rizis were unable to find a secure alternative app – a move that has made them the toast of healthcare professionals around the world.

ShareSmart has already been named one of the Top 25 Up-and-Coming ICT companies in Canada’s 2017 Branham300 List, which top publicly traded and privately held ICT companies. The app also received recognition from Engadget as one of 2016’s top five healthcare apps; “Someone finally gets clinical secure messaging and photo sharing right,” wrote Spencer Langon for the tech blog. “This is the most intuitive and easy-to-use app of this sort.”

As ShareSmart goes international, developers Think Tank Innovations Ltd. are not resting on their laurels. Instead, the developers are already working on Monacle, a new web portal which will compliment ShareSmart. Slated for release in early 2018, the portal will allow hospital and institutional administrators to provide visibility and control of the clinical records produced and shared in ShareSmart by their healthcare professionals.

For more information about ShareSmart and its upcoming complimentary web portal, Monacle, please visit For media inquiries, please contact Rena Tabata at +1-403-827-6450 or email at The app is available for download for free on both Apple’s iTunes store and Google’s Play store.

About ShareSmart

Developed by Think Tank Innovations Ltd., ShareSmart is an international Secure Clinical Messaging (SCM) and photo management app that allows healthcare professionals to share notes about patients without violating privacy legislation. For more information, please visit ShareSmart’s website or follow the company on Facebook.