Dr. Ross Mitchell's first experience at the University of Regina took place when he was 12 years old. He enrolled in a computer class for kids, sparking a life-long passion.
He went on to pursue an undergraduate degree at the University of Regina in computer science, where, throughout his studies, he spent co-operative education terms at the Allan Blair Cancer Centre in Regina. From this transformative experience on, Mitchell knew that he would apply his computer skills to the field of medicine.
Today, Mitchell is an expert in biomedical informatics, and at the forefront of technological research aimed at improving health-care delivery and patient outcomes. He is co-founder and founding scientist of Calgary Scientific Inc. (CSI).
Working with CSI, he developed a medical application that allows doctors to examine and manipulate brain-scan images on their smartphones or iPads, then diagnose and prescribe treatment for patients who have suffered stroke, heart attack or trauma. This gives medical facilities access to experts thousands of kilometres away.
"An expert can now weigh in on the diagnosis and, hopefully, this will mean the patient not only is treated sooner but may not even have to be moved to another centre," said Mitchell. "This will be better for the patient and better for the health care system."
At CSI, Mitchell also ensures the commercialization of research. This fall he will begin work as the division chair for health sciences research at the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Arizona. He will also be a full professor at Arizona State University, which is collaborating with the Mayo Clinic in expanding research in biomedical informatics.
Mitchell has held such positions at the University of Calgary as professor in the Departments of Radiology and Clinical Neurosciences, adjunct professor of computer science and the Alberta Innovates Technology Futures/CSI and industrial research chair in medical imaging informatics.
Mitchell says there is still much research to be done in biomedical informatics because health care has been slow to use information technology to improve efficiencies and quality of care. The core of his research has been, and continues to be, a virtual biopsy or developing methods to extract additional information out of medical images to help doctors diagnose, treat and monitor disease.
The University of Regina and the University of Regina Alumni Association will name Mitchell as the recipient of the Alumni Award for Distinguished Professional Achievement, which recognizes an alumnus who has achieved professional excellence and shown leadership.
Mitchell will be one of five distinguished alumni who will be honoured at the 7th Annual Alumni Crowning Achievement Awards Gala, the pinnacle event of the Alumni Homecoming Weekend taking place September 29 - October 1.
To purchase tickets and for more information visit: www.uregina.ca/alumni/acaa-event or call