Though still a third-year medical student, Kay Wu is quickly becoming a leader in using technology to transform health care.
In 2019, she helped develop a simulation program for McMaster medical students dubbed MacSim. During in-person workshops, students take medical histories, perform exams, order investigations through a custom medical record system and develop treatment plans for simulated patients.
When the pandemic began, and learning shifted online, Ms. Wu got to work revamping MacSim so students could participate in the simulations virtually. With the help of an Ontario Medical Student Association Innovator Grant, she succeeded in making MacSim an educational tool that has now benefited more than 100 medical students, and she is expanding its reach to the entire first-year McMaster medical class.
“I aspire to bring this vision for experiential learning to medical schools across the country,” says Ms. Wu.
During the pandemic, Ms. Wu has also used technology to address the shortage of personal protective equipment for health care workers. Along with some of her peers, she helped launch 3DPPE, an organization that used 3D-printing technology to create more than 22,000 face shields for health care workers in Hamilton and Toronto.
Integrating technology into health care
Ms. Wu is also credited with using technology to improve patient-centred care.
Using her background in life sciences and computing, Ms. Wu helped develop a digital tool named Clearly that aims to improve patient understanding of medical records.
The innovation showed such promise that Ms. Wu and her team were chosen to attend The Clinic, a new health care innovation incubator at McMaster that provided support and resources to further their research.
Through a partnership with the Joseph Brant Hospital in Burlington, Ont., Ms. Wu is now working with a team of software engineers and researchers to test Clearly within the Hamilton hospital network.
“Kay’s tireless dedication to improve patient-centred care — through innovative means — demonstrates her commitment to addressing gaps in the current health system and proclivity for creative leadership,” says Sarrah Lal, a professor in the Division of Education and Innovation at McMaster.
Kay Wu is receiving the Dr. Brian Brodie Medical Learner Leadership Award (Student) in recognition of her exemplary dedication, commitment and leadership as a medical student.