SickKids Hospital’s new CIO has some fascinating opportunities ahead of her

You don’t meet a lot of CIOs with an “MD after their name, but in Sarah Muttitt’s case, it may be just what the Hospital For Sick Children ordered.

Sarah Muttitt

Last week, SickKids announced that Muttitt would be succeeding the IT leadership position left vacant by Daniela Crivianu-Gaita, who has since taken on a CIO role with Gamma-Dynacare almost a year ago. For Muttitt, who was trained in  paediatrics and neonatology a SickKids, this is a kind of homecoming. As a post on HealthCare IT News noted, however, her work has taken her into a wide range of experiences since then:

In addition to her clinical work, Muttitt led tele health initiatives across Canada and served as vice president of innovation and adoption at Canada Health Infoway.  From 2007 – 2012, she was the CIO of the Ministry of Health in Singapore, responsible for the development and delivery of a national healthcare IT strategy. This included the implementation of Singapore’s National Electronic Health Record and supporting services such as enterprise architecture, standards, identity and security, and clinical informatics.

There’s actually a lot more — she’s also an Ivey International Center for Health Innovation “innovator in residence” — but suffice it to say that Muttitt sounds more than qualified for the job. She comes to SickKids, however, at a time when a wide range of technology shifts could change the way health care services are designed, delivered and managed over the next decade:

Put on two wearables and call me in the morning: Although hospitals have used heart-rate monitors and other tools to track and manage symptoms, Muttitt could also potentially look for opportunities that make use of devices such as the Apple Watch to help doctors, nurses and other care staff communicate more easily. The idea of “glances” or bite-sized bits of information being accessible on your wrist seems particularly relevant for health-care practitioners — possibly even as a way of providing updates to stressed-out parents. A good place to start might be its app, Heatwave for SickKids, which already runs on almost everything else Apple makes.

The Internet of Things will see you now: Many of the use cases for connecting everyday objects (and people) via sensors and similar technology have focused on areas like manufacturing or retail. At SickKids however, Muttitt could help oversee entirely new kinds of health-care experiences that anticipate patient needs or help make treatments more preventative than reactive. An initial IoT project with Cisco offered a hint at the possibilities last year, but there’s room for a lot more.

Data, data, tell me the news: SickKids is already embarked on a partnership with the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre to use cloud computing and analytics to speed up important discoveries in biology and genomics, among other areas. HPC4Health, as it’s called, will be an interesting test case in whether these technologies can not only benefit the organizations involved, but health-care providers throughout Ontario.

There are just a few, and possibly the blatantly obvious, areas where Muttitt might make her mark. As with everyone else in our CIO community, we’re wishing her well and hope to have a chance to profile her success.



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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Shane Schick
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