EXITE: Innovation in Family Medicine

EXITE (EXploring Innovative TEchnologies in Family Medicine) is a nascent innovation collaborative from the University of Toronto’s Department of Family & Community Medicine.

In light of extraordinary changes in health care, clinicians and educators are responding rapidly to find new and effective ways to support learners and patients. While new and emerging technologies present a huge opportunity, their rapid adoption also raises a challenging question: How do we educate our faculty, learners and other primary care clinicians, so they are equipped to apply and use these technologies effectively and equitably?

The goal of EXITE is to adapt, apply and develop innovative technologies for use in primary care delivery and education. Drawing on expertise from within the University of Toronto, DFCM and beyond, EXITE will promote high quality, compassionate, equitable, person-centred primary care.

EXITE will achieve this through collaboration, co-design, implementation, evaluation and knowledge sharing in areas such as:

  • Virtual Care: Exploring the best ways to facilitate equitable, person-centred care.
  • eLearning: Creating online spaces to facilitate high-quality distance and in-person teaching.
  • Digital Curriculum: Teaching clinical skills in new ways using simulations and avatars.
  • AI: Using big data to predict which patients and populations are in need of care.

By connecting experts, learners and innovative thinkers from across the Department, University and beyond, EXITE will make the best use of emerging and established technologies in family medicine education. EXITE will also build skills and capacity to integrate these technologies into education and clinical practice, and draw on data from UTOPIAN, DFCM’s Practice-Based Research Network.


Meet the Team

Dr. Onil BhattacharyyaDr. Onil Bhattacharyya

Dr. Onil Bhattacharyya, Virtual Care Lead

Dr. Onil Bhattacharyya is the Frigon Blau Chair in Family Medicine Research at Women’s College Hospital and evaluation lead at the Centre for Digital Health Evaluation housed at the Institute for Health Systems Solutions and Virtual Care, and associate professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Toronto. He is national co-chair of the Primary and Integrated Health Care Innovation Network funded by CIHR and clinical lead for the Ontario network, Better Access to Care for Complex Needs (BeACCON). He was a Harkness Fellow in Health Care Policy and Practice at the Commonwealth Fund in New York City and a Takemi Fellow at the Harvard School of Public Health. Onil’s research adapts methods from the design and software industries to develop and evaluate digitally enhanced models of primary and integrated care.

Dr. Julia AlleyneDr. Julia Alleyne

Dr. Julia Alleyne, eLearning Lead

Dr. Julia Alleyne is a family physician with a focused practice in sport and exercise medicine, and a long-time educator with experience teaching in the undergraduate, postgraduate and master's level programs. She holds an appointment as Associate Professor with the DFCM and is cross appointed to the Dalla Lana School of Public Health. She is currently the associate program director for Graduate and Academic Studies at the DFCM.

Julia is an active educational curriculum consultant with an interest in producing learning experiences that are smart, interactive and engaging, and use learner focused methodology for design, innovation and usability testing. Julia has updated, converted and developed multiple online courses and e-learning tools, including DFCM master’s courses, clinical decision-making tools, and courses for institutions including the Ontario Ministry of Health (Spine Online) and the Canadian Academy of Sport Medicine (Advanced Team Physician Course).

Julia has completed a MScCH (HPTE) with a focus on curriculum development and e-learning, and has received numerous awards for her academic work..

Dr. Azi MoaveniDr. Azi Moaveni

Dr. Azi Moaveni, Digital Curriculum Lead

Dr. Azadeh (Azi) Moaveni’s interests include using technology in teaching and creating educational tools for faculty and students in a digitized world. As DFCM’s Undergraduate Education Program and Clerkship Director, one of her proudest accomplishments includes the creation of a website for clinical clerks called the Hub for use during family medicine clerkship.

Azi is an academic family physician at the University Health Network-Toronto Western Hospital.

Her scholarship is in the domain of interprofessional education. Most recently she has published two papers on core competencies in the realm of family practice nursing and developed an on-line video to highlight these competencies. This tool has been used across the country to promote and educate professionals and students on the role of family practice nurses in family practice team environments.

pintoDr. Andrew Pinto

Dr. Andrew Pinto, AI Lead

Dr. Andrew Pinto is the founder and director of the Upstream Lab at MAP Centre for Urban Health Solutions, a research team focused on integrating health and social care, population health management, and data to enable proactive care. His team recently concluded a national deliberative dialogue on the role of AI in primary care, and is co-hosting a webinar series with the College of Family Physicians of Canada on AI. Equity and potential harms are a central focus of this work. Andrew is a public health specialist and family physician at St. Michael’s Hospital and Scientist in the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, Unity Health Toronto. He is an Associate Professor in the DFCM. He serves as Associate Director for Clinical Research at the DFCM’s Practice-Based Research Network (UTOPIAN). He was a Commonwealth Scholar and is the 2019 PSI Foundation Graham Farquharson Knowledge Translation Fellow.


Get in Touch

The EXITE innovation collaborative is growing. If you have an interest or expertise in technology for family medicine education and would like to connect or collaborate with EXITE in the future, please get in touch by emailing dfcm.exite@utoronto.ca.