Oral4D Systems Transforms Medical Communications

It’s a good thing many health care professionals have graduated from handwritten records and prescriptions to storing them on computers, but a Calgary orthodontist is taking the digital age of record-keeping a step further.

Since 2014, Hisham Badawi has been working with his team at Oral4D Systems to transform the way clinical records are created and viewed.

Born in Jordan, Badawi completed his doctor of dental surgery degree at Jordan University of Science and Technology, and his Master of Science degree at the Eastman Dental Institute University College in London. He taught at the University of Manitoba for a year before moving to Edmonton, where he obtained his PhD at the University of Alberta.

From there, it was on to Calgary to start his orthodontic practice, but he still keeps a busy schedule of lecturing and carries out his orthodontic biomechanics research in Edmonton while addressing professional audiences around the world.

Oral4D Systems uses virtual reality to replace text-based clinical records, making it much easier for health care providers to accurately create and comprehend standardised and structured clinical notes.

The company’s chief operating officer, Ian Graham, says the informatics solution required many hours of software development, yet a demonstration makes it look so easy.

Initially for use by dentists, they are provided with a generic set of teeth on a web application. While the professional works on the teeth, the assistant simply records the actions on a pre-programmed, standardised icon menu that visually records them on the graphic.

Treatment notes are still required, but the recording means the next time the patient is seen, the dentist can see exactly what has been performed without wading through pages or screens of notes.

Oral4D was started by Badawi, the company’s president and CEO, with the help of his chief strategy officer, Mark Wagner, and the support of Alberta Innovates Technology Futures. During the past 20 months, it has grown to employ 15 full and part-time staff.

The first commercial client to contract for the new visual system was a dentist in Illinois, who signed up in October after hearing Badawi speak at a convention. Another early client practises in New Zealand, where the system was remotely installed.

It’s now deployed in five practices and 13 more — mostly in the US where Badawi has a busy lecture circuit — have signed up to use Oral4D. He has also lectured overseas where the graphics cut down on the need for simultaneous translation.

Director of sales and development Kamela Sasaki said the main focus has been the commercialisation of the first product within the dental community. But plans are for Oral4D’s capabilities to be adapted into other areas of health care, such as dermatology, orthopaedics, cardiology and ophthalmology.

Oral4D Systems demonstrates how in Calgary, people with ideas, skills and resources can enable entrepreneurs to address opportunities outside the resource sector. – David Parker, Calgary Herald

<Photo caption: Dr. Hisham Badawi is part of a new software start-up, Oral4D, with plans to transform the way clinical records are created and viewed for health care patients. (Photo credits to Gavin Young / Postmedia)>