Real-World Evidence Platform

The Hotchkiss Real-World Evidence (RWE) platform is a new virtual data platform established to assist HBI scientists with accessing, integrating, and analysing routinely collected health data, data from clinical registries, and external sources of data including surveys and population-based datasets. We are a network of health care providers and other stakeholders from the University of Calgary that work together to optimize the care patients receive, with the aim to improve health-related outcomes.

The main goal of the RWE platform is to catalyse health system and population-based research across brain and mental health fields at the Hotchkiss Brain Institute and the University of Calgary.

The key functions of the RWE initiative are to facilitate the following:

  1. Collaborations between investigators and stakeholders at HBI, UofC, Alberta and nationally
  2. Access to routinely collected healthcare data
  3. Linkage of investigator-collected data, or external data sources
  4. Dataset creation and analysis

Support for the RWE platform comes from multiple sources, including: HBI Open Science Framework, Departments of Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences, research funds from foundations and grant agencies, and donor funds.

Current Demonstration Projects

PRECISE-MH: PREcision Care with Information, Science and Experience - Mental Health (PRECISE-MH) – Calgary Health Foundation (PIs: Dallas Seitz, Julia Kirkham, Valerie Taylor, Scott Patten, Monty Gosh, Geoffrey Messier)

Funder: Calgary Health Foundation

Project Summary: Addictions and mental health (AMH) problems are among the most disabling, expensive and challenging health conditions in Canada. Population-based administrative healthcare databases provide an opportunity to study many of the factors associated with the development of AMH and outcomes associated with these disorders. Homelessness and involvement with police services are two important factors associated with AMH Understanding the prevalence of homelessness and police contact among individuals with AMH problems and the characteristics of these individuals is critical to ensuring there are adequate AMH services available to support individuals with AMH problems who experience homelessness or who are in contact with police services. Predicting which individuals with AMH problems are most likely to experience homelessness or involvement with police services is necessary in order to prevent potentially avoidable use of homeless shelter and police services among individuals with AMH problems. Our project first determine the characteristics of individuals with AMH who experience homelessness or involvement with police services. We will develop models to predict homelessness and contact with police among individuals with AMH problems. Overall, this project will help to better understand the factors associated with the homelessness and police involvement among people with AMH problems and inform the delivery of health, housing and police services to better meet the needs of this complex population.


Alzheimer’s Disease in Alberta: Understanding the Current State and Readiness for Disease Modifying Therapies – University Health Foundation – Alberta Roche Collaboration in Health (PI: Dallas Seitz)

Funder: University Health Foundation

Project Summary: The population of Alberta is aging and there are increasing numbers of Albertans who are affected by Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia. At the present time little is known about the numbers of people affected by dementia in Alberta or how they interact with the health care system. Understanding the health care journeys of people with dementia is a critical step in understanding how to plan supports and services for people affected by Alzheimer’s disease and their families. Although there are medications currently approved for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease in Canada, these medications only produce temporary benefits on dementia symptoms and do not change the underlying disease course. However, research on treatments that may impact on the underlying disease course of Alzheimer’s disease (disease modifying therapies) are nearing the phase where these treatments may be approved for use in Canada in the near future. These new treatments will require that physicians and health services are prepared to offer these medications and safely monitor their use Canada. Understanding how physicians and other health care providers currently assess and manage dementia is important to prepare our health system to be ready for when these new treatments once they are approved for use in Canada. Overall, our project will describe the current state of people impacted by Alzheimer’s disease in Alberta and identify strategies that may be used to help implement new dementia treatments that may be approved by Health Canada in the future.

Useful Links

Request for RWE Support Form

ConnectCare research: The following links are for researchers with AHS access

  • Connect Care Innovators - gathers tips, guides and resources for Alberta Health Services (AHS) or external innovators who facilitate design and development of technologies that can work within or in conjunction with the Connect Care clinical information system (CIS)
  • Reporting Training Poster - ConnectCare training courses on the use of built in reporting tools in the system

Investigators & Collaborators

Headshot of Dr. Dallas Seitz

Dr. Dallas Seitz

The leader of the Hotchkiss Real-World Evidence Initiative.

Dr. Dallas Seitz is an academic clinician at the University of Calgary, where his research focuses on understanding dementia in Alberta. He also investigates the relationship between mental health conditions and addictions using provincial data. In addition to his position at the University of Calgary, Dallas works at the Cognitive Neuroscience Program (Foothills Medical Centre), the Complex Dementia Care program (Bethany), and rural mental health research teams in Strathmore and Airdrie.

Learn more about Dr. Dallas Seitz.