Press release

Efficiency Unleashed: AI-enabled Patient Scheduling Platform Transforms Medical Imaging

May 9, 2024

May 9, 2024 (Toronto, ON) – Patient scheduling can be a manual, time-consuming process for healthcare providers. The process can create a backlog of orders for booking staff to schedule appointments, resulting in patients and physicians waiting weeks or even months for an appointment. The wait time challenge is further impacted by an increasing demand for medical imaging services over time, and by a shortage of health human resources in the healthcare system.

With support from OBIO’s Early Adopter Health Network (EAHN™), Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre (‘Sunnybrook’) successfully completed a 12-month evaluation of NextUp Care’s AI-enabled Intelligent Patient Scheduling Platform (‘Platform’) for booking ultrasound exams.

NextUp Care’s Platform was integrated as a project into the hospital’s radiology information system to ensure seamless connectivity. The evaluation showed that the Platform’s scheduling and optimization algorithms eliminated manual workflows and proactively scheduled the earliest available appointments for patients. Within the first four days of deployment, 526 appointments were booked using the automated system and to date, over 5,000 appointments have been booked on the Platform.

This automation allowed booking staff to shift their focus to other activities, such as managing urgent appointments with multiple dependencies and responding to patient enquiries with a 50% reduction in the response times for incoming calls. Staff reported very positive feedback, indicating the effectiveness of algorithmic scheduling for booking ultrasound exams.

Sunnybrook and NextUp Care are exploring a continued partnership to potentially deploy the Platform for other modalities (e.g., MRI, CT, Nuclear Medicine) and to enable e-messaging  for patients and physicians in 2024-2025.

Wayne Li, NextUp Care’s CEO noted that, “by facilitating this collaboration with Sunnybrook, EAHN™ made it possible for us to implement and integrate our Platform in a world-class healthcare facility. Sunnybrook has been a fantastic partner and we look forward to working with them to advance algorithmic scheduling within the health system.”

“We’re excited about the potential this innovative tool has to improve booking efficiencies within Medical Imaging, saving teams’ time and improving patient satisfaction,” said Lisa Merkley, Co-Director of Precision Diagnostics and Therapeutics at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. “The partnership with OBIO’s EAHN™ and NextUp Care has provided Sunnybrook with support and expertise as we evaluate the technology.”

“Accessing medical imaging services is a known pain point in the Canadian healthcare system, leaving patients with long wait times and healthcare workers overburdened,” said Dr. Maura Campbell, President and CEO of OBIO®. “This collaboration between Sunnybrook and NextUp Care exemplifies the kind of impactful work the EAHN™ program aims to support; innovations that can provide value to the system and to those it supports”

About NextUp Care

NextUp Care is automating healthcare – one appointment at a time. Our Intelligent Patient Scheduling Platform (‘Platform’) is an AI-enabled software solution that enables healthcare providers to automate and optimize scheduling for advanced medical imaging services (MRI, CT, Ultrasound). The Platform can algorithmically schedule patients without manual intervention and instantly send e-notifications to physicians and patients. NextUp Care is committed to improving access to care in the healthcare system.

About Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre is inventing the future of health care for the 1.1 million patient visits the hospital sees each year, through the dedication of its more than 10,000 staff and volunteers. An internationally recognized leader in research and education and a full affiliation with the University of Toronto distinguishes Sunnybrook as one of Canada’s premier academic health sciences centres. Sunnybrook, through its 10 programs, specializes in caring for high-risk obstetrics, critically ill newborns and adults, offering specialized rehabilitation and treating and preventing cancer, cardiovascular disease, neurological disorders, orthopaedic and arthritic conditions, and traumatic injuries. The hospital also has a unique and national leading program for the care of Canada’s war veterans.

About OBIO®

Founded in 2009, OBIO®, a not-for-profit, membership-based organization dedicated to advancing health technology innovation and commercialization, is prioritizing the evaluation of new technologies through its Early Adopter Health Network (EAHN™). OBIO® is engaged in strategy, programming, policy development and advocacy to further the commercialization of human health technologies, positioning Canada as a leader in the international marketplace. For more information, please visit OBIO® and follow OBIO® on LinkedIn and X.


For more information, please contact:

Wayne Li
NextUp Care

Danette Beechinor and Lisa Merkley
Co-Directors of Precision Diagnostics and Therapeutics
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

Lisa Di Prospero
Director, Practice-based Research and Innovation
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

Doriane Rey
Senior Manager, Marketing & Communications

For any additional questions, please contact us.