University of Ottawa Heart Institute receives $1 million grant from The TD Ready Challenge

Ottawa Heart Institute receives $1 million grant to validate a new, non-invasive, five-minute test for detecting cardiovascular disease and save lives
December 3, 2019

Ottawa – The University of Ottawa Heart Institute (UOHI) has been named one of the ten winners of the 2019 TD Ready Challenge presented by TD Bank Group. The Heart Institute will receive CDN $1 million from TD Bank Group to pursue innovative research designed to improve and expand the early identification of coronary artery disease (CAD), the world’s leading cause of death and disability.

"The UOHI has brought forward a creative and scalable solution to help increase equitable health outcomes for underserved and remote communities," said Andrea Barrack, Global Head, Sustainability and Corporate Citizenship, TD Bank Group. “Being a winner of the TD Ready Challenge is a testament to the skill, ingenuity, and vision of its creators, as well as their dedication to improving the health of their communities and opening doors to a more inclusive tomorrow."

Dr. Benjamin Chow poses with a CAD-det test unit.
Dr. Benjamin Chow poses with a CAD-det test unit.

With support from TD, Dr. Benjamin Chow, Clinical Cardiologist, Director of Cardiac Imaging, and Co-Director of Cardiac Radiology at the UOHI, will now spearhead a project aimed at validating a new, non-invasive, five-minute test for detecting CAD, known as the CAD-det test. Early research conducted at the UOHI has already demonstrated CAD-det’s potential to be a superior test to current front-line methods, such as the exercise stress test (EST), while being safer, more patient-friendly, portable, and uniquely suitable for use in primary care offices and telemedicine applications for remote, underserved patient populations without access to sophisticated diagnostics.

“Through a multi-centre evaluation, our hope is that the CAD-det will demonstrate, compared to EST, superior clinical accuracy, greater patient safety, patient preference and cost effectiveness per diagnosis aiding in the adoption of this game-changing technology to benefit patients through the earlier and better detection of CAD within Canada and throughout the world,” said Dr. Chow. “Thanks to TD and the TD Ready Challenge, we've received $1 million to help realize this objective, and help underserved and remote communities who face boundaries to accessing adequate health care.” 

UOHI’s industry partner in the development of the CAD-det technology, AusculSciences Canada Inc., has also generously agreed to match the TD Bank Group’s $1 million grant with in-kind contributions, including CAD-det units, test consumables, data management software tools, clinical monitoring personnel costs and required travel for clinical monitoring visits.

“We are extremely pleased to continue to support the University of Ottawa Heart Institute, and are excited to participate in this research study,” said Michael Lahr, President and CEO of AusculSciences Canada Inc.

“Together with TD, and our partner AusculSciences Canada Inc., we're aspiring to make a real difference in the lives of Canadians and our communities,” said President and Chief Executive Officer of the Heart Institute, Dr. Thierry Mesana. 

More Information

About the University of Ottawa Heart Institute

The University of Ottawa Heart Institute (UOHI) is Canada’s largest and foremost heart health centre dedicated to understanding, treating and preventing heart disease. It provides unparalleled care to its patients, is the country’s main influencer when it comes to preventing heart disease, and is a world-renowned research centre that brings science from bench to bedside. The Heart Institute’s promise remains the very pillar on which it was built: Always putting patients first.

About Ausculsciences Canada Inc.

AusculSciences is a medical device, services, and software solutions company dedicated to the development of acoustic technologies to detect cardiovascular conditions.  AusculSciences’ non-invasive, non-stressful and non-nuclear approach provides physicians with actionable data to support clinical decision making, while improving patient comfort and reducing the cost of diagnosis.  AusculSciences’ goal is to continually improve its products and services, partnering with healthcare providers to create Sound Hearts Through Sound Technology™.

About the Ready Commitment

TD has a long-standing commitment to enriching the lives of its customers, colleagues and communities. In March 2018, TD launched The Ready Commitment, a new multi-year program to help individuals and communities prosper. As part of The Ready Commitment, TD targets CDN $1 billion (US $775 million) in total by 2030 towards community giving in four areas critical to opening doors for an inclusive tomorrow – Financial Security, a more Vibrant Planet, Connected Communities and Better Health. Through The Ready Commitment, TD's aspiration is to link business, products, services, and community giving to help people feel more confident - not just about their finances, but about their future and their ability to achieve their personal goals in a changing world. For more information, visit

About the TD Ready Challenge

The TD Ready Challenge is a signature initiative, laddering up to The Ready Commitment, TD's corporate citizenship platform, aimed at opening doors to a more inclusive and sustainable tomorrow. Acting as a springboard for social innovation, TD established the TD Ready Challenge to identify and support scalable solutions to a specific issue identified within the drivers of The Ready Commitment.

In 2019, the TD Ready Challenge encouraged organizations across North America to create innovative solutions to help increase equitable health outcomes that focus on preventative efforts, such as screening, early detection and intervention innovations, aimed at reducing the onset, development and severity of chronic disease and other illnesses. In total, TD awarded $10 million (CDN) for the 2019 Challenge.

A full list of The Ready Challenge winners as well as more information about the challenge can be found here.

Media Contact:

Leigh B. Morris
Communications Officer
University of Ottawa Heart Institute
613-696-7000 ext. 19051
613-316-6409 (cell)