Dr. Jadad’s mission is to help improve health and wellness for all, thorough information and communication technologies (ICTs). His research and innovation work focuses on virtual tools to support the encounter between the public and the health system (with emphasis on self-management of chronic conditions); interactive tools to promote knowledge translation and mentorship of health professionals and the public; and online resources to support social networks, to respond to major public health threats (e.g., chronic conditions, pandemics), to support international collaboration, and to enable the public (particularly young people) to shape the health system and society.
Born and educated in Colombia, he obtained his medical degree in 1986, specializing in anesthesiology. By the time he was 20 years of age and still a medical student, he became a leading medical expert on cocaine in Colombia and an internationally sought after speaker. In 1990 he joined the University of Oxford (Balliol College), where he became one of the first physicians in the world with a doctorate in health knowledge synthesis. He developed new methods to distill high-quality health-related information and to build specialized bibliographic databases to support health-related decisions. He led the development of the most widely used tool to assess the quality of clinical trials (‘the Jadad scale’), now used throughout the world. His work helped fuel the development of the Cochrane Collaboration, a global network of individuals who are synthesizing over 500,000 clinical trials in all areas of health.
In 1995, he moved to Canada and joined McMaster University, where he was Chief of the Health Information Research Unit; Director of the McMaster Evidence-based Practice Centre; Co-Director of the Canadian Cochrane Network and Centre; Associate Medical Director of the Program in Evidence-based Care for Cancer Care Ontario and Professor in the Department of Clinical Epidemiology & Biostatistics.
In 2000, Alex joined the University of Toronto, where he led the creation of the Centre for Global eHealth Innovation, a setting designed as a simulator of the future, to study and optimize the use of ICTs before their widespread introduction into the health system and society at large. He is also spearheading the development of the Global eHealth and eWellness Network Initiative (GENI, pronounced as “genie”), a unique group of individuals, organizations, tools and facilities working in harmony to promote research, development, education, policy, funding, recognition and commercialization activities related to the uses of ICTs to promote optimal levels of health and wellness, worldwide.
He leads the People, Health equity and Innovation (PHI) Group, which focuses on innovative efforts to level the playing field for disadvantaged members of society, with emphasis on youth leadership development, supportive care (for people with chronic conditions, terminal illnesses or advanced age) and multi-cultural issues.
Dr. Jadad was the founding President of the Spanish eHealth Foundation (he is now President Emeritus), which enabled the creation of the Spanish eHealth Network and Revista eSalud, the leading journal and portal in the Hispanic world focused on eHealth [www.revistaesalud]. In 2005, he was invited by the World Health Organization to act as the representative for the American continent, sitting as a member of its Global Observatory for eHealth’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE). He is now the Chair of the Board of the Foundation of the Institute for Innovation on Human Wellbeing, in Andalusia, Spain, overseeing the development of a centre and large-scale projects designed to re-create every aspect of human life, including homes, workplaces, learning spaces and multi-cultural communities. The Institute is a core element of a multi-billion euro effort to enable Andalusia to become a major world player in the Age of Innovation.