Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre uses Mediasite to share its knowledge with students, patients and health care providers around the world.

Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre uses Mediasite to share its knowledge with students, patients and health care providers around the world. Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre wanted to capture and share its frontline medical knowledge with the world, but it had no way to do so. Dedicated to universal healthcare, the centre was faced with increasing information demand and decreasing resources. They wanted to develop a clinical multimedia library to efficiently distribute medical information. Sunnybrook turned to Mediasite for a large-scale, economical technology solution.

Doctors and healthcare professionals began recording Mediasite presentations, and Sunnybrook broadcasted and archived presentations that previously would have been lost. The centre has used the technology to webcast major announcements, hold press conferences, conduct professional development training and plan for a pandemic. Mediasite has allowed it to enhance patient care and provide critical medical knowledge at anyone’s convenience. In the future, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre hopes to share knowledge with healthcare institutions worldwide via Mediasite. 

At a glance

  • Health center needed cost-effective technology to communicate progressive medical information to multiple locations
  • Mediasite allows for rapid communication of critical, time-sensitive health information with multimedia library for medical knowledge
  • Patient care enhanced by making knowledge transfer more convenient for instructors, doctors, hospital staff, patients and their families and caregivers
  • Hospital is positioned as a world leader in healthcare and education


Oliver Tsai, director of information technology for Sunnybrook, was on a mission. In early January 2001, Tsai’s department sought to devise several initiatives which would position the hospital not only as a leading institution in Canada, but around the world.

“Our greatest resource is to share the knowledge of our doctors, nurses and allied healthcare professionals with the world,” shared Tsai. “We truly are on the front line of care, and the skills and expertise we possess are unlike those of any other medical facility.”

Until now, the hospital had no way of capturing medical knowledge to share internally or externally. As a hospital dedicated to universal healthcare, Sunnybrook was in the position of being faced with increasing demand but decreasing resources. Tsai felt that assembling the first Canadian clinical multimedia library would create a new and innovative method to address information distribution challenges and save money.

“We needed something that would allow us to capture content on a much grander scale. If we wanted to be viewed as a leader in Canada in medical education, we needed a product that could meet the needs not only of our internal staff, but of a global audience,” said Tsai.


Using Sonic Foundry’s portable Mediasite Recorders, Sunnybrook immediately began to record, broadcast and archive presentations from doctors and health-care professionals that previously had been lost. Sunnybrook is now able to assist the medical and research communities in disseminating integrated video, voice and data communications through a simple user interface that is accessible via any web browser. Clinicians who teach at Sunnybrook present the material to both physicians and nurses within the hospital network or on the Internet for viewing and participation live or on-demand at their convenience.

“Mediasite enabled us to rapidly develop and deploy rich media presentations across a broad range of applications, networks and devices in a way we never knew possible,” said Tsai. “During regional pandemic planning, Mediasite was invaluable. Mediasite became an essential tool that allowed us to communicate with as many people as possible in a short amount of time.”


Now, Sunnybrook is able to capture and share its physicians’ knowledge in a variety of ways. From webcasting major announcements or press conferences to providing pre-recorded educational classes and professional development tutorials on-demand, Sunnybrook staff now can access Mediasite presentations when it accommodates their busy schedules.

“The implementation of Sonic Foundry’s technology has enhanced patient care by providing a repository of information for our doctors and staff to access at their convenience,” said Sam Marafioti, vice president of corporate strategy and development CIO of Sunnybrook. “Mediasite has greatly enabled the treatment of patients that come through the hospital by making knowledge transfer seamless and, more importantly, providing our team of experts with critical medical knowledge not only more quickly, but more efficiently.”

Sunnybrook is transforming its communications through the use of rich media, while expanding applications that further advance its education, research and clinical services across the globe. “Our goal not only is to enable the education of doctors and nurses here at Sunnybrook, but to share what our team learns with other healthcare institutions in Canada, the United States and in other parts of the world. Mediasite allows us to achieve this goal,” said Tsai.

About Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre is transforming healthcare through the dedication of its more than 7,000 staff members who provide compassionate and innovative patient-focused care. An internationally recognized leader in women’s health, academic research and education and an affiliation with the University of Toronto distinguishes Sunnybrook as one of Canada’s premier health sciences centers. Sunnybrook specializes in caring for newborns, adults and the elderly, treating and preventing cancer, heart ailments, orthopedic and arthritic conditions and traumatic injuries.