When Laurie Hendren found out she had breast cancer in 2014, she wanted to learn everything she could about her condition, but she soon realized how hard it is for patients to access their own medical information. The McGill University computer science professor, who had dedicated her career to research and sharing knowledge, shared her intense frustration with her radiation oncologist, Dr. Tarek Hijal.
That led to the two collaborating on the development of an online patient portal called Opal. The app — which gives patients access to their lab results, doctors' notes and treatment plans, and tracks medical appointments — has just won a prestigious medical award, the Prix d'excellence, from Quebec's Health Ministry.
But Hendren never saw that happen. She died last week, at age 60, just a few days before the award ceremony.