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Tidbit: A platform for visual abstracts in medicine

by Sparsh Shah

Tidbit lets academics automate the process of visual abstract creation, sharing, and full-text linkage.
Toronto, ON Canada Medical Education Open Data Art in Healthcare 2021 Vision challenge

All Team Company Patients Physicians Hospital Partners Mission Innovation Details Supporters Comments Updates

About our project

The problem we solve: Since the digital age, the velocity of medical research output has tremendous. With 600 000 papers being published yearly, it is impossible for a clinician to keep up with the literature in their field by reading dense text-heavy papers and abstracts. It is equally as challenging for researchers to make their work visible and communicate their findings. For so long, medical publishing has heavily relied on text-heavy and bland forms of research communication. Ultimately, this slows down knowledge translation to the clinical environment, with estimates saying it takes about 17 years for research to effectively reach clinical practice.

About our solution: Tidbit aims to facilitate infographic creation amongst journals and researchers. We have built a web-based canvas-like tool that streamlines and begins to automate the process of infographic generation process so that any researcher without graphic design experience can easily make a visual abstract. We are iteratively improving the automation of the tool to make it even easier for any academic to create a visual abstract. Finalized Tidbits are then instantly linked to the full-text and published on our feed for readers to interact with. With Tidbit, researchers can increase their visibility and citation count, journals can improve their impact factors, institutions can effectively display their findings and success, and clinicians will have access to primary research in a appealing and digestible format.

Progress to date:

To date, we have launched our MVP version of the product, with 200 beta-testers on our platform. Our users have told us that we are solving a critical problem, and that our final solution certainly improves knowledge translation. Studies also exist that demonstrate how visual abstracts are superior in capturing attention and knolwedge retention. We have partnered with multiple Universities, Research Institutions, Journals, and Government Organizations including the University of Toronto, Canadian Pediatric Society, and The Government of Ontario's COVID-19 Science Table.

We were approached by a group at Harvard who will be conducting a joint study with Tidbit in 2021 to further characterize and assess the impact of visual abstracts on knowledge retention. We have had close to 10 000 visits on our website with minimal marketing spend.

About Our Team

Creator: Sparsh Shah

Location: Ontario

Education: University of Toronto

Bio: Sparsh graduated from the University of Toronto MD/MSc program and is a Resident Physician in Emergency Medicine. Sparsh also holds an Honors Business Administration (HBA) degree from Ivey. He successfully co-founded two non-profits, served as a medical infographic editor, and published four articles. Sparsh brings a comprehensive understanding of the academic publishing industry, business strategy, and entrepreneurial experience needed to steer Tidbit’s success.

Title: Dr.

Advanced Degree(s): MD, MSc

About Team Members

Shubham Pandya
Co-Founder, BBA
Biography: Shubham is a BBA graduate from the University of Toronto and currently leads the Analytics team at Flexiti Financial, one of the fastest growing start-ups in North America. With years of experience in telecommunications and financial services, he brings a wealth of skills that will greatly assist in Tidbit’s long term strategy and profitable growth.
Title: Co-Founder
Advanced Degree(s): BBA
Twitter: @shubham71393551

Nilay Shah
Co-Founder, HBSc
Biography: Nilay has an Honors Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from University of Toronto. Nilay has helped co-found startups which solve problems with various aspects of student life. With previous experience at Wattpad, Nilay is currently employed at Shopify as a senior backend developer. Nilay brings a mixture of technical expertise and a startup mindset to bring our platform to life.
Title: Co-Founder
Advanced Degree(s): HBSc

Dhruven Mehta
Co-Founder, MSc, BSc, MD (Candidate)
Biography: Dhruven Mehta is completing his Doctor of Medicine (MD) at Chicago Medical School. He has a Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences from Rosalind Franklin University and Honors Bachelor of Science from the University of Toronto. With experience in biomedical and clinical research coupled with graphic design capabilities, Dhruven spearheads infographic creation operations.
Title: Co-Founder
Advanced Degree(s): MSc, BSc, MD (Candidate)

About Our Company


Location: 386 Yonge Street
Toronto, ON M5B0A5

Founded: 2020


Twitter: @readatidbit


Other link:

Other link:

Product Stage: Ready

Employees: 1-2

How We Help Patients

Ultimately, Tidbit aims to improve knowledge translation so that the latest medical information is available and accesible to doctors and clinicians. For patients, this means that their care provider will have the most up-to-date medical knowledge on the drugs and therapeutic interventions that is best suited for their clinical condition. By helping healthcare providers navigate an overwhelming sea of research information, patients can ensure that they are getting the best possible care based on the latest research.

How We Help Physicians

Healthcare providers - we know that you are extremely busy. On top of that, it is so difficult to stay current on research information. Browsing through text-abstracts or journal subscriptions, or emails lists reguarly is time consuming and tedious. With Tidbit, you can not only access accurate medical visual abstracts instantly and for free, you can also improve the visibility of your own research for your fellow colleagues to interact with. We hope that with Tidbit, you can spend less time trying to browse and filter through information, and more time understanding medical research in a beautifully delivered format, and applying your new knowledge towards patient care.

How We Help Hospitals

Journals, Hospitals, and Research Institutions - we know that you invest a lot of time and money in outputting research that pushes the boundaries of medical knowledge. However, sometimes, it is hard to make sure that your output is read. With Tidbit, you can increase your research's visibiilty, traction, and impact factor, which can lead to further funding and grants for your organization. Also, by promoting Tidbit to your staff, you will be providing them a free resource that can help them both in their academic and clinical career.

How We Help Partners

Partners within the medical community - we know that you have tons of information that you would like doctors and clinicians to see. With Tidbit, you can get a visual abstract on your research output to help your target audience better understand what you do. This form of communication will increase engagement with products and services that you offer.

Innovation Details

Intellectual Property Summary

Tidbit has internally developed the source code for the automation, canvas, and platform. Tidbit owns all the source code and protects it with the highest level of security. Further user researcher and resultant templates for visual abstracts will also remain a trade secret within the organization.

We are also planning a joint study with a group at Harvard to demonstrate our effectiveness.

Clinical Information

The following visual abstracts highlight and summarize the effectiveness of visual abstracts:

Essentially, they demonstrate that visual abstracts are preferred by readers and improve the visiblity of medical publications by eight-fold on Twitter.

Regulatory Status


How we will use the funds raised

All of the funding will specifically be used for product development. This includes funds for obtaining user feedback, and contracting out work related to iterating and improving our product for our users. Everything on our platform will remain available for free, as we are big believers of open-access medical information.

Thank You

The funds will be used to further improve our product offerring to academics. We have heard from our users that although visual abstracts solve the problem, they are time-consuming and tedious to create on a mass scale, especially for those without graphic design experience. We will use the funds to develop our tool so authors can simply input information, and our tool will output templates of visual abstracts that authors can then choose from and modify. We anticipate this would reduce infographic generation time to less than 5 minutes and allow for the mass production of user-generated content. All of the funds will be used for product development.



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$ 10,000 goal

Sparsh Shah
University of Toronto

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