SPOTLIGHT Dr. Ludwik Fedorko

The First 20. Ready for Tomorrow.

In conversation with Thornhill Medical Co-Founder Dr. Ludwik Fedorko

A published researcher with expertise in cardiovascular anesthesia, heart and lung transplantation, and cardiovascular intensive care, Thornhill Medical co-founder Dr. Ludwik Fedorko is a senior member of the scientific team at Thornhill Medical, contributing his specialized knowledge and expertise. Dr. Fedorko is also a clinician-scientist at University Health Network (UHN) and an associate professor of anesthesiology and pain medicine at the University of Toronto.

As Thornhill Medical celebrates its 20th anniversary, Dr. Fedorko speaks about Thornhill’s past and future, and the contributions it makes to the delivery of critical care in austere and unpredictable combat, emergency, and humanitarian environments.

Dr. Ludwik Fedorko

As Thornhill Medical marks 20 years of innovation and medical technology leadership, please share with us what opportunities you saw at the very beginning. What inspired you to start on this journey?

"The early years of Thornhill Medical were particularly exciting because we were approached by actual medics who were caring for people right in the battlefield. They came to us, and they asked us to help them solve an intractable problem. We promised them that we would deliver – and we did. We developed a way to treat patients in dire straits, in places where nobody else could treat or help them. That’s what inspired me initially – and then, the more Thornhill Medical grew, the more I liked the company, what we did, and the people I worked with. Our people are the brains and hearts of the company."

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Many scientists struggle to make the leap from lab to market. What has helped Thornhill Medical make the leap successfully?

"Making the jump from lab to market was a bit different for Thornhill Medical, because we were asked to solve a specific problem – so the process was more organic. The need for our product existed – very urgently, in fact. What we created had a purpose, and we were all able to stand behind it."

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You mention that your work has a purpose – tell us more about that.

"Thornhill develops solutions to problems that can make the difference between life and death, and our primary commitment is that they be the very best solutions possible. I’m proud of that purpose we all share – we all work towards it, and everybody is excited about it, and that’s what makes a difference."


Thornhill’s innovations have been game-changers in the field of mobile military devices. Tell us what makes Thornhill unique, and what promise do Thornhill’s innovations hold for the future?

"What makes us unique is that we ventured into an area that larger, more established companies did not want to get into. The opportunity was there for Thornhill to get into the market and develop innovations that made a material difference in people’s lives.

Our innovations allow us to be where no one else can – in locations where there are no other supports or resources. When I designed MOVES, I actually had Northern Canada and underserviced remote communities in mind. Thornhill Medical’s innovations serve under-resourced locations, under austere conditions, delivering world-class care. What we have built can save lives and that is what counts in my books. I’m very excited about what the innovations still hold in store – non-invasive diagnosis of problems with blood flow to the brain, heart and other organs, giving people an immediate diagnosis without needles, radiation or radioactive isotopes, or contrast used in invasive techniques. This will be a game-changer for diagnostic medicine."

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What excites you the most about the next 20 years at Thornhill?

"We’re going to be innovating and delivering on our most exciting diagnostic equipment to date and improving on MOVES SLC to become even better. And we’re going to be replacing the way people do diagnostics for certain diseases forever. We’re also going to take what we developed for the military and emergency field and adapt to civilian areas, to provide them with superior capabilities."

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Are there any people, persons, or professionals you’d like to thank for their support along the way?

"Throughout these 20 years, so many people have come through Thornhill - brilliant minds, brilliant administrators, brilliant programmers, brilliant engineers and designers. If I wanted to thank everybody, I would be here until tomorrow. I thank every employee in the company, because without them, this would not be happening."

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