Neil Seeman

BA (hons.) (Queen's) JD (Toronto), MPH (Harvard)
Contact Information
Email Address: 
Office Phone Number: 
4 Devonshire Place
Massey College in the Univ. of Toronto
M5S 2E1
Current DLSPH Academic & Administrative Appointments
Current Position: 
Adjunct Lecturer
SGS Status: 
Associate Member
Appointment Status: 
Administrative Positions: 
Education & Training History

Neil Seeman is Founder and CEO of The RIWI Corporation, a global data vendor capturing real-time consumer needs, thoughts and intent in every micro-region of the world on behalf of high data-sensitivity global clients; RIWI is based on Neil’s invention and patents first applied for government-commissioned pandemic surveillance. He is also Founder and CEO of the Health Strategy Innovation Innovation Cell at Massey College, University of Toronto, a research unit specializing in low-cost disease management solutions and bottom-up innovation. He led national research in social technologies in healthcare for IBM Canada. He is Senior Resident in health system innovation at Massey College, and on faculty at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto, the University of Toronto’s Institute for Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, and at Ryerson University’s School of Health Services Management. He is the author of four health policy books, most recently, XXL: Obesity and the Limits of Shame (University of Toronto Press, 2011), which was shortlisted for the Donner Prize for the best book on public policy by a Canadian. He is on the board of the Canadian Obesity Network and is the author of over 30 peer-reviewed journal articles and 800 essays on healthcare related topics. He holds a Juris Doctor from the University of Toronto Faculty of Law and a Master of Public Health from Harvard. His work and ideas have been cited in major media around the world, including the Economist, the Wall Street Journal, CNBC, the Washington Post and the Sydney Morning Herald. His philanthropic and research interests are in alleviating the burden of mental illness and related co-morbidities, notably obesity. He has been listed in the Canadian Who’s Who (Univ. of Toronto) since 2002 for his contributions to Canadian public policy. He is a member of the Premier's expert panel on childhood obesity.

Other Affiliations

Senior Resident, Massey College in the University of Toronto

Adjunct Professor, Ryerson University, School of Health Services Management

Adjunct, Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation

CEO, Health Strategy Innovation Cell

Founder and CEO, The RIWI Corporation

Associate Member, School of Graduate Studies, University of Toronto

Member, Board of Directors, Canadian Obesity Network

Member, Expert Panel, Ontario Government Healthy Kids Panel on Obesity

Research Interests

1. The Role of the Internet to Engage Patients and Reach Decision-Makers

2. The Power of 'Big Data' enabled by the Internet to Improve the Quality of Healthcare

3. Online Tools to Promote Disease Management and Health System Accountability

4. Online Tools to Fight the Stigma and Reduce the Burden of Mental Illness

5. The Power of Real-Time Global Data Capture for Decision-Making


Primary Teaching Responsibilities

Lectures, symposia, modules, and mentorship focused on knowledge translation in the age of the Internet; the use of Internet-generated data for decision-making in public policy; and communicating complex public policy transformation via the Internet, specifically with a focus on mental illness. 

Honours and Awards


 Listed: Canadian Who’s Who (University of Toronto Press, Toronto, 2002-present)

 Donner public policy book finalist award for XXL: Obesity and the Limits of Shame (University of Toronto Press, 2012).

 Research "Impact Award". Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto. 2012.


Current Research Projects

1. Online Anti-Stigma Tools to Alleviate the Burden of Mental Illness

2. Expert Panel Recommendations on Reducing Childhood Obesity

3. Big Data harvested from the Internet for healthcare decision-making

4. Innovation in Adoption and Procurement in healthcare

Representative Publications

Seeman, N., and Brown, A.D.: Remembering Peter Drucker: Inspiring the quality revolution in healthcare. Healthcare Quarterly 9 (1): 50-54 (2006).

Brown, A.D., Alikhan, L.M., & Seeman, N.L.: Crossing the strategic synapse: Aligning hospital strategy with shared system priorities in Ontario, Canada. Health Care Management Rev. Jan/Mar 31 (1): 34-44 (2006).

Seeman, N., Baker, G.R., & Brown, A.D.: Emergency planning in Ontario’s acute care hospitals: A survey of Board chairs. Healthcare Policy 3(3): 64-74; Appendix 1-4 (2008).

Seeman, N: The prevention moment: a post-partisan approach to obesity policy. Health Pap. 2008;9 (1):22-33.

Seeman, N.: Web 2.0 and Chronic Illness: New Horizons, New Opportunities. Electronic Healthcare, 6(3) 2008: 104-110.

Seeman, N and Rizo, C: Communicating the Healthcare innovation Agenda to Canadians. Policy Options. May: 28-32 (2009).

Born, K., Rizo, C, Seeman, N.: Participatory Storytelling Online: A Complementary Model of Patient Satisfaction. Electronic Healthcare vol. 8(2): 70-75, Sept. (2009).

Seeman, N: Inside the Health Blogosphere: Quality, Governance and the New Innovation Leaders. Healthcare Quarterly 12(1): 99-106 (2009).

Seeman, N., Seeman, M.: Autism and the Measles, Mumps, and Rubella Vaccine: Need to communicate a Health Study Retraction to Patients. J. Participatory Med. 2: Dec. 17 (2010).

Seeman, N.: Funding IVF in Quebec: Mining the Web to Access Public Support for Policy Change. Electronic Healthcare (2010).

Seeman, N, Ing, A, and Rizo, C. Assessing and Responding in Real Time to Online Anti-vaccine Sentiment during a Flu Pandemic. Healthcare Quarterly – Patient Safety Papers. Healthcare Quarterly 2010 Sep;13 Spec No:8-15.

Rizo C, Deshpande A, Ing A, and Seeman N. A rapid, Web-based method for obtaining patient views on effects and side-effects of antidepressants. J Affective Disorders 130(1-2):290-293 2011.

Seeman, M.V., Seeman, M., Seeman, B., Seeman, N.: E-Psychiatry using web-based communications to connect with patients. Psychiatric Times. 27 (2) 2010.

Seeman, N: Move if u wanna: Obama and the weight loss nudge. Canad. Med. Assoc. J. 2011 Jan 11;183(1):152. Epub 2010 Dec 20

Seeman, N.: Results of a new Healthcare Confidence Index. Electronic Healthcare: 13(4) e5-e11 (2012).

Seeman, N. and Ing, A.: Online Patient Engagement: Key Factors of Trusted Health Websites. Electronic Healthcare 10(3): e5-e9 (2012).

Pringle, J., and Seeman, N.: The Case for an Online Graduate Institute for Chronic Disease Management and Prevention. Healthcare Quarterly, 15(2) 2012: 61-69

Seeman, N.: [Book Review]: Data, Data Everywhere, but Researchers Dare to Drink. Review of Flood et. al. “Data Data Everywhere: Access and Accountability”, Queen’s Policy Studies Series, Montreal and Kingston, ON: McGill-Queen’s Press, 2011. Healthcare Quarterly, 15(2) 2012: 21-25.

Seeman, MV, Seeman, N: The meaning of antipsychotic medications to patients with schizophrenia. Journal of Psychiatric Practice. 2012 Sep; 18 (5): 338-48.