Breaking through barriers to scale Canadian companies
Recipient: Trillium Health Partners
Funding allocated: $3.5 million
Innovation and advancements in technology are benefitting every sector in Canada, and health care is no exception. New technologies increase the efficiency and sustainability of our health system, meaning a higher quality of care for patients, while increasing economic prosperity.
Southern Ontario is home to an impressive and diverse tech cluster, with promising companies seeking to commercialize cutting-edge technologies for the health and life sciences sector. Unfortunately, along the path of turning an idea into a successful company, too many SMEs will reach a roadblock: getting their product adopted into the Canadian health care system.
To help overcome the challenges that these Canadian companies face in finding customers and early adopters within the health care system, FedDev Ontario is investing $3.5 million to establish the Coordinated Accessible National Health Network (CAN Health Network) in southern Ontario. Led by Trillium Health Partners in Mississauga, this two-year pilot project will help to pave the road from innovation to adoption of products while using a new model for shared procurement.
“As a result of federal government investment, the CAN Health Network is unlocking a new health care economy, that will see promising Canadian companies have access to a national marketplace and allow them to scale across Canada and globally,” says Dr. Dante Morra, Lead, CAN Health Network, and Chief of Staff, Trillium Health Partners. “It is an opportunity for the health care industry to create more specialized technology-based jobs in Canada, while impacting our health care system in a positive way.”
It’s an innovative formula: health care organizations will identify challenges they are facing that could be solved by a product or technology. The organization is then partnered with a Canadian company who offers a compelling solution. That company will work in-house with the organization to demonstrate the value of their product, potentially customizing based on feedback from end-users. Once the product is proven to be successful in a health care setting, the entire CAN Health Network can purchase the solution through a new streamlined procurement process. In turn, the company benefits from access to a dedicated marketplace to scale up and penetrate new export markets.
“As one of the first partners in the CAN Health Network, Bruyère is pleased to further its collaboration efforts with industry at a national level,” said Heidi Sveistrup, VP, Research and CEO of the Bruyère Research Institute. “This FedDev Ontario investment enables health care providers and innovative Canadian companies to work together in new and meaningful ways that will improve health care outcomes, research and the patient experience.”
The Network will focus on medical and enterprise health solutions that can lead to efficiencies and cost savings in the health care system and ultimately improving the patient experience. Projects in the Network may address software challenges that health care providers are facing or be new medical technology used directly with patients.
“CAN Health Network will enable our hospital to mobilize locally-based technological ingenuity to bring world class care and excellence in patient experiences to our patients and families, right here in Waterloo Region and Guelph Wellington, and nationally,” says Tina Mah, Grand River Hospital VP, Research and Innovation.
In this region, the Network currently includes 10 of southern Ontario’s most respected health care providers, who will work directly with companies to identify commercially viable technologies that could be adopted by health care providers across the Network.
In addition to southern Ontario, the Network is currently being implemented by Saskatchewan Health Authority in the West through $3.5 million in support from Western Economic Diversification Canada. With the first points of the network anchored in western Canada and Ontario, CAN Health aims to expand coast-to-coast-to-coast into a coordinated, national network for maximum impact.
Through a Canada-first approach to technology adoption, the CAN Health Network will help break down barriers to adoption, as well as provide critical access to health care settings for product validation. Ultimately, this will allow new innovations to be introduced into the marketplace, create highly skilled jobs and grow Canadian companies here at home, while helping them scale sales nationally and internationally.
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