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MedEdge Summit fosters innovative ecosystem

Joseph CafazzoRICHMOND HILL, Ont. – The fourth annual MedEdge Summit, held in June at the Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts, attracted more than 400 industry professionals. Organized by The Town of Richmond Hill, ventureLAB (a regional innovation centre), and the Regional Municipality of York, MedEdge brings companies involved in the healthcare sector together for a one-day conference and trade show.

Throughout the summit, participants gained insights into new technologies in personalized medicine, discovered partnerships and funding opportunities and networked with leaders in the industry. Attendees and exhibitors included entrepreneurs, investors, legal experts, universities and colleges, accelerators and government economic development agencies.

Speaker Dr. Joseph Cafazzo (pictured), lead for the Centre for Global eHealth Innovation, focused on the topic of design. He shared why many healthcare technologies fail to reach their full potential when they neglect both patients and providers along the way. Navigating past this dark side of health technology, Dr. Cafazzo showed how empathy in design can change how we view the role of the patient in their own care, leading to better outcomes.

Dr. Cafazzo is also executive director of Healthcare Human Factors, the world’s largest ergonomics and design team dedicated to healthcare. Located at the University Health Network in downtown Toronto, the organization has dedicated facilities for testing healthcare technologies, and also benefits from the proximity of clinicians and patients.

MedEdge 2014 included two panel sessions. The industry experts in the first panel discussed new channels and resources for healthcare technology entrepreneurs. The second panel consisted of three leaders of innovative companies – they shared their journey, including their successes, challenges, best practice approaches and lessons learned.

MedEdge also celebrated entrepreneurship and innovation in Ontario by providing growth-oriented medtech companies the opportunity to showcase their new innovative products and services. A few of the innovative companies that exhibited at MedEdge included BrainFX, ChipCare and GaitTronics.

BrainFX creates clinical, digital assessment tools (both web and tablet based) for healthcare professionals to measure the effects of brain disorders on a person’s ability to function in real life. ChipCare’s products offer unique multiple testing capabilities with a single drop of blood from a patient. ChipCare’s technology is capable of automating cell analysis in a manner that is rapid, accurate and cost effective. GaitTronics showcased “GaitEnable “a unique robotic patient handling device that automatically lifts and supports patients and prevent falls.

The MedEdge Summit is a unique event in that it brings together a vibrant ecosystem of companies, entrepreneurs, public and private investors to collaboratively support commercialization of medical and health technologies.

About Richmond Hill
Richmond Hill is home to a variety of health sector members that are creating cutting-edge innovations to bring better healthcare to Canadians and people around the world. With specific strengths in generic pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, diagnostics, medical devices and eHealth, Richmond Hill brings together the brightest minds to help move the entire sector forward. Richmond Hill Economic Development staff can help local health/life science companies connect to resources and support in order to grow their business.

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