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Ontario funds new group of health tech projects

William Charnetski 2018TORONTO – Ontario has announced a new round of grants for 12 new projects through the Health Technologies Fund, which supports the development of Ontario-based health innovations.

The investments were selected for their potential to improve patient outcomes and bring value to the healthcare system. Twelve grants were awarded ranging from about $294,000 to $500,000 each, totalling $5.5 million.

The $20-million Health Technologies Fund is developed and funded by the Office of the Chief Health Innovation Strategist (OCHIS) and administered by the Ontario Centres of Excellence.

Each Health Innovation Team includes at least one provider of publicly funded healthcare services and at least one technology company with a research and development or manufacturing presence in Ontario. The next call for applications for the Health Technologies Fund will be announced in early 2018.

“Ontario has a wealth of innovators looking to connect with clinicians and patients to find new ways of delivering better care, closer to home. The job of my office, and the purpose of the Health Technologies Fund, is to help spark that demand-driven innovation and get it embedded into our health system quickly,” said William Charnetski (pictured), chief health innovation strategist for Ontario.

“The fund is part of our value-based innovation framework that has three clear goals: improve patient outcomes, optimize the impact of our investment in health innovation and scale promising Ontario companies.”

In 2017-18, $5.47 million will be distributed to 12 projects through the Health Technologies Fund. The projects are:

1) Brain Health Screening and Risk Management Program

A brain health assessment and risk management program pilot with patients in hospital and at home.

• Health Innovation Team: Saint Elizabeth Health, BrainFx, ThoughtWire Corp., Wilfrid Laurier University
• Grant amount: $493,000

2) Improved Management of Frail and Elderly Patients with Traumatic Brain Injury

Developing and testing a portable device that will detect and image brain bleeds in traumatic brain injury patients awaiting CT (computed tomography) scans.

• Health Innovation Team: Kingston Health Sciences Centre, ArcheOptix, Queen’s University
• Grant amount: $498,667

3) Patient-facing Virtual Care Platform for Maternal & Child Health

Developing and testing a secure online shared care plan available to all caregivers (parents, physicians and therapists) that will serve children living at home with rare, complicated and life-threatening health problems. It will also include appointment scheduling and communication capabilities.

• Health Innovation Team: The Hospital for Sick Children, NexJ Health
• Grant amount: $499,999

4) REdireCT TAVI: Remote ECG Monitoring to Reduce Complications following Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantations

Testing a new digital monitoring tool that could shorten the amount of time patients need to spend in the hospital following transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR).

• Health Innovation Team: Hamilton Health Sciences, m-Health Solutions
• Grant amount: $499,117

5) Enhancing Self-Management for Individuals with Severe Disabilities through a Cloud-Connected Universal Interface: Tecla-e

Piloting a device (Tecla-e) that will allow people with limited mobility to perform a variety of tasks (send and receive emails/text messages, browse the web, read a book, make a phone call, change the room temperature) from a wheelchair.

• Health Innovation Team: Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital, Komodo OpenLabs, John McGivney Children’s Centre, McMaster University, University of Toronto
• Grant amount: $400,581

6) Electronic Bedside Paediatric Early Warning System

Piloting an updated version of software that helps doctors and nurses identify children who are getting sicker, monitor the effects of their treatments, and foster timely decisions about calling for specialist advice or transfer.

• Health Innovation Team: Markham Stouffville Hospital, Bedside Clinical Systems
• Grant amount: $294,576

7) Manage My Pain at Chronic Pain Clinics in Urban, Community, and Rural Hospitals

Testing an app (Manage My Pain) that allows people to adjust their medication under a doctor’s supervision, with a view to expand the program province-wide.

• Health Innovation Team: University Health Network, ManagingLife
• Grant amount: $498,165

8) Designing a Culturally-Appropriate HPV Screening Program with Communities

Designing a human papillomavirus (HPV) screening program that will provide women with a kit they can take home to collect a vaginal sample. After dropping their test into any Canada Post box, results are then available online through a secure portal within a week. Follow-up with a healthcare professional is available. The team is working in partnership with Aboriginal Health Access Centres to produce a solution that is culturally appropriate for Indigenous populations.

• Health Innovation Team: Saint Elizabeth Health, Eve Medical, Women’s College Hospital – Institute for Health System Solutions and Virtual Care, N’Mninoeyaa Aboriginal Health Access Centre, Access Alliance, Roche Diagnostics, Mount Sinai Services
• Grant amount: $469,001

9) Input Health – Lawson Health

Testing and evaluation of a cloud-based platform that will deliver remote care to young people with mental health disorders.

• Health Innovation Team: Lawson Health Research Institute, InputHealth Systems Inc., St. Michael’s Hospital Centre for Excellence in Economic Analysis Research, London Health Sciences Centre, Rogers Communications, St. Joseph’s Health Care London
• Grant amount: $395,109

10) The Cardiovascular iDynaform by Fig.P Software Inc.

Expand the piloting of software that compares a patient’s symptoms to best practice guidelines to aid in the treatment of vascular diseases.

• Health Innovation Team: Women’s College Hospital, Cardiac Care Network of Ontario
• Grant amount: $431,239

11) CAREChart@Home – Setting the New Standard for After Hours Care of Cancer Patients in Ontario

Developing software which combines telemedicine and real-time shared access to online health records to improve symptom management for cancer patients and reduce avoidable visits to emergency departments.

• Health Innovation Team: Southlake Regional Health Centre, Bayshore HealthCare Ltd., MedChart Inc., Sunnybrook Health Science Centre/Odette Cancer Program, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, University Health Network, Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre, Windsor Regional Hospital, Cancer Care Ontario
• Grant amount: $497,620

12) Improving Home and Community Care Through the Use of Algorithms and Advanced Engineering

Developing logistics software that analyzes data to improve efficiency in homecare delivery, making it possible to provide more home care visits with the same number of staff, while also improving patient care.

• Health Innovation Team: Erie St Clair LHIN, World Health Innovation Network, Odette School of Business, University of Windsor, Victorian Order of Nurses (VON), ParaMed Home Health Care, Homecare Intelligence Inc.
• Grant amount: $500,000

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