Government & Policy
OBIO announces 8 early adopter projects
July 22, 2020
TORONTO – The Ontario Bioscience Innovation Organization (OBIO), a not-for-profit organization dedicated to advancing health technology innovation and commercialization, has announced the launch of the first eight Early Adopter Health Network (EAHN) innovation projects.
“OBIO’s EAHN gives Canadian health technology companies an opportunity to access local markets before expanding globally and a strong reason to anchor themselves in Canada,” said Gail Garland (pictured), president and CEO of OBIO. “With EAHN, OBIO is partnering innovators and health organizations to get innovative technologies, including COVID-19-related technologies, into the healthcare system and to patients faster than ever before.”
EAHN is supported through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario as part of a $6.2 million investment in OBIO to boost investment and market access for companies looking to commercialize their medical innovations.
The first EAHN projects will involve evaluations of technologies developed by the following health science companies:
Awake Labs, Toronto: Awake Labs builds technology to measure stress so adults who have an intellectual disability can spend more time enjoying life. Their smartwatch and mobile apps help improve well-being, reduce the use of intrusive measures, and build trusting relationships between people and their caregivers.
Flosonics Medical, Sudbury: The FloPatch helps medical personnel to wirelessly assess and monitor blood flow for critically ill patients, including those with COVID-19, both in the emergency and intensive care rooms.
Huron Digital Pathology, St. Jacobs, Ont.: An artificial intelligence-based image search platform to connect pathologists to the expertise of their colleagues, increasing the speed and efficacy of patient care.
Hypercare, Toronto: A mobile-first digital healthcare collaboration app that enables communication and greater continuity of care by connecting the right providers at the right time for patient-centred care in diverse settings such as hospitals, long term care facilities, community care organizations and family practices.
Ironstone Product Development, Toronto: An innovative oxygen system to help patients in hospitals breathe better, including those with COVID-19.
KA Imaging, Kitchener: World’s only portable dual energy x-ray device to provide screening of asymptomatic COVID-19 patients and improved diagnostic imaging in the ICU which can be deployed at any community hospital or clinic.
Synaptive Medical, Toronto: A novel technology in development to assist in reducing a patient’s chance of COVID-19 infection when undergoing diagnostic imaging at hospitals.
Therapeutic Monitoring Systems, Ottawa: TMS’ Extubation Advisor gives physicians greater confidence in knowing when patients can safely be transitioned off ventilation. The aim of the study is to reduce the chances of complications during treatment of critical respiratory illnesses such as COVID-19.
These technology evaluations will be taking place at the following Ontario health organizations: the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), Hamilton Health Sciences, Health Sciences North, Kingston General Hospital, The Ottawa Hospital, Southlake Regional Health Centre and University Health Network (UHN).
EAHN is driving innovation in the Canadian health science industry into the Ontario health system through an end-to-end process, extending from technology evaluation to commercialization.
Since the EAHN call for applications on May 14, OBIO has evaluated over 70 applications from across Canada and selected the most commercial-ready technologies. Utilizing industry-driven expertise in assessing health technologies, OBIO has partnered each of these eight leading-edge technologies with Ontario healthcare organizations to complete rapid evaluations.
EAHN is flexible and evaluates innovations across the health technology spectrum, from medical devices and COVID-19 solutions to digital tools that manage the continuum of care, following patients on their care journeys. EAHN will get these innovative technologies into the healthcare system faster and disseminated, the organization said.
“As we unite the public and private sector to fight COVID-19, OBIO’s Early Adopter Health Network is exactly the kind of initiative that the federal government is proud to support,” said the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario.
Collaboration between the health science industry and Ontario’s healthcare system creates the opportunity to leverage healthcare as an economic driver for the province.
“Ontario is home to some of the world’s most innovative companies with a strong history of developing state of the art healthcare solutions,” said the Honourable Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. “Our economic recovery will rely on the growth of these companies and the good jobs they create. As we continue to emerge from the pandemic, programs like OBIO’s EAHN get innovative health technologies into our health system and will ensure the growth of the domestic health science industry in Ontario.”
OBIO will work with the selected companies and health organizations to support the evaluation of their technology over a period of up to 12 months. In addition, OBIO will continue to work with all EAHN applicants to prepare them for readiness for future EAHN cohorts.
OBIO is a not-for-profit, membership-based innovation organization engaged in strategy, programming, policy development and advocacy to further the commercialization of human health technologies positioning Canada as a leader in the international marketplace. OBIO advances this goal through collaborative partnerships with industry, the investment community, academia, the health system and government.
About FedDev Ontario
For over 10 years, FedDev Ontario has actively worked to advance and diversify the southern Ontario economy through funding opportunities and business services that support innovation and growth in Canada’s most populous region.