Government & Policy
$5.5 million invested in West’s healthtech
December 22, 2020
EDMONTON – Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD), announced more than $5.5 million in federal support for Alberta-made medical advancements that keep Canadians healthy while contributing to a stronger, more diverse economy.
Four Alberta-based organizations and companies are receiving WD support.
Circle Cardiovascular Imaging Inc.
Circle Cardiovascular Imaging, a Calgary-based health technology company, is receiving $2,647,000 in repayable WD funding to develop and commercialize new products that provide physicians with the ability to accurately diagnose complex cardiovascular diseases. Funding will support the company to integrate artificial intelligence into its diagnostic tools.
“It is an honour to receive WD’s support and we are proud to convey abroad that our government greatly invests in impactful healthcare innovations,” said Greg Ogrodnick (pictured), CEO, Circle Cardiovascular Imaging. “This funding will allow earlier market access for a new software suite that will assert Circle Cardiovascular Imaging’s leadership position while providing better cardiac assessment solutions for Canadians and people all over the globe.”
Institute of Health Economics
The Institute of Health Economics (IHE), an Alberta-based not-for-profit organization, is receiving $953,250 in WD funding over three years to support approximately 30 western Canadian health companies with customized economic analysis that will help to determine the value of their products and technologies. IHE will help companies develop and commercialize innovative products faster by enabling their testing in clinical settings and providing product analysis. Up to 20 products are expected to be developed for market through this initiative.
“Health systems are becoming increasingly more rigorous in terms of the economic evidence they expect to see from companies before deciding to pay for their innovations,” said Dr. Christopher McCabe, executive director and CEO, Institute of Health Economics.
“The IHE is very pleased that Western Economic Diversification has provided support to allow us to help life science companies with promising, market-ready technologies to develop a stronger adoption case in support of market access,” he added. “This support builds on investments from the province of Alberta and it is great that all levels of government are working together to support the health industry to be as competitive as possible.”
Health City, an Edmonton-based not-for-profit organization, is receiving $200,000 in WD funding to deliver a program for approximately 12 digital technology companies to learn how to integrate their products into regional healthcare information technology systems. A key partner in this project is Brightsquid, a Calgary-based health technology company that provides secure communication tools, privacy compliance expertise, and training to healthcare providers.
“The opportunity for innovative companies to plug into our health system to serve as a development platform is transformational. Validating and testing novel digital innovations in a safe way will drive better health outcomes and be a key driver for Alberta’s post-pandemic recovery,” said Reg Joseph, CEO, Health City.
Kent Imaging Inc.
Kent Imaging, a Calgary-based health technology company, is receiving $1,750,000 in repayable WD funding to introduce the next generation of its medical imaging devices. The enhancements to its existing product line are expected to further support wound care clinicians and vascular surgeons in assessing the state of a patient’s tissue health and quickly determining the required level of treatment. This builds on WD’s previous funding of more than $1.1 million in repayable funding for Kent Imaging to introduce its imaging technology into the surgical market.
“We are very excited to be a recipient of investment through WD’s Business Scale-up program to assist Kent Imaging in leveraging our innovative imaging technology, SnapshotNIR,” said Pierre Lemire, CEO, Kent Imaging. “Kent’s goal is to provide physicians immediate insight into the ability of tissue to heal, thus improving outcomes and reducing complications during treatment. This investment allows us to accelerate our product innovation and expand our global technology footprint.”
With WD support, Alberta companies operating in the health and life sciences sector will have earlier access to clinical settings to test their products, allowing them to develop and commercialize innovative products faster and more efficiently.
This is critical to positioning Canadian companies to respond to health crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic and to further growing Alberta’s health technology sector.