Government & Policy
CAN Health Network expands into Atlantic Canada
May 19, 2021
OTTAWA – The government of Canada announced a one-year extension of the CAN Health Network project in Ontario, with an investment of $3.25 million in Trillium Health Partners through FedDev Ontario. This builds on the government’s previous $3.5 million investment in 2019, which launched the network in Ontario and supports 15 companies to bring solutions to market.
With this extension, bringing total support to $6.75 million, an additional 10 companies will benefit from the Network’s approach to facilitating purchases of made-in-Canada healthcare solutions by domestic healthcare centres.
Minister Ng also announced a more than $2.2-million investment for the Horizon Health Network through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) to support the expansion of the CAN Health Network to Atlantic Canada. Working with the Atlantic innovation ecosystem, CAN Health will identify promising Atlantic companies to partner on commercialization projects through an open and transparent procurement process, with the objective of bringing new innovative solutions to the healthcare system that are developed in Atlantic Canada to scale across Canada and abroad.
“Our government is dedicated to helping businesses succeed and with investments in the CAN Health Network, which will continue to grow and help local innovative health sciences companies work directly with healthcare organizations, sell their technologies and grow their businesses here in Canada, and around the world,” said Mary Ng (pictured), minister of small business and export promotion.
“In the last year, the CAN Health Network has supported 15 healthcare organizations across Canada adopt new technologies developed here at home to support quality patient care,” said Dr. Dante Morra, chair of CAN Health Network and chief of staff, Trillium Health Partners.
He added, “With the expansion into Atlantic Canada, the Network will continue to work with some of the best and most innovative healthcare organizations to support Canadian companies with the commercialization and scaling of their products here at home and abroad. As a result of continued Government of Canada investments, we are working with partners across the health innovation ecosystem to bring new technology to our frontline and growing the Canadian economy by supporting local businesses.”
Horizon Health Network, in New Brunswick, will be taking an active part in the expansion of the network. “Horizon is thrilled to be serving as the regional lead among our member Edges as this exciting initiative extends its reach into Atlantic Canada. Our participation in the CAN Health Network reflects our organization’s commitment to embracing innovation in healthcare technology as a means of improving patient outcomes and care,” said Jennifer Sheils, chief information officer, Horizon Health Network.
One of the networks success stories is CANImmunize, of Ottawa, which created a vaccine booking and management system. “Last year we recognized that the COVID-19 vaccine program was going to require innovative vaccine management software to be successful,” said Dr. Kumanan Wilson, founder and chief executive officer, CANImmunize.
“With support from the federal government through the CAN Health Network, we partnered with Bruyère to test our Clinic Flow solution during the hospital’s annual fall flu vaccine campaign. Clinic Flow has now been adopted in full by the Province of Nova Scotia and in part by Yukon and Prince Edward Island. Without the support of CAN Health and the partnership with Bruyère we would not have been able to create what is being called the best system in Canada and have the opportunity to help Canadians exit the pandemic.”
Another beneficiary of the CAN Health Network has been Precision ADM. “When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, we knew our company had a role to play in supporting healthcare and other front-line organizations. As a leader in Advanced Digital Manufacturing and with innovation at the core of our DNA, we worked to produce Canada’s most advanced reusable medical respirator,” said Jay Singh, chief commercial officer, Precision ADM.
“Partnering with the CAN Health Network and Shared Health Manitoba allowed us to test our product in a real-life setting, get feedback to help us improve, and to share the innovation with Edge members across Canada. We are proud that our made-in-Canada product is supporting the response to pandemic across the country.”
The CAN Health Network currently operates in Ontario, Western and now in Atlantic Canada, with plans to expand to Quebec and the North, to build a national platform that harnesses the purchasing power of healthcare organizations.
The Network’s partners in Ontario include: Bruyère; Grand River Hospital; Hamilton Health Sciences; Prism Eye Institute; St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton; SE Health; The Hospital for Sick Children (Sick Kids); Trillium Health Partners; Sinai Health; Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre; University Health Network and Unity Health Toronto.
The Network’s partners in Atlantic Canada include: Eastern Health Authority; Health PEI; Horizon Health Network; IWK Health Centre; Medavie; Nova Scotia Health; Shannex and Vitalité Health Network.
Through the Government of Canada’s initial investment in CAN Health Network through FedDev Ontario, Trillium Health Partners supported 15 companies to commercialize eight projects through partnerships with 10 health organizations. From this initial investment, an additional six technologies are expected to be commercialized this year.
The Government of Canada has been on the ground helping businesses weather the impacts of the pandemic, through regional development agencies. With the measures outlined in Budget 2021, FedDev Ontario and ACOA will continue to be trusted partners delivering targeted support in their respective regions.