Five-million-dollar Shot in the Arm to Boost Innovation in the Healthcare System

New technologies to improve life-saving communication, help prevent strokes or advance epilepsy treatment will be helping patients thanks to a new Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) program aimed at fostering innovation in Ontario’s healthcare system.

The AdvancingHealth program is administering a $5 million booster shot for some revolutionary innovations being funded under a collaborative research program matching healthcare system needs and challenges with exciting technologies.

Under the program, a partnership between OCE and Ontario’s Ministry of Government and Consumer Services, five healthcare-related information communication technology projects received up to $350,000 each, in addition to cash and in-kind support from industry partners and some of Ontario’s top hospitals.

“This program is providing an unprecedented opportunity for companies and academics to demonstrate innovative products in the Ontario healthcare system,” says Dr. Tom Corr, OCE’s President and CEO. “Ontario has an incredibly strong research and development community that is well positioned to introduce new technologies and innovative processes to the healthcare sector.”

Managed by OCE and funded through Ontario’s Ministry of Government and Consumer Services, AdvancingHealth’s aim is to foster healthcare innovation leading to improved health outcomes, enhanced patient experience and efficient use of the system’s resources.

“Our government is committed to supporting healthcare-related technology innovation across the province to help provide Ontarians with the best and most efficient care possible,” says David Orazietti, Minister of Government and Consumer Services. “The AdvancingHealth program will allow the public and private sectors to work together to build ground-breaking products and services. This program will help improve the healthcare procurement process, while also creating new jobs and will support the province’s economy.”

Also partnering in the program is Western University’s Ivey International Centre for Health Innovation, which will analyze challenges and opportunities for innovation adoption and the sustainability of early market engagement established through this program.

For a full list of projects and participants, please see the attached backgrounder.

A call for expressions of interest for the second round of the AdvancingHealth program is now open. Full details can be found on the OCE website.

Additionally, a panel on the topic of innovation in the healthcare system will be held as part of OCE’s Discovery conference on April 27-28 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.