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OBIO Announces First Eight Early Adopter Health Network Projects to Drive Innovation into the Health System

January 7, 2021

Logo EAHN

TORONTO, ON – July 21, 2020 – The Ontario Bioscience Innovation Organization (OBIO®), a not-for-profit organization dedicated to advancing health technology innovation and commercialization, is proud to announce the launch of the first eight Early Adopter Health Network (EAHN™) innovation projects.

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 health care organizations to complete rapid evaluations.

“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, 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 health care system and to patients faster than ever before, realizing both the health and economic benefits that health science innovators within our own country can offer.”

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 health care system faster and disseminated.

The first EAHN projects will involve evaluations of the following leading-edge technologies developed by the following scaling health science companies:

Awake Labs of Toronto, Ontario: 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 of Sudbury, Ontario: 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 of St. Jacobs, Ontario: 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 of Toronto, Ontario: 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 of Toronto, Ontario: An innovative oxygen system to help patients in hospitals breathe better, including those with COVID-19.

KA Imaging of Kitchener, Ontario: 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 of Toronto, Ontario: 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 of Ottawa, Ontario: 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).

“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. “A perfect example of homegrown innovation, this important, industry-driven partnership will get innovative technologies into health care organizations more quickly, and help scaling health science companies to access their local markets, enabling them to grow here and abroad to benefit all Canadians.”

Collaboration between the health science industry and Ontario’s health care system creates the opportunity to leverage health care 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 health care 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.

About OBIO

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

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. 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.

Read the full news release on Business Wire: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20200721005513/en

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