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Improved patient outcomes are an important goal of healthcare delivery, one that is increasingly made possible by the implementation of innovative technologies. Yet, the development, testing and adoption of healthcare technologies that address gaps in patient care can be a difficult process for Canadian healthcare companies and the healthcare organizations that want to embrace these technologies.
Responding to that challenge is the raison d’être of the not-for-profit, membership-based Ontario Bioscience Innovation Organization (OBIO®). Founded in 2009, OBIO® is committed to furthering the commercialization of Canadian healthcare technology companies through collaborative partnerships with industry, the investment community, academia, patients and the government.
“Canada enjoys a truly robust healthcare innovation ecosystem, which results in solutions that demonstrably improve patient care,” said Dr. Maura Campbell, CEO and President of OBIO®. “OBIO’s role is to help further commercialize innovative solutions and facilitate their adoption into the healthcare system.”
In 2019, OBIO® launched its Early Adopter Health Network (EAHN™), a program that matches Canadian companies that have innovative, commercial-ready health technologies with member healthcare organizations to evaluate and adopt technologies including medical devices, diagnostics, therapeutics and digital health solutions that enhance patient care while also demonstrating efficiencies and cost savings for the delivery of Canadian healthcare. EAHN™ received support from the Government of Canada through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario).
“The relationships that OBIO® is fostering between healthcare innovators and providers through the EAHN™ program is critical to advancing healthcare technologies” said the Honourable Filomena Tassi, Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario. “Matching healthcare innovators with organizations in need of innovative solutions will strengthen our healthcare institutions to provide better healthcare to Canadians.”
“Through EAHN™ and with support from the Health Science North Research Institute, we were able to test Flopatch [a wireless, wearable Doppler ultrasound] and advance the technology to market,” said Andrew Eibl, Chief Operating Officer at Flosonics Medical. The result? Frontline healthcare workers have point-of-care clinical decision-making through rapid, repeatable assessments in just seconds without having to wait for an ultrasound.
Dr. Campbell points out that EAHN™ is not exclusive to the hospital system. “Canadians receive care at different points along the healthcare system, and their experience can be improved wherever it occurs. Consequently, we have welcomed long-term care, primary care, and home and community care to EAHN™. Healthcare organizations can showcase the innovative technologies they have adopted and have access to adoption-ready solutions that other network members have validated.” EAHN™ currently boasts more than 40 healthcare organizations representing over 200 clinical sites, and more than 50 healthcare technology companies.
EAHN™ runs all companies through a rigorous vetting process before matching them with a healthcare organization. Upon successful completion of an evaluation, each member healthcare organization has the opportunity to obtain additional funding to support procurement planning. To date, a wide range of solutions—from an oncology diagnostic and treatment scheduling system to the management of toenail fungus in elderly populations—have benefited from the EAHN™ program.
“As the leading research commercialization hospital in Canada, the University Health Network frequently acts as an incubator for the development of medical technologies. With programs such as EAHN™, partnerships between industry and Canadian hospitals can flourish, where both partners work to advance medical technologies for potential commercial success. This program is a great solution for life science companies in Canada who can in this way power the development of their products for future clinical use,” said Mark Taylor, Director, Commercialization at University Health Network.
We acknowledge the support of the Government of Canada through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario.
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Ontario Bioscience Innovation Organization (OBIO®) founded in 2009, is a not-for-profit, membership based organization engaged in strategy, programming, policy development and advocacy to further the commercialization of Ontario’s human health science companies positioning Ontario as a leader in the international marketplace.