Government invests in digital health accelerator program
UCW News Team | June 01, 2016
As part of the federal government’s initiative to promote innovation to make Canada competitive in the global market, the government has announced an investment of $600,000 to help the Interface Health Society establish a digital health accelerator. This announcement was made by the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and the Minister Responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada, Honourable Navdeep Bains,
The funding is provided by the Western Diversification Program to support the Interface Health Society and its online database and communication platform. The platform will bring researchers, innovators, consumers and commercial partners in digital health together to facilitate the commercialization of products through access to resources, expertise and capital.
Interface Health Society will organize the Interface Challenge, which will be open to Canadian and global digital health innovators. Participants will come up with innovative and creative solutions for problems faced by the industry. The Interface Health Society will also be organizing and hosting an Interface Summit annually to bring members of the Society together to demonstrate and showcase their expertise, products and services, offer networking opportunities, and forge new business leads.
This will be an excellent opportunity for digital health technology companies in British Columbia to create new products for their customer base. Estimates reveal that there are currently around 150 companies in this sector in the province, including Ayogo Health, Lions Gate Medical and Providence Health Care Research Institute. TELUS is also part of the digital health technology community along with Genome BC, which provides funding for genomic research.
Bains said that by supporting the project, the Canadian government will connect innovators with resources to help them come up with new solutions to challenges faced by the healthcare industry.
Interface Health Founder and CEO Michael Bidu said he envisages the global digital health accelerator supporting the growth of start-ups in life sciences and health-related sectors. He added that it would support small business owners as well as mid-sized companies in the healthcare sector in Western Canada by empowering them and offering access to new markets in the region along with strategic resources.
Small business owners and entrepreneurs in the healthcare industry can also benefit from a UCW MBA degree. The program helps MBA students learn the importance of innovation and use strategic decision-making to overcome business-related challenges to ensure success in a global and competitive business environment.