UCalgary Initiatives Help Healthcare Innovations Succeed in Market | New
The path to innovation is complicated, and increasingly within the life sciences industry. Businesses face challenges in product development, market fit, regulatory compliance, and business readiness. Through the Health innovation platform Partnerships (HIPP), Alberta Innovates supported four new University of Calgary initiatives focused on building digital health-related products and services to help customers in Alberta and beyond.
“At Alberta Innovates, we work with the same clients as the universities”, says Dr Raja Mita, PhD, Executive Director of Healthcare Innovation. “We need to bring together our skills, expertise and infrastructure to create a coordinated ecosystem of health innovation that will provide a competitive advantage for innovation in Alberta.
Focus on digital health
Healthcare spending is becoming increasingly unsustainable, and with a growing aging population, a higher prevalence of chronic disease and the need for multidisciplinary care, validated digital health technologies are enabling the delivery of more efficient and patient-centered care. . This includes digital health products such as connected devices, immersive and simulation technologies, and wearable devices.
“Patients want to be part of their own care”, Mita said. “To do this, we need connected digital health devices to provide better access to care.” With the accessibility and reliability of the Internet across the province, patients could use their smartphones, watches and other home devices to securely access their health data and manage their care with their health care providers. health.
These platforms create the infrastructure, tools or resources necessary to enable evidence-based digital health technologies to accelerate innovation and health research.
University of Calgary Health Innovation Platform partnerships
W21C Digital Health Collaborative
For more than 17 years, the O’Brien Institute for Public Healthof W21C Research and Innovation Center (W21C) has provided research and validation services designed to improve the efficiency and safety of healthcare systems. They work with healthcare innovators – academics, start-ups, industry and public sector partners – to ensure that new technologies meet the gaps and needs of the healthcare system.
W21C creates a comprehensive service delivery platform to further enhance support for digital health innovators on their path to commercialization. This model will include data brokerage, research and concierge services, validation testing and training. Led by Dr Chad Saunders, PhD, aAssociate Professor, Haskayne School of Business, this enhanced delivery model will provide a one-stop-shop for Increase the success of digital health innovators through a holistic and adaptable approach.
Modernizing the Primary Care Electronic Medical Records Ecosystem in Alberta
Currently, many health related applications are available and in development for patients and healthcare providers, but the integration of these applications into electronic medical record (EMR) systems so that they can be used. This platform, led by Dr Tyler Williamson, PhD, Associate Director, Health Informatics Center at Cumming School of Medicine (CSM), is developing an application programming interface (API) tool and an “App Store” environment that will allow various healthcare software companies to seamlessly connect to existing and future EMR systems. This API will provide secure access to data and tools that patients and healthcare providers can use to create an enhanced clinical workflow to improve patient care.
Riley Brandt, University of Calgary
“These member-led platforms of the O’Brien Institute support digital health innovations to improve the performance of health systems,” says Dr. Tom Stelfox, MD, PhD, Scientific Director of the O ‘Institute Brien and professor at the CSM. “Integrating patient-centered digital health technologies into our healthcare system could make care easier and better for our communities.“
Integrated management platform to accelerate clinical trials (IMPACT) expansion
Innovate Calgary’s IMPACT program in the Life Sciences Innovation Hub (LSIH) supports start-ups with clinical trials and regulatory approvals as they prepare their product for marketing authorizations from Health Canada or the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This process is complicated and requires immense documentation, as well as an established Quality Management System (QMS). QMS software is commercially available but is prohibitively expensive for a start-up business. After listening to customers, the platform led by Dr Derek Exner, MD, Executive Director of IMPACT and Associate Dean, Clinical Trials at CSM, integrates a QMS module into its existing TRACr regulatory software.
IMPACT is the preferred supplier to the Creative Destruction Lab (CDL) – Rockies and supports CDL teams around the world. The functionality of the Quality Management System will provide a cost effective solution for international healthcare startups looking to market in Canada.
Academics use their research as the basis for innovative digital technologies, but are often unaware of the steps required to translate that technology into a product in order to create lasting impact. Jordana Armstrong, Associate Director, Clinical and Social Innovation at Innovate Calgary, in partnership with 321 Academy of Growth, designs an acceleration program for UCalgary researchers who develop digital health innovations.
The digital compass platform will offer educational content and workshops to help university researchers develop digital tools and technologies. This will provide the foundation for how to nurture these technologies into a viable product that can be scaled to create impact and meet user needs.
“Digital Compass could become a power program for other University of Calgary platforms, creating an internal innovation pipeline,” says Dr Nima Najand, PhD, Associate Director, Business Development, LSIH. “When academics go through this program, then they may need regulatory support, which IMPACT can help them with, and any real-world evidence gathering will lead to the W21C Collaboratorium.”
The four academic platforms and seven additional platforms from across Alberta are quickly reiterating their proof of concept with healthcare innovators in a full proposal for August. Alberta Innovates is also working with each of the platforms to see how they can leverage the capabilities of the other to create a springboard to move each platform forward.