Ontario awards grants to bring quality healthcare closer to home

Ontario is contributing 12 new projects grants through the Health Technologies Fund to bring quality help closer to home. The fund is there to support the development of Ontario-based technologies that improve care for people, boosts the impact of investments in health innovation and grow health innovation companies.

The twelve grants that were awarded were in the ballpark of $294,000 to $500,000 each totaling $5.5 million. The new projects will include a portable device that detects brain bleeds in traumatic brain injury patients; a platform that allows people with upper body mobility injuries to access smart devices, computers, wheelchair driving controls and more; and a new digital tool that will shorten the time patients need to spend in the hospital following heart surgery by providing high-quality monitoring from home.

“Through the Health Technologies Fund, we are accelerating the development of new tools that address health system challenges and improve patient care,” says Dr. Eric Hoskins, minister of health and long-term care. “With this program, we are investing in our economy and the future of our health care system by supporting made-in-Ontario technologies.”

The $20-million Health Technologies Fund is developed and funded by the Office of the Chief Health Innovation Strategist (OCHIS) and administered by the Ontario Centres of Excellence. This is the second round of Health Technologies Fund investments by Ontario this year. The 2017-18 grants are focused on market-ready projects that were selected for their potential to improve patient outcomes and bring value to the healthcare system.

Investing in innovative health technologies that help patients receive care closer to home is part of Ontario’s plan to create fairness and opportunity during this period of rapid economic change. The plan includes a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, easier access to affordable child care, and free prescription drugs for everyone under 25 through the biggest expansion of Medicare in a generation.

“Ontario has a wealth of innovators looking to connect with clinicians and patients to find new ways of delivering better care, closer to home,” says William Charnetski, chief health innovation strategist for Ontario. “The job of my office and the purpose of the Health Technologies Fund is to help spark that demand-driven innovation and get it embedded into our health system quickly. The fund is part of our value-based innovation framework that has three clear goals: improve patient outcomes, optimize the impact of our investment in health innovation and scale promising Ontario companies.”

The next call for applications for the Health Technologies Fund will be announced in early 2018.

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