Mississauga's Trillium Health Partners to lead pan-Canadian network

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Mississauga’s Trillium Health Partners (THP) will lead the Coordinated Accessible National (CAN) Health Network to help drive national growth in the medical technology sector.

“This is really an interesting time for Mississauga and Trillium Health Partners,” Dr. Dante Morra, Chief of Staff at THP and Lead of CAN Health Network. “It’s really a proud moment.”

The federal government selected THP and late last July Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business and Export Promotion, announced the Government of Canada will invest $20 million in the project.

The network will receive an initial $7 million in funding for the initial stages of the project, with Ontario receiving $3.5 million from FedDev Ontario and Western Canada receiving $3.5 million from Western Economic Diversification Canada.

The Institute for Better Health, which was established by THP in 2014, will be the lead partner in Ontario and will work with a combination of hospitals, home care agencies and private institutions to identify and commercialize medical technologies.

The Ontario network includes nine health care organizations: Bruyère, Grand River Hospital, Prism Eye Institute in Toronto, SickKids, Sinai Health System, Sunnybrook Health Science Centre, SE Health, University Health Network and Unity Health.

In Western Canada, the Saskatchewan Health Authority is the lead partner, working with four health care organizations: Alberta Health Services, Children’s Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba, O’Brien Institute for Public Health (which is part of the University of Calgary) and Vancouver Coastal Health.

Each regional network will look for opportunities to use medical technology in the private and public sector, according to a health network fact sheet.

By having Canadian companies working together with leading health-care organizations, Morra said the network will be able to develop solutions to problems that health-care practitioners are experiencing.

For example, Morra said many health-care organizations have scheduling issues with nurses. But by using predictive scheduling technologies, Canadian tech companies are helping to solve that problem.

Morra said overall health care spending in 2017 was 12 per cent of Canada’s gross domestic product (GDP), with spending topping $242 billion.

The international market for medical technologies is estimated at $500 billion a year, according to the federal government.

“I am pleased to see a hospital in Mississauga playing a pivotal role of strengthening the bond between Canadian health care organizations and Canadian MedTech and bioscience companies,” said Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie in a statement. “Mississauga is proud to be home to more than 380 life science companies that employ more than 25,000 people.”

Gary Ryan, executive lead for the network at THP, said the CAN Health Network is still in the early stages. After setting up governance and organizational structure of the network and organizing finances, Ryan said they expect to start identifying health challenges by the end of October. They are hopeful the first companies will be identified by the end of this year and testing products will start early in the new year.