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Ontario Centre of Innovation
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Media Releases

Ontario Unveils Groundbreaking Digital Health Projects as a Result of the Innovating Digital Health Solutions Program Achieving Over million in Cost Savings

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Toronto, ON (June 27, 2024) – Today, the Ontario Centre of Innovation (OCI) announced the performance outcomes of all 13 projects under the Innovating Digital Health Solutions (IDHS) program, an initiative funded by the Government of Ontario. IDHS program encouraged applications from Ontario Health Teams (OHTs), inclusive of Indigenous Health Care Organizations and other health service providers [HSPs] to work in collaboration with Ontario-based technology vendors in evaluating, adopting, and implementing digital health technologies. The program demonstrated significant commercialization and economic success through six-month projects that fostered partnerships between health care providers and Ontario-based technology vendors. These collaborations focused on evaluating, adopting, and implementing market-ready digital health and virtual care solutions that address Ontario’s health system priorities. By aligning with the Ministry of Health’s Digital First for Health Strategy, the program aimed to enhance patient outcomes, optimize health innovation investments, and support scalable solutions.

“Our government is taking bold, innovative action to connect more people to the convenient care they need, where and when they need it,” said Sylvia Jones, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “The changes that our government has made to digital health are providing more people with convenient tools to create a more seamless health care experience while improving access to key services to provide people with the right care, in the right place.

As the program has now been completed, the projects were able to successfully implement digital health technologies across five Ontario Health Regions. Outcomes reported achieved through these deployments have been significant; 28 technologies implemented, over 28,000 end users involved in the implementations, $3.62 million in cost savings realized, 108 process/system efficiencies realized, 105 jobs created/retained, 33 new customers secured, $3.3 million in revenue generated and over $17 million in follow-on investment secured.

13 Innovating Digital Health Solutions projects were approved, deploying close to $8 million in project funding from September 2023 to March 2024. This funding was significant in aiding the success of these deployments across five of the six Ontario Health Regions. 92% of the projects have established formal continuation and plan to scale post-project.

“Through the Innovating Digital Health Solutions program, we have seen firsthand how targeted investments in the adoption of digital health technologies can transform healthcare delivery across Ontario,” said Claudia Krywiak, President and CEO of the Ontario Centre of Innovation (OCI). “Working closely with the Ministry of Health, and Ontario Health, our collaborative efforts have not only improved patient outcomes but also driven significant economic growth and job creation. These projects are a testament to the power of innovation and partnership in addressing the healthcare challenges of today and tomorrow.”

The implementation of digital health technologies significantly enhanced the experience and outcomes for patients and clinicians, leading to widespread adoption and improved healthcare delivery during the life of the projects throughout the province.

“We are revolutionizing health care delivery by fostering strong partnerships between Ontario Health Teams and local technology vendors. Through these collaborations, we have enabled the implementation and deployment of digital health solutions that directly address health care providers’ needs and optimize patient outcomes.” said Raed Kadri, Vice President, Strategic Initiatives, Business Development and Head of OVIN at OCI. “Enhancing access to healthcare for Ontarians through innovative health initiatives is critical for improving Ontario’s healthcare sector and growing our healthcare workforce. We remain committed to supporting these innovative initiatives and continuing to contribute to Ontario’s leadership in the global health innovation landscape.”

For more detailed information, visit: https://tinyurl.com/ye29jj5h

“The success of the Innovating Digital Health Solutions program highlights the incredible potential of digital health technologies to revolutionize our healthcare system,” said AVP of Strategic Program, Philippa King.

Media Contact
Alicia Pereira

About the Ontario Centre of Innovation
The Ontario Centre of Innovation (OCI) brings industry, academic, and government partners together to invest in collaborative R&D, technology development, and commercialization opportunities that generate the highest return on innovation for Ontarians.

As an ecosystem connector, OCI initiates unparalleled partnership opportunities, develops, and manages successful industry-academic collaborations, supports high-potential SMEs in commercializing ground-breaking research, and provides hands-on training and skills development opportunities for the next generation of highly skilled talent.

OCI drives economic growth and job creation through investments in the development, commercialization, and adoption of advanced technologies.

For more information: https://www.oc-innovation.ca

About Innovating Digital Health Solutions Program (IDHS) Projects
IDHS supports Ontario Health Teams (OHTs) and technology vendors in implementing innovative digital and virtual care solutions. The program addresses specific challenge statements to improve patient-centered care and enhance service efficiency. Approved projects include:

AI-Enhanced Emergency Care: University Health Network in collaboration with Hero AI, are integrating advanced AI technologies to monitor high-risk patients, optimize resource allocation, and improve communication in emergency departments.

Wound Care Assessment: William Osler Health System (WOHS) in collaboration with Swift Medical, are implementing cutting-edge wound care technology for more accurate wound assessments, better documentation, and improved patient care.

Streamlined Navigation: The Mississauga OHT, Partners Community Health in collaboration with Caredove, are streamlining patient navigation by creating a centralized intake and referral system, reducing ED visits for non-urgent issues, and improving healthcare access. 

Mental Health Triage: Kingston Health Sciences Centre (KHSC), in collaboration with OPTT Inc., are implementing an innovative digital mental health approach combining AI-assisted triage, online psychotherapy programs, and AI symptom monitoring to reduce wait times and improve access to mental healthcare.

Enhanced Healthcare Communication:  Brightshores Health System in collaboration with Langs; Huron Perth Healthcare Alliance; Guelph Family Health Team; St. Thomas Elgin Hospital; Joseph Brant Hospital; North Simcoe Family Health Team and Hypercare are enhancing care coordination by facilitating secure communication among healthcare professionals, improving patient care and safety.

Breast Cancer Care: North York General Hospital in collaboration with MyJourney are improving breast cancer patient treatment and survivorship care and breast health management by offering personalized educational resources and streamlined information sharing between patients and their clinical teams.

Smart Cardiac Emergency Care: Ottawa Heart Institute in collaboration with Badal.io are implementing a secure mobile-enabled platform designed to streamline communication between emergency doctors and interventional cardiologists, aiming to reduce costs and improve efficiency.

Geospatial Health Analysis: The Northern York South Simcoe OHT, Southlake Regional Health Centre in collaboration with ESRI Canada and Carleton University are enhancing health system planning by using geospatial visualization tools to identify local health needs and gaps in service accessibility.

Measurement-Based Mental Health Care: Brightshores Health System in collaboration with Greenspace Mental Health Ltd. are implementing measurement-based care for mental health and addiction services, improving data-driven decision-making and client engagement.

Integrated Patient Records: Durham OHT andUrgent Care Collaborative Inc. in collaboration with Health Espresso are implementing a patient-centric platform that enables coordinated care delivery, data collection, and system navigation via a ‘One Patient, One Record. Empowering the coordination of care delivery to patients both in-person and/or virtually.

Improving Patient Experience:  Queens Square Family Health Team in collaboration with Chime Technology Inc. and Queen Square Doctors are improving coordination of scheduling for clinical staff, clinic checks-in, and how to effectively manage clinical exam rooms and other fixed resources more efficiently.

Timely Stroke Treatment in Northern Ontario:  Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre in collaboration with Aurora Constellations are providing timely access to treatment for patients with suspected acute strokes in Northwestern Ontario. Due to the vast size of the region and the need for frequent patient transfers, this solution unites physicians on a single, design-driven platform. By providing essential expertise and guidance on the best methods and locations for care, ensuring patients receive prompt and effective treatment for their time-sensitive conditions.

Psychometric mental health screening:  Grand Bend Area Community Health Centre in collaboration with Continicare to effectively triage, evaluate and measure patients’ mental health.