HIT it up (health care IT, that is…)
Technological developments in the last decade have radically and rapidly changed the average Canadian lifestyle. Our research practices and social habits have moved online with society’s transition to a mobile, quick-access style of information access and distribution.
But what do these changes mean for health care? Innovative companies have a new vision for the delivery of health care, a vision in which modern technology is leveraged to improve the speed, accuracy and personalization of diagnosis and treatment.
The health care IT portfolio includes, for example:
- Consumer digital health products such as smartphone apps that allow patients to take control of their own care
- Analytic platforms in helmets and watches which alert the wearer to get tested for concussions or heart problems
- Monitoring software that tracks the spread of infections within hospitals
- Online health management tools that help a patient find a local doctor or keep track of their prescription schedule
- Medical devices that improve the success of surgical interventions
Such innovations offer promising and potentially game-changing solutions for many gaps in our current health care model. But each division has unique business development challenges.
Entrepreneurs in the health care IT sector face challenges that span the divide between the life sciences and information technology groups. Some of the challenges include:
- Clinical validation
- Technical development
- Regulatory issues
- Often-prohibitive health care policy
- Hospital infrastructure that may not readily adapt to change
All start-ups have hurdles to overcome, but for health care IT ventures in particular, the potential for improving health care delivery — not just in Canada, but in the wider world as well — is great motivation to stick with the cause.
MaRS’ burgeoning health care IT client portfolio contains many such dedicated futurists, and to these clients, I say: keep an ear to the ground for upcoming Peer-to-Peer sessions and programs designed just for you!
Check out the following resources for more information: