Strong engagement by health community in OCE innovation program

May 27, 2015

The AdvancingHealth Partnering Forum was held May 8 with more than 180 attendees participating.

A recent event designed to explore challenges in the healthcare system and how innovation can improve patient care and hospital operations attracted more than 180 health and government officials, investors and representatives of technology companies.

The AdvancingHealth Partnering Forum was held May 8 in support of OCE’s AdvancingHealth funding program, now in its second call for Proposals with a theme of “Virtual Care and Patient Engagement”. The event was an opportunity to explore avenues for collaboration amongst public healthcare organizations, companies and academic institutions to demonstrate new products and services.

“We are very excited about the intense interest in this program, and the Forum proved to be a great opportunity to share stories, connect problems with solutions, and continue building strong networks within the healthcare innovation community,” says Matt Johnson, an OCE Senior Business Development Manager with lead responsibility for the program. “We’ve heard nothing but positive feedback, noting how valuable it was to be able to make connections and initiate partnerships.”

The event included presentations by numerous health technology companies and a number of healthcare organizations including the Champlain Community Care Access Centre, Mackenzie Health and Ontario Shores Centre of Mental Health Sciences, and Southlake Regional Health Centres.

It’s understood that innovation can be particularly challenging in a healthcare setting where work flow routines tend to be highly structured as a means of ensuring efficiency and minimizing errors and new products can be disruptive to organizational culture or process.

The AdvancingHealth program is helping to overcome some of those difficulties. Offered by OCE in partnership with Ontario’s Ministry of Government and Consumer Services, the program aims to support the adoption of new technologies with the potential to be implemented system wide and broadly improve patient outcomes, user experience, and use of healthcare resources across Ontario.

In her keynote address to Forum participants, Dr. Anne Snowdon, Academic Chair of the International Centre for Health Innovation at the Ivey Business School, noted that support for the scaling up of new technologies is critical. 

“Innovation is about more than good ideas,” she said. “It is about execution and change management. Great ideas done well will still fail if the innovation isn’t adopted and scaled.”

Dr. Trevor Jamieson, Innovation Fellow and Lead for Virtual Health Solutions at the Institute for Health System Solutions and Virtual Care, Women’s College Hospital spoke to participants about “the disruptive potential of virtual care” and challenged the audience to always put the patient “truly at the centre” when designing new products.

OCE is accepting Expressions of Interest for the current call until June 3. The full proposal deadline is August 20.