The Ottawa Hospital is working with the National Capital Region’s economic development agency on a new program to both improve patient care and support entrepreneurs looking to break into the health-care industry.
Announced Tuesday at the AccelerateOTT conference, the proposed Smart Health Sandbox program will see the local hospital partner with Invest Ottawa and innovation centre Bayview Yards to help businesses commercialize life science innovations.
The partnership will launch with a pre-accelerator program run out of Bayview Yards focused on health-care companies – a startup boot camp of sorts looking to attract both entrepreneurs with an interest in life science as well as physicians and care providers seeking to turn their first-hand experiences into new solutions.
A “sandbox” space will be established at the Ottawa Hospital’s Civic Campus in the next few months to give the program a permanent home in the heart of the capital’s health-care system.
Promoting collaboration between the tech community and health-care professionals is a concept also exemplified in the annual Hacking Health event, a weekend hackathon hosted in Ottawa and around the world that sees teams marry the health sector’s pain points with tech’s solutions.
A release notes that the new program arose from a digital health roundtable hosted by the partners last spring. One of the primary takeaways from that event, which saw more than 120 physicians, clinicians, researchers and entrepreneurs take part, was the establishment of a lab environment like this within the hospital.
“Ottawa’s life science sector is anchored by 130 companies that employ more than 6,000 talented people,” said Invest Ottawa CEO Mike Tremblay in a statement.
“Our Smart Health Sandbox will help to grow this cluster by facilitating collaboration among tech developers and adopters; supporting the commercialization of promising innovations; and accelerating the growth of high potential life science startups.”