Mississauga's Trillium Health Partners About to Create New Jobs and Make Life Easier for Patients

 

While the vast majority of Canadians are happy with the country's healthcare system overall, many residents have called for change.

Now, it looks like Trillium Health Partners (THP), which operates both the Mississauga Hospital and Credit Valley Hospital, is at the forefront of a change that will not just help streamline aspects of the healthcare system behind the scenes, it will create more opportunities for Canadian companies in the process. 

Earlier this summer, Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business and Export Promotion and health care leaders from across the country, launched a new network that will scale up companies in the health and biosciences.

The Coordinated Accessible Nation Health Network (or the CAN Health Network) is a market comprised of Canada’s leading health care institutions. Going forward, these institutions will partner with small and medium-sized medical technology (MedTech) companies to tackle pressing health care challenges by developing and improving new health care solutions. 

THP says this will allow Canadian companies to compete on a global scale—and benefit the country's healthcare system overall in the process.

The federal government will support a $20 million project to develop the CAN Health Network, with an initial $7 million for the network’s first partners in Ontario and Western Canada. 

As the lead in Ontario, THP’s Institute for Better Health (IBH) received $3.5 million from FedDev Ontario and Western Canada’s lead Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) will receive $3.5 million from Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD).

“Mississauga’s own Trillium Health Partners has moved the needle in unlocking a huge market opportunity for Canadian innovators and companies. I’m pleased and proud 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," Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie said in a statement. 

"Mississauga is proud to be home to more than 380 life science companies that employ more than 25,000 people. It is these kinds of strategic investments by the Government of Canada that I know will only help us grow our local, provincial and national economy.” 

Healthcare professionals say this move will help the healthcare industry—which is a massive part of the Canadian economy—benefit Canadian companies first. 

It will also, ideally, improve the patient experience across the board by giving healthcare providers better and faster access to new made-in-Canada technologies. 

"At a high level, what we're seeing is disruption in a variety of different industries. Healthcare makes up 12 per cent of GDP in Canada, so it's a major market. We've seen disruption of retail, and healthcare is the next one. It's about economic development and how we create prosperity in Canada and it's about elevating Canadian companies," says Dr. Dante Morra, lead, CAN Health Network and Chief of Staff, Trillium Health Partners.

"THP is running this national CAN network. It'll drive economic growth and create prosperity and jobs in Canada." 

Since many people think of Canada's healthcare system as something of a costly entity that relies on tax dollars, not everyone realizes how the system—government funded though it may be—is an important part of the economy. 

THP says the Canadian MedTech industry employs more than 35,000 Canadians with expertise across multiple disciplines. Each year, Canada imports $7 billion of MedTech, while exporting $1.8 billion. 

According to the Canadian Institute for Health Information, overall health care spending in Canada was projected to top $242 billion in 2017, or reach 11.5 per cent of the country's GDP. This figure is expected to continue growing at 3.9 per cent per year, twice the rate of inflation.

Deloitte's 2019 Global Health Care Outlook suggests that global health care spending is projected to increase at an annual rate of 5.4 percent in 2017-2022, from USD $7.724 trillion to USD $10.059 trillion.

The CAN Network is being created to help Canadian companies compete in the trillion dollar global health care market and reclaim a sizeable portion of dollars spent on health care and direct them to homegrown Canadian companies. It’s also designed to identify what challenges health care organizations are facing and explore how technology may act as the solution.

All in all, it could help the healthcare system become more efficient. 

The CAN Health Network has launched in British Columbia,  Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario with plans to grow across Canada.

Each regional network led by a host organization will look for private and public sector organizations who are exploring solutions to challenges that health care organizations face, and are planning to adopt and implement new technologies as the solution.

These organizations will be known as 'Edges'. Edges are defined as the adopters of health technology and will each be responsible for finding key user-defined problems, and then seek solutions to those challenges.

Edges will be paired with Canadian businesses. Together, they will refine their product so that it meets the needs of health care organizations, allowing Canadian companies an "edge" in the market.

THP will lead the coordination of some of Ontario’s best known health care institutions. To date, the CAN Health Ontario Network includes such edges as Bruyere, Grand River Hospital, the Prism Eye Institute, SickKids, Sinai Health System, Sunnybrook Health Science Centre, SE Health, University Health Network and Unity Health. 

Morra says the network will make care more accessible and more streamlined by addressing issues and allowing Canadian companies to present solutions faster. 

"We know there are problems in healthcare and we know that if we have Canadian companies tackling the problems, that's good," Morra says. 

"Currently, some things need to be solved. If you're a hospital or home care provider, some companies will say 'here's a product for you.' We'll have people say what needs to be solved by the market. Canadian companies will be there to solve problems, such as patient experience issues, back office issues, etc." 

Morra says that, right now, it's more difficult for Canadian entrepreneurs to get their products off the ground independently. He says the new network will create connections that will allow for the quicker creation of better healthcare technology.  

"If you want to create a healthcare company to solve a problem, it's hard to start that in your garage. If you have access, you can come into the edge of an organization that's helping you. You can scale quickly across the country and tap into the purchasing power of the Canadian marketplace. Companies will be able to get a headstart and the ability to scale quickly," he says. 

Morra says patients will benefit.

"There are a lot of companies working on everything, such as improving discharge after surgery. Patients will see, as this industry changes, they will have a better experience and a better system of care. Canadian companies will be providing that assistance and technology."

Morra says some of the products that will be produced will be software tools, AI, machine learning, sensors, augmented reality and more. 

"Tech makes life easier in a variety of ways." 

Morra says the initiative is great news for THP overall.

"It's a great moment for Trillium. We're becoming a national leader on innovation and population health and we helped work with the rest of the country in bringing this forward. We've been working in this area for a period of time. This is a really neat moment for Peel and Mississauga." 

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