September 11 2023 | Toronto, ON & Halifax, NS – Canada’s healthcare system needs an upgrade. Across the country, hospitals and care centres are marked by long wait times and an overburdened workforce. While healthcare staffing issues continue to be a struggle, the technologies used within the healthcare setting are often overlooked as a component of what is holding back the system. The emerging Canadian medical technology (medtech) sector, valued at over $7.8 billion, might be the solution.
Canadian medtech companies are global leaders in the development of innovative medical technologies, however they are perpetually seeking skilled workers to keep up with the growing demands. A highly skilled medtech workforce is required to support this burgeoning sector.
Today, Medventions Atlantic, the second official program in Canada, launched with 12 inaugural fellows embarking on the program. Founded in 2016 by Sunnybrook Research Institute (SRI) in Toronto, Medventions is hospital-based commercialization-focused fellowship program designed to equip motivated science, medicine, and engineering students with the proper business acumen to fuel Canada’s medtech sector.
“Medventions equips fellows with entrepreneurial and intrapreneurial skills to successfully launch innovation in healthcare” said Dr. Kullervo Hynynen, Co-Executive Director of INOVAIT and Vice President of Research at SRI.
“The program serves a multidisciplinary community, all working together to identify needs and creative solutions for those needs in a variety of clinical settings.” said Dr. Brian Courtney, Director of Medventions at SRI.
Fellows attend courses and seminars throughout the program to equip them with well-rounded and contemporary knowledge for commercializing medical devices in Canada.
Run by the Nova Scotia Health Innovation Hub, Medventions Atlantic offers hands-on medical device innovation experiences, right in the heart of Halifax.
“We are so pleased to announce this work with Sunnybrook Research Institute and INOVAIT as we continue to establish impactful cross sectoral partnerships in health system transformation throughout Canada and around the world. This comprehensive and immersive program will enrich participant careers and add significant value to our healthcare system,” says Dr. Gail Tomblin Murphy, Vice President of Research, Innovation, and Discovery and Chief Nurse Executive, Nova Scotia Health. “At the Health Innovation Hub, we have seen the power of an interdisciplinary approach to innovation. I look forward to watching our impressive calibre of first cohort fellows engage with this rigorous framework for learning”.
“Our healthcare system needs new thinking to address persistent challenges. Through our Action for Health plan, we are committed to creating more opportunities for innovation and hands-on training to encourage that thinking. The nationally recognized Medventions program, in partnership with Sunnybrook Research Institute and INOVAIT, is a great example of the kind of enhanced training we aim to offer here in Nova Scotia” says Michelle Thompson, Minister of Health and Wellness, Nova Scotia.
The Medventions Atlantic and Medventions Toronto programs will run synchronously to provide a unique opportunity for fellows of both programs to connect and forge relationships to strengthen a national medtech network. The Medventions Atlantic Fall 2023 program will focus on addressing technological gaps related to psychiatry and surgical oncology. The Medventions Toronto Fall 2023 program will focus on the technological breakthrough opportunities within interventional cardiology.
The launch of this program could not have happened without the support of INOVAIT, Canada’s image-guided therapy network led by SRI and funded in part through the Government of Canada’s Strategic Innovation Fund, along with the unwavering support of the Nova Scotia Health Innovation Hub.
“The development of advanced medical technologies allows us to provide the best care to Canadians,” said The Honorable François-Phillipe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development. “That’s why our government is proud to support projects like INOVAIT’s that encourage the advancement of such technologies, and in particular Medventions. This program paves the way for the advancement of the medical field and the creation of a skilled workforce that will benefit Canadians for years to come”.
Establishing a robust workforce to overcome the technological hurdles in our healthcare system is critical to addressing this crisis. Through programs like Medventions, Canada is equipping the next generation of medtech entrepreneurs to transform what is possible through healthcare.
Looking to learn more about medtech in Canada? The Medventions Lecture Series is a weekly educational lecture that explores topics related to developing and launching new medical technology including business development, regulation, and quality management systems. These lectures are available and open to the public to register. They are offered in-person and online. Visit www.medventions.ca/lecture-series to learn more and to register.