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H|T: The Healthtech Times – Ontario budget allocates funding to healthtech procurement

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Plus: Neuralink is now accepting Canadian patients.

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Ontario Budget 2024 tops up existing funds and innovation centres, allocates funding to healthtech procurement

The Government of Ontario outlined plans to create a $12-million Health Technology Accelerator Fund to help healthcare service providers buy and use promising new tech to improve patient care.

The new fund “likely won’t make headlines, but it represents a promising pathway for Ontario health technology companies to sell their innovative products and services into the provincial health care system,” Canadian Council of Innovators’ director of Ontario affairs, Skaidra Puodziunas, said in a statement.

(BetaKit)


Elon Musk’s Neuralink now accepting Canadian patients

Elon Musk‘s brain computer interface company Neuralink is now accepting patient applications from Canadians interested in receiving the experimental assistive technology.

The inclusion of Canadians comes as the startup is facing criticism from a U.S. lawmaker who has accused the Food and Drug Administration of failing to properly inspect Neuralink prior to human trials.

To be considered, a Canadian must be over the age of 18 and have “quadriplegia, paraplegia, vision loss, hearing loss, the inability to speak, and/or major limb amputation (affecting above or below the elbow and/or above or below the knee.”

(Global News)


Dialogue acquires IP, other assets of fellow digital health platform Koble

Virtual healthcare platform Dialogue Health Technologies is acquiring assets of Toronto-based digital parenting platform Koble Care for an undisclosed amount.

Dialogue said the deal includes Koble’s entire suite of proprietary content, related software, and intellectual property. Koble founder and CEO Swati Matta will join Dialogue as its head of women’s health.

Koble’s platform aims to support birthing parents, partners, or support figures with personalized guidance for each trimester and postpartum.

(BetaKit)


YC-backed Pelago, a virtual clinic for addiction treatment, raises $58M Series C

Pelago Health, Y Combinator-backed telehealth company that uses cognitive behavioral therapy to help treat people with tobacco, alcohol and opioid addictions, said Thursday it had raised a $58 million Series C round.

Yusuf Sherwani, co-founder and CEO of Pelago, told TechCrunch that the company plans to use the proceeds to bring on more users, advance its clinical research efforts, and develop further products.

(TechCrunch)


Notman House is for sale. A startup-led effort wants to buy it back

Montréal startup space Notman House is officially on the market, and local real estate investment and rental startup Guiker wants to buy it with the help of community investors.

The proposal comes after the OSMO Foundation defaulted on its debts to the Business Development Bank of Canada and Investissement Québec, who provided initial grants to finance Notman House.

“We’re really kind of on the brink of losing Notman House,” Gabriel Sundaram, co-founder of Mission.dev, told BetaKit. “What we believe is that our initiative is the only one that gives an opportunity for Notman’s mission to continue to exist.”

(BetaKit)


Sleep apnea testing firm on fast track to growth with Ottawa tech titan’s backing

Andrew Holmes launched his company, Sleep Efficiency, nearly a decade ago as a side hustle while serving as head of the Queensway Carleton Hospital’s sleep laboratory.

The business, which specializes in home-based sleep apnea testing and analysis, has seen its revenues soar since the start of the pandemic. Sleep Efficiency’s team now includes executive chairman Jason Flick, who built You.i TV into one of Kanata’s biggest software firms before selling the company to WarnerMedia for US$100 million three years ago.

(Ottawa Business Journal)


C100 launches new Growth Program to support later-stage companies

C100 has launched a new program aimed at supporting the growth of later-stage Canadian technology companies.

The new Growth Program is designed to address challenges faced by fast-growing tech companies in Canada, such as the scarcity of risk-tolerant capital, a lack of senior talent capable of assisting with global expansion, and insufficient personalized mentoring for the founders of scaling firms.

(BetaKit)


Alphabet’s Verily lays off employees working in one of its science groups

Verily, the life sciences group owned by Alphabet, laid off staff this week as part of a restructuring in its molecular sciences group, Business Insider has learned.

Verily spokesperson Steven Cooper confirmed the cuts in an email to BI, stating that the affected employees worked on Verily’s Immune Profiler project, which studies the human immune system for improving disease management.

He declined to share the exact number of employees cut, but one source familiar with the situation said 35-40 people were affected.

(Business Insider)


Québec to invest nearly $42 million in new AgTech innovation centre

The Government of Québec is investing nearly $42 million in AgTech incubator Zone AgTech to establish an innovation centre in L’Assomption, a city approximately 50 kilometres north-east of Montréal.

The new innovation centre will include laboratories, technological workshops, conference rooms, and training rooms, to innovative companies in Québec, Zone AgTech said in a statement. There will also be specialized infrastructure and equipment for research and development, such as growth chambers, wet labs, and drones.

(BetaKit)


These Are Lean Times For Fitness Startups — And Not In a Good Way

Over the past four years, as the pandemic boom in home workouts slowly gave way to a return to the gym, investors in fitness companies can attest. Valuations for both public and private companies have declined, investment is down, and fitness-related consumer spending remains tough to forecast.

Changing circumstances are reflected in startup funding. In 2023, global seed through growth-stage funding reported in the Crunchbase fitness category hit the lowest point in years.

(Crunchbase)

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