Alberta's health and life sciences sector receives $5.5M funding boost

By Hiba Kamal-Choufi

Four Alberta-based organizations were awarded a combined total of more than $5.5 million from the Canadian government through Western Economic Diversification Canada.

Health City is receiving $200,000 to deliver a program for digital technology companies to learn how to integrate their products into regional healthcare information technology systems.

Health City CEO Reg Joseph told Taproot Edmonton that this project, which is in partnership with local health technology company Brightsquid, has not been done anywhere else in the country.

"We believe this can be scalable to other jurisdictions in Canada. This is part of the reason why (Western Economic Diversification Canada) is interested, because they're looking at it from a Canadian perspective," Joseph told Taproot.

Four Alberta-based health and life sciences companies received $5.5 million in federal funding. (Unsplash/CDC)

Four Alberta-based health and life sciences companies received $5.5 million in federal funding. (Unsplash/CDC)

"What we've created basically is sort of a middle layer that takes care of the security, the quality, the robustness, all those kind of things," said Joseph. "We think that we've created the platform, where companies can rapidly test and validate their solutions."

Other organizations that received funding include health technology company Kent Imaging, which will use $1,750,000 to introduce the next generation of its medical imaging devices.

Sandra Jenks, vice-president of marketing, said the company will use the funding provided through WD to expand Kent's footprint on a global scale.

The Institute of Health Economics (IHE) will get $953,250 in funding to help companies develop and commercialize innovative products faster.

"This support builds on investments from the province of Alberta and it is great that all levels of government are working together to support the health industry to be as competitive as possible," said IHE executive director and CEO Dr. Christopher McCabe in a statement.

Health technology company Circle Cardiovascular Imaging is also receiving $2,647,000 to develop and commercialize new products that provide physicians with the ability to accurately diagnose complex cardiovascular diseases.