Calgary healthtech hub HaTCH announces startups in first cohort


The Calgary-based Health Technology Commercialization Hub (HaTCH) has officially announced its first cohort of companies for its new accelerator program. The healthtech-focused hub is aimed to fast-track the process of getting health innovations into the hands of patients and physicians.

HaTCH is being sponsored by Brightsquid Secure Communications, a Calgary-based healthtech corporation that delivers cyber liability and privacy compliance services to medical practitioners.

“We want to bring the most promising health technology companies to Calgary.”

“Technology adoption in healthcare has lagged behind other industries for several reasons including the critical importance of privacy protection. [HaTCH] will address the major issues challenging emerging health technology companies to get innovations to the hands of patients and providers more quickly,” said Rohit Joshi, co-founder and CEO of Brightsquid Secure Communications Corp.

“We’re proud of the drive and quality of the companies that will fill the first HaTCH cohort to answer real challenges in healthcare today,” he added.

Cohort members, also known as “Hatchlings,” will receive access to expert training, integrations with leading medical software, and a market of end-users in the hundreds of thousands. Companies will also be integrated into the Telus Health Exchange to connect directly into Telus Health electronic medical records.

The new program will offer companies the ability to use HaTCH’s compliant code as well as secure managed hosting, so solutions can be built to comply with the strictest privacy laws in the world. Cohort members will also have the ability to link your app through HaTCH’s health information exchange, as well as privacy compliance, identity services, and marketing.

HaTCH is trying to address two key challenges faced by Canadian healthtech startups. The first is that government-run healthcare organizations aren’t structured to innovate in a convenient or practical way, and the second HaTCH said, is that the majority of healthtech startups do not succeed due to stringent privacy standards, lengthy negotiations to integrate with vendors, and government procurement cycles that can last years.

RELATED: Procurement could be Canada’s biggest barrier to commercializing healthtech innovation

“Our goal is to improve patient health and save lives by improving access to patient information for doctors, medical professionals, and their patients,” said Joshi. “We want to bring the most promising health technology companies to Calgary to commercialize their products into the system and bring innovation to healthcare much more quickly than can happen otherwise.”

Greg’s Wings Projects, an organization dedicated to patient empowerment and innovative thinking in healthcare, is partnering with HaTCH for this year’s program. Through the partnership, cohort members will have access to patient collaborators that are meant to offer input to ensure usability and viability of product market fit.

The hub is also receiving up to $1 million over three years from the Opportunity Calgary Investment Fund (OCIF), which will go toward graduating 20 companies by September 2022. The OCIF was launched by The City of Calgary in April 2018 to support investments that spur growth and create jobs in strategic sectors identified in the Economic Strategy Calgary.

This year’s Hatchlings are:

Mikata Health: Mikata Health allows clinics to set appointment reminders, instructions, and automated pre-visit conversations. Mikata was also recently named the winner of the A100, being recognized as an up-and-coming startup within Alberta.

Bodiometer : Bodiometer has developed a real-time postural assessment iOS app. The tool allows specialists to monitor a patient’s posture in 30 seconds via its desktop or iPad application.

EConsults Canada: EConsults’ platform follows an intuitive path for general practitioners to consult with specialists or physicians with extensive experience in a subject area regarding a patient’s condition.

RELATED: Montreal healthtech hub Neomed announces $25 million expansion

ENTID: ENTiD is building a diagnostic platform for healthcare professionals that diagnose and treat ear disease. The startup’s technology allows clinicians to record and store ear images using its digital otoscope. A computer vision algorithm can then offer a provisional diagnosis while the case is reviewed by ENTID’s consultant team.

GoGet.Fit: GoGet.Fit connects healthcare practitioners, exercise professionals, and educators with individuals that need support in in getting fit.

HAnalytics: HAnalytics is a company dedicated to providing better ways to manage Health Analytics. This health startup is designing a healthcare toolset to help those who are going through emotional events such as a serious illness, to centralize and streamline healthcare data, as well as increase patient engagement.

Image courtesy HaTCH

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle is a Vancouver-based writer with 5+ years of experience in communications and journalism and a lifelong passion for telling stories. For over two years, she has reported on all sides of the Canadian startup ecosystem, from landmark venture deals to public policy, telling the stories of the founders putting Canadian tech on the map.

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