Pfizer Canada has revealed the first cohort of its inaugural healthcare innovation accelerator, created in partnership with Kitchener-Waterloo hub Communitech. The accelerator said it will provide $1.4 million to support the cohort.
Communitech and Pfizer Canada announced the creation of Healthcare Hub in mid-May by putting out an open call for startups to pitch solutions surrounding vaccination tracking, drug shortage planning, women’s health, oncology diagnostics, and drug coverage.
Ottawa-based CANImmunize, Richmond Hill-based PharmaGuide, and Calgary-based Wave View imaging make up the Healthcare Hub’s first cohort. Pfizer said its $1.4 million will consist of in-kind support and business donations to help the startups design, develop, manufacture, and scale their respective solutions over the next few months. Pfizer Canada said it would not be taking an equity stake in the startups.
Pfizer said Communitech would support the startups in bringing their solutions to market. Since they are all different stages of development, Pfizer said the cohort has no specified end date. Pfizer said the end-goal of the cohort is to enhance the patient experience in important areas of need in Canadian healthcare.
Healthcare Hub’s call for applicants originally posed nine healthcare challenges for applicants to address. Pfizer said it received over 30 proposals, then it and other health system stakeholders considered factors around applicant proposals including market readiness, desirability of the solution to eventual users, and scalability.
CANImmunize runs a vaccine-tracking platform aimed to digitize vaccine history and update users on the latest vaccination guidance. It currently offers vaccine-tracking solutions for individuals, employers, and governments. While currently used in Nova Scotia, CANImmunize says its partnership with Pfizer will help it enter new markets.
PharmaGuide is behind pharmacist-focused platform PHOX. PharmaGuide says PHOX provides pharmacists with solutions for pill-counting, documentation, and training resources among other uses. Its proposal to the accelerator is a patient portal that integrates artificial intelligence into the drug coverage process, meant to predict insurance coverage and increase transparency.
Wave View Imaging develops breast scanning technology for clinical use. Wave View says its technology sends microwave signals through the breast and a 2D image of the electrical properties is reconstructed in less than a minute while providing physicians with supporting data.
Pfizer says the Canadian hub is one of 18 Pfizer Healthcare Hubs globally. Others are located inFrance, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Israel, and Singapore, among other cities.
Featured image courtesy Pfizer.