H|T: The Healthtech Times – Neuralink encounters its first problem in a human patient

Plus: Oracle’s $28-billion Cerner healthtech acquisition is losing clients.

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Neuralink’s First Brain-Chip Implant in a Human Appeared Flawless. There Was a Problem.

Neuralink encountered a problem with the implant in its first human patient, Noland Arbaugh, that reduced the amount of data it could capture from his brain, according to a blog post the company published on Wednesday.

Some data was lost because a number of the implant’s threads that had been placed in Arbaugh’s brain came out. The company, owned by Elon Musk, didn’t disclose the reason why some threads retracted unexpectedly.

(The Wall Street Journal)

Xatoms is planning a quantum leap to clean the world’s water

It was on a backpacking trip to India at the age of 14 that Diana Virgovicova got her first glance at the human cost of water pollution.

Rivers play a vital role in the natural ecosystem and the livelihoods of millions in India, but in the suburbs of Mumbai, Virgovicova observed that these critical waterways ran black, flowing with a hazardous mix of waste chemicals, dyes, and other pollutants. To her, it was immediately obvious that this was more than an environmental reality.

People were using the polluted water for showers, with young girls using the water to wash during their menstrual cycles, which could make them sick.


Oracle’s $28 Billion Cerner Health Tech Bet Sputters With Lost Customers and Slipping Sales

When Oracle Corp. spent $28 billion two years ago to acquire electronic-records company Cerner Corp., it promised a revolution in health care technology.

Instead, interviews with more than 30 current and former employees and customers show the software maker has lost at least a dozen of Cerner’s large clients. Bold product ideas, these people say, have also taken a backseat to the unglamorous work of upgrading legacy systems, with Oracle engineers surprised by the amount of effort required to implement changes and move customers to the cloud.

(BNN Bloomberg)

Shopify CEO says Canada must overcome “go-for-bronze” culture at BetaKit Town Hall

The BetaKit Town Hall at the University of Toronto’s Myhal Centre on Tuesday brought together all corners of the tech ecosystem to discuss the state of innovation in Canada, and what should be done to support it.

Addressing the 500 attendees—which included ecosystem leaders, major VCs, and fledgling founders—during his fireside chat with BetaKit board chair Staish Kanwar, Shopify CEO Tobias Lütke leaned into the theme of “tough love,” saying the country suffers from a “go-for-bronze” culture that is often lacking in courage and ambition.

The event also platformed the vantage points of entrepreneurs in different stages of their careers to dig into what challenges and opportunities they currently face in the ecosystem and what they think needs to change. Watch the discussion between early-stage founder Joella Almeida (MedEssist), scaling founder Ivan Zhang (Cohere), repeat founder Ali Asaria (Tulip), and ecosystem newcomer Jocelyne Murphy (Socratica) here.

Their ideas ignited discussions in-person and online, offering a pulse check on the state of Canadian tech. Many expressed optimism as multiple generations of the ecosystem galvanized around the debated issues for the first time in a while, but others were eager for more action.


Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario release digital health guidelines

The Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO) has released a new best practice guideline (BPG) with recommendations for interprofessional teams in digital health environments.

RNAO says the BPG features evidence-based recommendations to support care across settings and sectors to improve people’s health outcomes and equity.

“Nurses and other health providers are increasingly using digital health technologies powered by artificial intelligence and deep machine learning, in practice; and this BPG provides a roadmap to ensure high quality and equitable care regardless of setting,” RNAO CEO Dr. Doris Grinspun said in a statement.

(Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario)

QueerTech report finds change is lagging for 2SLGBTQIA+ tech workers in Canada

While more than a third of non-queer folks believe there has been progress for 2SLGBTQIA+ employees at Canadian tech companies, their 2SLGBTQIA+ colleagues aren’t quite feeling the same level of optimism.

This is one of many concerning findings in a new study published by Montréal-based non-profit QueerTech. The report features a survey and interviews with over 250 Canadian tech workers, including a representative group of 30 individuals who identify as members of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community.


Health-tech trailblazer TryCycle Data Systems names Brett Merriman new CEO

One of Ottawa’s fastest-growing tech startups has installed a new chief executive as it looks to accelerate its expansion into new markets.

TryCycle Data Systems founder and original CEO John MacBeth has stepped aside to focus on acquiring new customers, the company announced this week. He has been replaced by Brett Merriman, who joined the firm as chief financial officer in 2022.

A first-time CEO, Merriman brings 15 years’ experience as a senior finance executive to his new role. He told Techopia he’s looking forward to overseeing TryCycle’s scaleup efforts as it aims to broaden its customer base and penetrate deeper into the United States.

(Ottawa Business Journal)

Hard Knocks: The lawyer behind some of Canada’s biggest (and quietest) deals

Not many people have behind-the-scenes access to Canada’s biggest tech exits and funding deals. Chad Bayne does.

As a partner at Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP’s emerging and high growth companies practice, he gets a front row seat to how these deals are really done. One of his top takeaways? That the loudest startup in the room isn’t always the one making the most progress.


Where participation in clinical trials for cancer lacks, Triomics could step in

Triomics, an oncology-focused artificial intelligence company, raised $15 million to help automate cancer providers’ workflows.

Investors supporting the round include Lightspeed, Nexus Venture Partners, General Catalyst and Y Combinator.

Triomics’ preeminent technology is a large language model called OncoLLM. The model can mine unstructured data sitting in patients’ medical records using institution-specific inputs and specific use cases to perform a variety of tasks for providers.

(Fierce Healthcare)

Why every business leader in Canada needs a Tech MBA

A new world of business calls for a new kind of business degree.

That was the thinking behind the launch last fall of the MBA in Technology Leadership—better known as the Tech MBA—by York University’s Schulich School of Business.

“We live in a completely different world, one that’s driven and constantly disrupted by technology,” said Detlev Zwick, Dean of the Schulich School of Business, one of Canada’s top-rated business schools.


Alex Riehl

Alex Riehl

Alex Riehl is a staff writer and newsletter curator at BetaKit with a Bachelor of Journalism from Carleton University. He's interested in tech, gaming, and sports. You can find out more about him at alexriehl.com or @RiehlAlex99 on Twitter.

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