Winnipeg-based Cerebra to assist with provincial sleep test backlog

Contract with Manitoba will help alleviate backlog of province's sleep study cases following pandemic.

Winnipeg-based health startup Cerebra is partnering with the Manitoba government to provide the province with 1,000 at-home sleep diagnosis tests.

The partnership comes as part of Manitoba’s Request for Supply Arrangement (RFSA) process, which was employed by the province in the summer of 2020 to begin addressing Covid-related backlogs. Over 5,000 Manitobans are currently waiting for testing after a spike in demand following the pandemic, according to The Winnipeg Free Press.

Founded in 2015, Cerebra said that it will be “working closely” with the provincial government to reduce the backlog, with the kits being delivered starting “in early 2023.”

“The pandemic has impacted sleep study wait lists much the same as other areas of our healthcare system.”

Cerebra’s technologies allow polysomnography (PSG) to be conducted from home instead of at a sleep lab. PSG studies are comprehensive tests used to diagnose sleep disorders, collecting data from a patient to help diagnose the disorder, such as brain waves and heart rate.

Cerebra’s Odds Ratio Product (ORP) algorithm gives a more detailed picture of sleep and sleep architecture that is more sensitive than conventional testing, according to Cerebra. The kit comes with an array of sensors that monitor the user’s sleeping tendencies to diagnose any potential disorders.

“The pandemic has impacted sleep study wait lists much the same as other areas of our healthcare system,” said Patrick Crampton, president and chief operating officer at Cerebra.

“The opportunity to leverage locally developed technology to help Manitobans is a great example of the innovation ecosystem Manitoba is developing.”

The Manitoba government invested $110 million in 2022 to address surgical and diagnostic waitlists during its RFSA process. The province’s estimated healthcare procedure backlog is estimated to be over 100,000 following the pandemic, according to Doctors Manitoba.

Different strategies are being employed in multiple sectors of the healthcare system in Manitoba as it tries to keep up with demands, such as virtual consultations with specialists and advanced colon cancer screening.

Cerebra completed a $3.2 million CAD private equity financing in the summer of 2017, with investments by angel investors and existing shareholders. In 2020, the Manitoba government invested $2.5 million CAD into the company to provide 250 ventilators to Winnipeg hospitals.

The province did not disclose how much money was invested into the newly announced partnership.

Ryan O'Connor

Ryan O'Connor

Ryan O'Connor is a journalism student at Toronto Metropolitan University and an intern staff writer for BetaKit. Follow him on Twitter @oconss2.

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