On one-year anniversary of its launch, Minister Ng highlights how CAN Health Network is helping Canadian businesses grow

Press Releases

From: Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

July 23, 2020 – Mississauga, Ontario

As the world works to combat COVID-19, it is critical that Canada remain at the cutting edge of health care technology to offer the best possible care to Canadians, while supporting small businesses and creating good jobs in this sector.

Today, the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade, visited Trillium Health Partners – Mississauga Hospital to highlight the one-year anniversary of the launch of the Government of Canada’s CAN Health Network.

Minister Ng joined Dr. Dante Morra, Chair, CAN Health Network and Chief of Staff, Trillium Health Partners; Dr. Dan Perri, Medical Information Officer, St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton; and Bill Charnetski, Executive Vice President of PointClickCare, for a panel discussion about the impact the Network has had over the past year.

One year ago, Canadian businesses, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises (SME), faced barriers in selling their innovative solutions to health care organizations in Canada. A lack of coordination across jurisdictions made it difficult for businesses to understand the needs of health care organizations and to enter the Canadian marketplace.

The Government launched the CAN Health Network to help streamline the procurement process for innovative companies and create a receptive marketplace. This integrated market builds a bridge between the needs of health care organizations and the technologies of Canadian entrepreneurs, helping businesses develop their solutions domestically and export their made-in-Canada ideas to the world.

In the past 12 months, this integrated market has grown to include 15 Canadian health care organizations, ranging from small clinics to large hospitals. There are now 10 commercialization projects under way—businesses working within the network to sell their new technologies here in Canada and beyond.

The partnerships and growth made possible through the CAN Health Network are making a real difference across the country, especially in the fight against COVID-19.

By harnessing this economic opportunity with leading-edge SMEs and scale-ups, the Government of Canada will continue to support health tech businesses, creating global companies that anchor thousands of middle-class jobs here in Canada.


“Our government has always taken an innovative approach to industry and government working together. This integrated market is a perfect example of such collaboration, helping Canadian innovative health tech companies work directly with health care organizations, commercialize their technologies and grow their businesses here in Canada. Together, we will continue to create even more made-in-Canada success stories.”

– The Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade

“In less than a year, the CAN Health Network has already partnered Canadian companies with great health care organizations to advance new technologies. Our goal is to grow Canadian solutions and support companies to scale across the Canadian marketplace, while strengthening our health care system. Canadian businesses and health care organizations will together generate economic prosperity for the country and stimulate the creation of good Canadian health technology sector jobs by helping companies overcome barriers.”

– Dr. Dante Morra, CAN Health Network

Quick facts

  • The Government of Canada provided an initial $7-million investment to support the establishment of the CAN Health Network, launched in July 2019.
    • Trillium Health Partners is leading the CAN Health Network in southern Ontario thanks to a $3.5-million investment from FedDev Ontario.
    • The Saskatchewan Health Authority is implementing the Network in western Canada through $3.5 million in support from Western Economic Diversification Canada.
  • We need to unlock the full potential of Canadian innovation in both the public and private sectors, scaling up companies to become global leaders.
  • The CAN Health Network enables health technology companies to work directly with an integrated market of health care organizations to build global Canadian leadership.
  • After the first sale is made within the integrated market, those technologies can then be easily sold to others in the CAN Health Network, enabling the company to scale up by leveraging the purchasing power of Canadian health care procurement. Companies that have benefitted from the CAN Health Network include the following:
    • PointClickCare, a Mississauga-based business that creates innovative cloud-based technology, has been able to partner with health care organizations in Hamilton to create a system for seamless coordination of patient records between hospitals and long-term care homes. This Canadian innovation makes it easier for seniors and their families to get the health care they deserve, which is especially important during the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • EZ Referral, a business from Alberta, has leveraged its project with Prism Eye Institute to grow its digital medical referral management tool for use in 4 vision care clinics in Canada and 12 clinics in California. This is great news for the company’s global growth and is incredibly important as we practice physical distancing to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
    • SE Health will work with AlayaCare to co-design an electronic medical records (EMR) system that will work with SE Health’s transformational H.O.P.E. Model of home care. The new EMR system will be entirely digital and allow nurses to self-schedule visits with clients, with broader scale-up across Ontario and Canada and around the world.
    • Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre will work with Precision Biomonitoring’s COVID-19 point-of-care diagnostic test to validate the lyophilized assay in both laboratory and clinical settings. The company is also looking to bring its rapid mobile detection device to First Nations communities.

Associated links


Ryan Nearing
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada


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