This Cool Companies chapter contains profiles of 18 companies with innovative, world-class health technologies. This is just a sample of the health technology companies in Alberta, Canada. The province has a vibrant and growing health and medical devices cluster, that includes global technology leaders. The profiled companies fall into 3 categories: medical imaging, medical devices, and analytics & productivity (or clinical or medical informatics). The scope of technology application and development that is possible in each of these groupings is fascinating.
Medical imaging involves taking an image, with special properties, of a part of the body, and using this information to improve the application of healthcare. For example, XSENSOR’s (p.32) technology maps the pressure points the body feels against a bed, to give nurses better information on a patient’s trouble spots, enabling the prevention of serious life-threatening bed sores. While XSENSOR is already an established leader, we have also found some very new-to-the-world imaging systems which include Orpyx to prevent diabetic foot issues (p.31) and Preciseley Health (p.31) for non-invasive just-below-the-surface tissue imaging that could put an end to the need for traditional tissue samples.
Another innovative new product is the wireless health monitoring system from Vital Signals (p.34). It monitors a person’s health by collecting data such as blood pressure, physical activity and medication adherence and can communicate this data, plus provide automatic alerts for deviations, to family or doctors. This system enables the elderly and chronically ill to live independently at home as long as possible.
ANALYTICS & PRODUCTIVITY
Alberta has long been a leader in the use of electronic medical records. We have profiled some companies that have taken this to the next level by finding clinical intelligence in medical data. For example, Clinisys’ (p.36) software can produce reports that can tell a doctor how a patient’s medications correlate with their medical test results. Another company, Darkhorse Analytics (p.36) uses analytics to help optimize the deployment of fire and ambulance stations, vehicles and personnel.
World’s leading innovator of advanced medical imaging visualization
Calgary Scientific has made it possible for physicians to view medical images of data collected by MRI, CT, X-ray and even advanced 3D visualization, on their iPhone or any other device that has web browser access, anytime and anywhere—at home, at the mall or on the golf course. Physicians use this medical imaging data to diagnose, treat and monitor diseases such as heart disease, stroke and cancer, as well as for acute care scenarios when time is critical. Using their mobile device, there is no compromise to the speed, functionality or performance of the data compared to traditional dedicated hospital workstations. Since the data is only a virtualized image and never physically copied or downloaded, it is always kept safe. Through its new division, PureWeb (p.56), the company is expanding its technology into other industries to get traditional enterprise server and workstation based software quickly transformed to web, cloud and mobilized apps.
Company: Calgary Scientific Inc., www.calgaryscientific.com, 80 employees, founded 2004, High Growth Stage, 95+% exports worldwide, revenue/investor/grant funded, Suite 208, 1210 – 20 Avenue SE, Calgary, Alberta T2G 1M8, 403.270.7159
Product: Visualization platform for medical imaging software
Growth Strategies: Seek worldwide distribution and OEM licensing opportunities
Contact: Dr. Byron Osing, CEO & Co-Founder, email@example.com, 403.270.7159. Previously Byron was Co-Founder of the Successful ExitTelebackup (p.96).
World leader in quantitative analysis tools for cardiac MRI images
MRI is a non-invasive medical imaging technique that captures pictures of soft body tissue. Cardiologists use cardiac MRI (pictured) to learn more about the condition of a patient’s heart. The software technology created by Circle Cardiovascular Imaging provides cardiologists with automatically-generated detailed quantitative measurements of the heart’s properties. These measurements include: tissue characterization, inflammation, perfusion (amount of blood in the heart muscle), and blood flow through each heart artery. Access to these new measurements provide cardiologists and radiologists with important insights which help them quickly and accurately diagnose heart conditions. It is vendor independent.
Company: Circle Cardiovascular Imaging Inc., www.circlecvi.com, 25 employees, founded 2007, Market Leader, 90% exports worldwide, revenue/investor funded, Suite 250, 815 – 8th Avenue SW, Calgary, Alberta T2P 3P2, 403.338.1870
Product: Quantitative analysis tools for cardiac MRI images
Growth Strategies: Seek investors and more collaborative partners for new product applications
Contact:Greg Ogrodnick, CEO & Co-Founder, firstname.lastname@example.org, 403.338.1870
Innovation leader in digital high resolution X-ray imaging
Just as digital cameras have replaced film-based cameras, digital X-rays (digital radiography) have created a similar revolution in the healthcare industry. The advantages of digital X-rays are: significantly less waiting time to see an X-ray image (which translates into seeing more patients per day), higher quality diagnostic images (for enhanced patient care) and electronic image storage and transfer. Without using film, there are also no environmentally unfriendly chemicals used. Imaging Dynamics (IDC) has been an innovation pioneer in digital radiography since its infancy and, with 3000 installations in 50 countries, it has grown into an international market leader. In 2011, IDC’s revenue was $7.9 million, up 46% from 2010.
Company: Imaging Dynamics Company Ltd. (IDC), www.imagingdynamics.com, 27 employees, founded 1995, Market Leader, 98% exports worldwide, publicly traded on TSX as IDL, offices in Hong Kong and Beijing, Headquarters: Suite 1157 – 40th Avenue NE, Calgary, Alberta T2E 6M9, 403.251.9939, 1.866.975.6737
Product: High-resolution, affordable digital X-ray imaging
Growth Strategies: Seek expansion in international markets
Contact: Michelle Brown, Director of Global Marketing & Business
Development, email@example.com, 403.251.9939
Innovative imaging camera gives clinicians new insight
Visual inspection doesn’t always give clinicians the whole story regarding the health of tissue and its ability to survive following an operation or trauma. Kent’s imaging technology displays additional information on the tissue’s blood and oxygen, providing surgeons and clinicians the data they need to produce better outcomes. This technology is based on a multispectral camera using near infrared light to analyze and display measurements of oxygen absorbed by the tissue (tissue oxygen saturation). Images can be viewed in colour or black and white where darker areas indicate the potential of tissue failure (as pictured). Kent is considering clinical studies to explore the camera’s value proposition in other medical areas such as diabetes, pressure ulcers, transplant surgery, burn depth and coronary bypass surgery.
Company: Kent Imaging Inc., www.kentimaging.com, 10 employees/contractors, founded 2006, Early Growth Stage, FDA clearance received August 2012 and started exporting, investor/revenue funded, Suite 1440, 720 – 13th Avenue SW, Calgary, Alberta T2R 1M5, 403.455.7610
Product: Tissue viability imaging
Growth Strategies: Seek opportunities with large international corporations with complementary products and/or distribution
Contact:Don Chapman, CEO, President and Co-Founder, firstname.lastname@example.org, 403.455.7610
World’s first sensor-based technology to prevent complications from loss of sensation in feet
Half of the 350 million diabetics worldwide will develop peripheral neuropathy—a loss of feeling and sensory feedback in their feet. It can cause tissue damage, infection, ulceration and even amputation. To prevent this, Orpyx has developed an innovative sensor-based technology that enables patients to feel their feet again. It is an insole (pictured) that fits into a shoe and is embedded with pressure sensors. Enabled with ANT+ wireless technology, patients are alerted if they put too much pressure on one part of their foot. Orpyx’s first product wirelessly transmits feedback to a wristwatch display. Its second product will transmit data from their feet to a stimulus pad worn on the lower back. The patient will essentially feel as though they are ‘walking’ on their lower back, and the brain will begin to rewire itself to accept the sensory stimulus from the lower back. Orpyx technology can also be used for rehab with stroke, spinal cord, nerve or traumatic leg injuries.
Company: Orpyx Medical Technologies Inc., www.orpyx.com, 5 employees, founded 2010, Early Growth Stage, investor funded, wristwatch product available end 2012, back stimulus product clinical trials 2013, Suite 307, 1235 – 26th Avenue SE, Calgary, Alberta T2G 1R7, 403.709.0129
Product: Sensor-based products to improve medical and athletic self-monitoring
Growth Strategies: Seek investors and strategic distribution partners around the world
Contact: Dr. Breanne Everett, CEO & Founder, email@example.com, 403.709.0129. ANT+ wireless technology was developed in Alberta by Successful ExitDynastream (p.92) and is used around the world.
New tool for non-invasive subsurface imaging made ultra fast and tiny
Taking tissue samples will soon be history. Without cutting or damaging the tissue, an emerging technology called optical coherence tomography (OCT) allows us to “see” in real time behind the surface of any biological tissue at a depth of about 1 mm. Acting as an optical biopsy, OCT can map out this landscape in high resolution so the whole 3D subsurface is visible. At the moment, the most active medical uses of OCT have been to examine the retinal substructure of the eye, and under skin and nails. Preciseley Health’s new micro device would be the front-end imaging mirror component of an OCT instrument, and is set to open fresh new possibilities for OCT. Preciseley’s device makes OCT ultra tiny (so it can get to new places inside the body to image internal organs and even teeth) and extremely fast (no blurry images, no waiting). Since OCT can also penetrate most materials, it can be used for other applications including looking inside pearls, seeds, finger prints (it is much more accurate), paper, old paintings and artifacts.
Company: Preciseley Health, a division of Preciseley Microtechnology (p.19), www.preciseley.com, 5 employees, founded 2006, Early Revenue Stage, 40% exports worldwide, revenue/bootstrap funded, 11421 Saskatchewan Drive, Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2M9, 780.492.4475
Product: Device to make OCT ultra tiny and ultra fast
Growth Strategies: Seek instrument/equipment designers in health and other fields
Contact: Dr. Tiansheng (Tian) Zhou, President & Founder, firstname.lastname@example.org, 780.902.4137
Using tiny vibrations, revolutionary technology can diagnosis back problems
Lower back pain is a common problem for almost 90 million people who are experiencing it at any one time in the US alone. Presently, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is the leading tool to assess back pain problems today, but since MRI can only produce a static image, its effectiveness is limited to 10% of cases. With eye-opening accuracy of over 99% in preliminary trials, VibeDx’s technology is about to revolutionize how back problems are assessed. Using non-invasive tiny vibrations to gently move the back, the developers of VibeDx have discovered that different types of back injuries have distinct movement patterns that VibeDx can detect, using pattern recognition technology. In addition to determining the presence of an injury and the type of injury, VibeDx can also measure exactly where the injury is located and its severity. Compared to MRI, VibeDx is up to 6x faster, at 10% of the cost, and can be installed in any examination room.
Company: VibeDx Diagnostic Corp., www.vibedx.ca, 3 employees, founded 2010, Pre-Revenue Startup, first trials successful, large-scale human trials started Fall 2012, expect product market ready 2014, self/grant funded, 4224 Enterprise Square, 10230 Jasper Ave, Edmonton, Alberta T5J 4P6, 780.492.7312
Product: Diagnosis of how the spine functions
Growth Strategies: Seek investors and marketing partners
Contact:Cameron Schuler, CEO & Co-Founder, email@example.com, 780.238.6740
A world leader in pressure imaging technology
To avoid getting “pins and needles”, people unconsciously re-adjust their bodies. For patients confined to a bed, this can be more difficult, and the pressure of the body against a firm surface such as a bed can result in bed sores, which can be a serious life-threatening medical problem. To avoid it, nurses manually turn patients every 2 hours. However, to give nurses better information on trouble spots, XSENSOR has developed a thin flexible mattress cover with pressure sensors designed to monitor, record and analyze the interface between the patient and their hospital bed. Using pressure imaging (pictured), it gives very accurate real-time pressure readings and can continue to give accurate readings indefinitely, which is a breakthrough in pressure sensor products. Since it also tracks pressure readings over time, XSENSOR’s product can alert a nurse if pressure areas have been above a safe threshold level and for how long.
Company: XSENSOR Technology Corp., www.xsensor.com, 35 employees, founded 1988, Market Leader, 75% exports around the world, revenue funded, 133 – 12th Avenue SE, Calgary, Alberta T2P 0C5, 403.266.6612
Product: Pressure imaging solutions for medical, retail and automotive industries
Growth Strategies: Seek R&D partnerships in medical applications
Contact:Bruce Malkinson, COO, firstname.lastname@example.org, 403.266.6612
World’s easiest-to-clean wireless computer keyboard
Computer keyboards are a big culprit in the spread of infection among humans. But cleaning a regular keyboard isn’t easy. Cleankeys is different. It has a smooth flat glass surface and a touch sensitive keyboard with an integrated mouse pad. You can have a clean and disinfected keyboard in 10 seconds. Just spray it with a cleaner and wipe it off. It even has built-in intelligence to let you know when to clean the keyboard, and on-line monitoring software that lets facilities track the clean status of all its keyboards. It is used around the world in (1) medical facilities like dental offices, nursing stations, and hospitals, (2) publicly-used computers in schools and internet cafes, and (3) manufacturing plants, especially those preparing food. Cleankeys sells for $299 to $349 CDN.
Company: Cleankeys Inc., www.cleankeys.com, 18 employees, founded 2008, Market Leader, 93% exports worldwide, revenue/investor funded, 4423 – 97 Street NW, Edmonton, Alberta T6E 6W6, 780.702.1473, 1.800.661.8406
Product: Easy-to-clean keyboards
Growth Strategies: Seek investors and distribution partners globally
Contact:Randy Marsden, CEO & Founder, email@example.com, 780.450.8926
Intelligent robotic homecare assistant
Mechatroniq’s customizable robotic platform with wheels can help the elderly and chronically ill with their homecare. It can automatically detect if the person has fallen and it can help them stand up again, or send a distress signal to 911. It can carry wireless health monitors and medication, and come on voice or remote control command to the person’s location. It can be equipped with voice or video conferencing technology to allow communication with relatives or doctors. It can even read, find a radio station, dial the phone, or make and bring a glass of water or a cup of tea (pictured).
Company: Mechatroniq HomeCare is a division of Mechatroniq Systems (p.61), www.mechatroniq.com, 4 employees, founded 2006, Early Growth Stage, 25% exports to US and EU, revenue/grant funded, #5, 3916 – 64 Avenue SE, Calgary, Alberta T2C 2B4, 403.287.6567
Products: Robotic homecare assistant
Growth Strategies: Seek more clients, distributors and technology partners around the world
Contact:Andras Gyorffy, CEO & Founder, firstname.lastname@example.org, 403.287.6567
World leader in at-home stroke rehabilitation and recovery
Over 3 million people in North America have partially paralyzed hands, arms and shoulders as a result of stroke or other neurological injury. In many cases, such paralysis makes performing daily life tasks extremely difficult. Daily rehabilitation exercise can lead to significant improvement, but with ever tighter healthcare budgets, standard hospital-based therapy durations are becoming shorter and shorter. To fill this important gap, Rehabtronics has commercialized a remote rehabilitation workstation (pictured) that patients can use at home for rehab therapy. Using Rehabtronics’ secure video chat, a patient logs onto the hometelemed.com website at a set schedule to perform progressive levels of exercise using game-based therapies, while a therapist at a different location monitors their exercise and obtains a real-time analytical measure of their progress. There are no travel costs and it is convenient enough to use every day.
Company: Rehabtronics Inc., www.rehabtronics.com, 12 employees, founded 2005, Early Growth Stage, 30% exports in North America, Australia, Europe and Asia, revenue/bootstrap funded, 10230 Jasper Avenue, Edmonton, Alberta T5J 5A3, 780.638.2520, 1.866.896.7277
Product: At home rehab through the internet
Growth Strategies: Seek marketing and distribution partners globally
Contact:Andy Prochazka, CEO & Co-Founder, email@example.com, 780.965.1884
Helping the at-home elderly and chronically ill to live healthy independent lives
For the elderly and chronically ill who want to live independently at home as long as they can, VitalSignals has created a system that monitors a person’s health by capturing data from interconnected wireless devices. The devices collect data on blood pressure, physical activity, weight, blood glucose, oxygen saturation and medication adherence. The pill box (pictured) can alert patients when to take vital sign readings and medications. All the data can be used to assess medication effectiveness and the ability of a patient to manage their health. A missed medication or other deviation from the normal range can be sent as voice call, text message or email alerts to family members. The data can also be sent to specialists to monitor their patients and alert them to patients at risk, which is especially useful for people just released from the hospital after surgery. VitalSignal’s devices are dual language in English and Spanish, with more languages coming.
Company: VitalSignals Enterprises Inc., www.vitalsignals.ca, 9 employees, founded 2009, Early Growth Stage, device clinical trials completed, product ready end 2012, exports started to US and Europe, investor/revenue/grant funded, 101-2200 Woodview Drive SW, Calgary, Alberta T2W 3N6, 403.879.2653
Products: Wireless health monitoring and automatic alerts
Growth Strategies: Seek medical device distributors and clients such as government institutions, insurance and telecommunications companies, and individuals
Contact: Jerome Hahn, CEO, CTO & Founder, firstname.lastname@example.org, 403.879.2653
Increased collaboration for the dental community improves patient care, efficiencies and profits
Brightsquid Dental Link is a dental collaboration platform that centralizes communication between dentists, specialists and dental labs. In Brightsquid, all dental medical records and digital images related to a patient are centralized in a cloud-based location which is privacy compliant, and easily accessible by the care providers working on a patient’s treatment plan. The secure software ensures everyone can stay informed and reduce errors by working with the same data. Increased collaboration for the dental community improves patient care, efficiencies and profits. Brightsquid can be viewed on PC, Mac, iPhone and iPad.
Company: Brightsquid Dental Link Ltd., www.brightsquid.com, 15 employees, founded 2010, Early Revenue Stage, 85% exports to US, EU, Australia and Japan, investor/revenue funded, Suite 507, 3553 – 31 Street NW, Calgary, Alberta T2L 2K7, 403.617.3798, 1.800.238.6503
Product: Dental collaboration software
Growth Strategies: Clients, strategic partners and investors in dental manufacturing
Contact: Rohit Joshi, CEO & Co-Founder, email@example.com, 1.800.238.6503
Veterinarian-designed medical records increases business intelligence and profitability
Frustrated with existing software, Canada’s largest equine veterinary clinic, Calgary-based Moore Equine Veterinary Services, asked Business Infusions to build a vet-focused medical records software from the ground up where the medical record automatically generates billing and allocates and invoices inventory at time of service. The result was a significant increase in profitability that ‘pulled’ the software into the veterinary market. It is now used by some of the largest equine practices in the world, including customers in Texas, Kentucky, Florida, the UK and Dubai. The software has the unique ability to track and report on business metrics and trend analysis. It is a subscription service at $150/month per revenue generating veterinarian and is configured to the clinic’s unique needs. In addition to this horse/bovine product, the company has a cat/dog product for animal care clinics and one for stables/kennels.
Company: Business Infusions, Inc., www.businessinfusions.com, 8 employees, founded 2006, High Growth Stage, 90% exports to US, EU and Dubai, revenue/investor/grant funded, Suite 317, 612 – 500 Country Hills Boulevard NE, Calgary, Alberta T3K 5K3, 1.877.207.3335
Product: Veterinarian-built end-to-end clinical practice software
Growth Strategies: Seek more distribution to veterinarian, equine and animal care clinics, kennels
Contact:Scott Pickard, CEO, firstname.lastname@example.org, 1.877.207.3335
An innovation leader in finding clinical intelligence in medical records
The core focus of Clinisys is medical analytics—finding clinical intelligence in medical data. For example, Clinisys’ software can produce an analytics report that shows how a patient’s medications correlate with their medical test results, giving physicians decision support insight to help them determine the next course of action. Using the data in medical records prepared to the International HL7 healthcare standards, Clinisys’ clinical intelligence engine and user-friendly interface is compatible with most of the modern medical records systems. Being a web-based platform, it also gives physicians mobile access to the information they need.
Company: Clinisys EMR Inc., www.clinisys.ca, 5 employees, founded 2010, Early Growth Stage, tested in North America and Europe Summer 2012, available since September 2012, investor funded, Suite 119, 9650 – 20 Avenue, Edmonton, Alberta T6N 1G1, 780.257.4497
Product: Innovative analytics for healthcare industry
Growth Strategies: Seek strategic distribution partners and more clients (mid-sized clinics, hospitals and medical trial facilities involving patients)
Contact: Mehadi Sayed, President, CEO & Co-Founder, email@example.com, 780.257.4497
Leader in increasing the efficiency of emergency services vehicles and personnel
Some cities and towns have lots of ambulance and fire fighting vehicles but not enough stations, and the opposite is true in other places. Using the data that emergency vehicles automatically collect with every call that comes in, Darkhorse Analytics has developed a way to find the best locations for fire and ambulance stations, as well as the optimal number of vehicles each should support, and the number of staff that should be scheduled for each hour. Darkhorse has developed tools for other complex problems including accurately predicting sales in the heavy equipment industry, forecasting the time required for directional drilling projects, and identifying undervalued players for a national hockey team.
Company: Darkhorse Analytics Inc., www.darkhorseanalytics.com, 12 employees, founded 2008, Early Growth Stage, 25% exports primarily to US and expanding to Europe and Asia, revenue/grant funded, 9007 – 112 Street NW, Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2C5, 1.800.261.1832
Product: Emergency response analytics iPad app
Growth Strategies: Seek channel partners and distributors
Contact: Daniel Haight, CEO & Co-Founder, firstname.lastname@example.org, 780.952.6794
Leader in healthcare information management for better efficiencies, reporting and decision making
ORMED software helps hospitals, long-term care facilities and healthcare systems understand their expenses in detail so they can see operational efficiencies, reduce costs and improve decision making. ORMED offers applications for finance, cost accounting, supply chain, human resources and payroll, and can provide insight into the origin of the expense with its deep drill down capability to the transaction and account source level of a cost. While each application can standalone, ORMED applications also work well together to give an integrated view. ORMED has more than 2,700 applications installed in over 340 healthcare facilities throughout the United States and Canada.
Company: ORMED Information Systems Ltd., www.ormed.com, 45 employees, founded 1986, High Growth Stage, 80% exports in North America and South America, revenue funded, 1453 – 91 Street SW, Edmonton, Alberta T6X 0W8, 780.482.7200, 1.888.464.3172 (Canada), 1.888.468.3519 (US)
Products: Fully integrated management information system for healthcare
Growth Strategies: Seek more system integrator partners in the Spanish speaking world
Contact:Neill Orr, Director of Marketing, email@example.com, 780.482.7200
Faster, high-quality, evidence-based and best-practice clinical content
Researchers are constantly finding new evidence about which medical diagnoses and treatments work better in different situations and types of patients. To improve their patient care, healthcare professionals are collaboratively incorporating this new evidence into their medical decision making through the development of standardized workflows for medical diagnoses and treatments. This body of knowledge is called clinical content and its development is a rigorous process that can take years. Wairever has developed innovative software to make the development process for clinical content easier and faster. The software also helps deploy the clinical content across hospital-wide information systems. As an example of its impact on development time, most hospitals in North America strive to develop standards for 300 or so clinical situations a year. Using Wairever’s software, clients have created and maintain well over 3,000 clinical situations in a year.
Company: Wairever Inc., www.wairever.com, 11 employees, founded 2005, High Growth Stage, 25% exports sold around the world, investor/revenue funded, Suite 305, 1240 Kensington Road NW, Calgary, Alberta T2N 3P7, 1.855.288.4888
Product: Software to create and manage clinical content
Growth Strategies: Seek to work with more hospitals, clinical content publishers, and health networks
Contact:Basil Baluta, CEO, CTO & Co-Founder, firstname.lastname@example.org, 1.855.288.4888