May 15, 2013
TORONTO, ON — Five companies tackling pervasive healthcare challenges — such as assessing dental health, helping patients and medical personnel navigate hospitals with greater ease, staying current with medical literature, or creating digital tools to help care for the elderly or those with chronic health conditions — have been admitted to the University of Toronto Early Stage Technology (UTEST) program’s second cohort.
UTEST, supported by the University of Toronto’s Innovations & Partnerships Office (IPO) and MaRS Innovation (MI), is part of a growing system of incubators and commercialization support services at U of T.
Two companies in UTEST’s second cohort, E-Twenty Development Inc. and Treata Smart Solutions Inc., are participating in Canada 3.0 at the Metro Convention Centre May 14 and 15, 2013, in Toronto.
Each company will receive up to $25,000, incubation space in the MaRS Discovery District, mentoring and business strategy support to develop protectable intellectual property, launch their products and gain market traction. They are also eligible to become clients of MaRS Discovery District’s ICE or Healthcare practices.
UTEST seeks scalable, enterprise-focused software applications interested in building business-to-business customer bases — and preferably operational products with a short term to market. The program is co-directed by Kurtis Scissons (U of T IPO) and Dr. Lyssa Neel (MI).
The second cohort has big shoes to fill. In six months, UTEST’s first cohort collectively secured over $1.2 million in follow-on funding and currently employs 29 highly skilled people (HQPs). Each company also filed solid patent protection and most have secured customers. Notably, Whirlscape’s Indiegogo campaign secured over $87,000 in product funds from 10,000 users, and was featured in the Financial Post, TechCrunch, Mashable and The Verge, among other global media outlets.
Focus: Digital tools for people living with chronic conditions beyond hospital settings
CEO: Binh Nguyen
U of T connection: CEO and Co-Founder Binh Nguyen is a recent U of T grad from the Edward S. Rogers Sr. Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering (Biomedical); CTO and Co-Founder Jonathan Tomkun is a master’s student in the Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering.
eQOL’s first product, DiCAT, is a mobile-based solution for renal dialysis patients. DiCAT provides chronically-ill patients with tools that enable them to care for themselves using home dialysis, which is especially important in remote areas. Using DiCAT, doctors can monitor their patients and intervene whenever necessary, especially during emergencies. DiCAT is unique because it extends beyond traditional monitoring systems by incorporating patient-oriented tools, enabling patients to respond immediately and independently to non-urgent issues. eQOL’s self-care model increases patient engagement and improves condition management, resulting in cost reduction across Ontario’s healthcare ecosystem and beyond.
Focus: Zero-infrastructure wayfinding
CEO: Edmund Bentil
U of T connection: CTO Janahan Ramanan is a master’s student in the Faculty of Applied Sciences and Engineering; Lead Software Engineer Satyam Merja is a student in the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy
Each year, poor navigation by patients, visitors and staff costs the average hospital several hundred thousand dollars. E-Twenty has developed a patent-pending indoor navigation and wayfinding system that requires no Wi-Fi, GPS, or additional infrastructure. Its flagship product, Hospital Concierge, is a location-aware healthcare app for iOS and Android that enables efficient wayfinding and enhances staff, patient, and visitor interactions inside hospitals. E-Twenty has signed two major university-affiliated medical centers as beta test sites for its product.
Focus: Developing products to help dentists and consumers assess the risk of caries (cavities)
CEO: Céleste Mérey
U of T connection: CEO Céleste Mérey graduted in 2011 from the Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering; CSO Getulio Nogueira is an assistant professor in the Faculty of Dentistry
Root2Crown is developing hardware and software solutions to make it easier to conduct and communicate required dental risk assessment processes while increasing the efficiency, reliability and availability of dental health assessment and diagnosis for dental schools, practices and the general public.
Focus: Wearable technology to help memory-impaired older adults and their caregivers
CEO: Ashkan Sattari
U of T connection: Co-Founder Ali Shariat is a PhD candidate in the Edward S. Rogers Sr. Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Mild cognitive impairment affects as many as 20 per cent of older adults, and the problem is growing — every eight seconds, another Baby Boomer turns 65. Caring for a loved one with memory loss can cause frustration, distress, and real economic loss for caregivers. Lost wages cost caregivers approximately $75 million in 2010. Treata’s total solution for connecting caregivers with their loved ones eases this burden. The Treata SmartCaregiver system includes:
Treata helps people with memory loss live independently longer, and gives their loved ones peace of mind.
Focus: Medical publication trending engine
CEO: Paul Kudlow
U of T connection: CEO Paul Kudlow is a resident physician in psychiatry.
TrendMD, a medical trending engine, instantly delivers personalized, high-impact research articles. With over 2,000 new publications added daily, TrendMD uses aggregate social metrics and algorithmic filters to identify the few must-read articles. Founded in 2013 by physicians looking for an easier way to keep up, TrendMD’s goal is simple: keep medical professionals current and save them time.
The University of Toronto has assembled one of the strongest research and teaching faculties in North America, presenting top students at all levels with an intellectual environment unmatched in breadth and depth on any other Canadian campus. The U of T faculty are also widely recognized for their teaching strengths and commitment to graduate supervision. Established in 1827, the University of Toronto today operates in downtown Toronto, Mississauga and Scarborough, as well as in nine renowned academic hospitals.
MaRS Innovation is the commercialization agent for Ontario’s exceptional discovery pipeline from 16 leading academic institutions. As a single-entry point to member-based activity of $1 billion in annual research and development, MI is a gateway for investors and licensees to access technology assets. Supported by the Government of Canada through the Networks of Centres of Excellence, by the Government of Ontario through the Ontario Centres of Excellence, and by its 16 member institutions, MI is a transformational partnership that turns research strengths into commercial opportunities. MI’s portfolio includes the most promising assets from its members’ pipeline, which it advances into global markets through industry partnerships, licensing and company creation.
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