Why right now is a great time to be in health tech in Canada

Over the past several months, the news about the health care and tech sectors has been predominantly rough. Most would agree that there are major headwinds in healthcare, including a crisis in health human resources.

There have been massive layoffs in large global technology companies, as well as smaller, earlier stage organizations. Health tech companies are no exception. We experienced huge investment growth in 2021, and while that is still trending up, health tech valuations were down overall, and there was less M&A and exit activity in 2022.

However, over the past few weeks, some important shifts have taken place that are a reason for anyone involved in health tech to be very excited.

- The leadership of the federal government: Ottawa is investing more money, and playing a more active role in driving outcomes in the sector. While there has been criticism on the new dollars invested, there is forward momentum with the Premiers agreeing to accept the proposal.

- Any significant changes will not occur in the health sector without a focus on and investment in new innovation. There has been renewed funding for the Digital Supercluster whose mandate is to grow Canadian companies, build world-leading technologies and create a healthier, sustainable and talented world. The Coordinated Accessible National (CAN) Health Network will ideally continue to facilitate tech innovation by helping address traditional barriers to growing and scaling health tech in Canada.

- There is an openness from provincial & territorial governments - and from the general public -  to consider the role the private sector can play in health care in Canada to help improve access to care.  We must partner with commercial players if we are going to move at the pace and scale required to address the major challenges we are facing in Canadian health care. I’m very optimistic that the conditions are ideal for health tech to make a meaningful impact in 2023.  It feels like we are finally getting partners on the same page when it comes to facilitating innovation and investment in the Canadian health care sector.

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