Success Stories

HHQc, the Missing Link to Health Innovation in Quebec City

— Lire l’article original en Français

Hacking Health Quebec is considered as a mature chapter of the movement. Born in 2016, this chapter has already seen ups and downs and had to pivot – just like many startups born from the same movement – to meet the real needs of the ecosystem in Quebec City.

Way too many solutions are abandoned once the euphoria of the competition is over

It was during the strategic meeting of summer 2018 that we realized the evidence. Hackathons and Coopérathons are extraordinary events that allow prototyping an innovative solution to a real problem in healthcare, but … this is not enough. Too many of these solutions are abandoned once the euphoria of competition has passed. Most persevering teams face problems of cash flow, lack of knowledge of regulations of the health system, and also contacts in the community to validate their concept or find investors who will support their project. Incubator, investors, specialists of all kinds, all structures are already present, but do not often meet and speak together. The solution is in the community! We need to break silos and create connections between the different stakeholders of our ecosystem.

Our mission is clear:
Create a community to support health care innovation in Quebec City.

The Cooperathon kept us busy throughout fall, and we decided to start in February a series of meet-ups with different themes. In the form of a happy hour, we invite either a panel to debate around a topic, or experts to expose the latest trends in their field. Also, an entrepreneur is invited to present his innovative project in health care and exposes his/her struggles to the audience to get advice and contacts. We close with a networking session that allows everyone to meet and continue the discussion in a friendly atmosphere.

A series of meet-ups to bring the community together

The theme of the first meet-up was evident to us: since we want to support the projects born of our events, we need to invite previous project holders to come and share their experience and their learnings. We organized the Alumni Forum at Le Camp, an incubator / accelerator which is one of our partners. Four alumni immediately responded to our proposal: Kim Auclair (My Deafness project), Marie-Lou and Mathieu (Braver Health project), Schallum Pierre (Blockchain Citiz project) and Alain Larouche (ABC Santé project, now Concerto + of the Concerto Health group). The panel worked wonderfully, with Schallum Pierre in video conference from Montreal. Our audience was particularly interested in the journey of these entrepreneurs with a benevolent curiosity. All understood that everyone could make an impact by contributing with their experience and expertise.

The second meet-up took place in April, as part of the Digital Week in Quebec City. For the second consecutive year, the meeting was held at the Korrigane for a casual atmosphere around the theme “Concrete Practices of AI in Healthcare.” Then, Julie Bastien took the floor to present her company Lixi and the difficulties she faces to put her software on the market. Julie received a lot of support from the audience, and the networking session allowed her to connect with many people.

Finally, for the third meet-up, we wanted to get closer to the community of developers to raise their awareness about healthcare. Naturally, we went to meet the team of Spektrum Multimedia to integrate into the SPK ecosystem. We received a warm welcome and real support in the organization of our event. They also suggested one of their developer who works for Umano Medical, a company that creates smart hospital beds. We completed the panel with two other developers in healthcare. Organizing the meet-up in SPK’s offices has allowed us to break the silos that usually exist between healthcare and developers. From a panel of experts, the debate has turned into an exchange of ideas between developers, health professionals (doctors, pharmacists), entrepreneurs, investors in an amiable atmosphere.

Transforming institutions

Our reputation has begun to spread and we were proposed to lead a Design Thinking workshop as part of a Franco-Canadian Summer School in Management and Health Service organized by the Faculty of Sciences of the Administration of Laval University in June. This training was offered to managers, executives and students who wanted to improve the concrete organizational practices of healthcare institutions. We wanted to make them aware of the need to include a patient-partner in the development of concrete solutions in healthcare. In the form of a role-play, the participants developed solutions that take into account the user (patient) experience and were conquered by the approach.

This is just the beginning

We are now comforted by our idea that Quebec City needs a connector that knows how to bring together all those who want to have an impact in healthcare and support entrepreneurship in a highly regulated field, whatever the maturity of the company concerned.

In addition to the Coopérathon, we will offer other types of events to promote health innovation such as a Design Jam (a Design Thinking workshop) during the Entrepreneurship Week and a hackathon of 48 hours on the weekend during the Digital Week 2020. We will continue to offer meet-ups in parallel thanks to a growing team. The 2019-2020 program is going to be rich!

Save the dates:
Sep 24: Pitch & Networking Evening (preparation for the Coopérathon and Design Jam) – Registration
Oct 2 – Nov 2: Coopérathon competition – Registration

Nov. 20: Innovative Health Projects Workshop – Upcoming Entries
April 17, 18, 19, 2020: hackathon – Registration coming soon


Author: Delphine Davan, co-leader of the Quebec chapter.

Delphine DavanHHQc, the Missing Link to Health Innovation in Quebec City
read more

Swiss Hacking Health: The Secret Of An Amazing Longevity

After five successful editions, Arkathon, the Hacking Health Switzerland-Valais‘ hackathon is one of the most important health hackathons in Switzerland. A must for the country’s disruptive minds!

How does such an event work? Immersed in a medical facility over a weekend, participants meet with health professionals and patients to develop innovative solutions to solve their health challenges. At the end of these 48 intense hours, the objective is to present a jury of experts concrete digital solutions to address health issues. Each year, the three winners are followed by an acceleration program offered by The Ark Foundation and Swiss Digital Health.

>> Discover the after movie of the last Arkathon’s edition

A robust ecosystem: a work over the years

In the tradition of Hacking Health’s events, Arkathon infused its spirit of innovation and create strong synergies between very diversified stakeholders: academics, institutes and health professionals, patient associations, industry, start-ups,… Partnerships have been created over the years between the actors of digital health innovation: The Ark Foundation, Swiss Digital Health, the Clinique Romande de réadaptation, the Valais hospital site, the HES-SO Valais/Wallis, EPFL Valais/Wallis, GRIMM, the Institut de Recherche en réadaptation, etc.

>> Discover the interviews of the jury about the last Arkathon’s edition

This type of events accelerates projects and immediately detects their technical feasibility and economic potential,” explains Sébastien Mabillard, organizing member of Arkathon HH Switzerland – Valais. ” For the past 5 years, acceleration programs have been offered to hackathon winners by Swiss Digital Health and the Ark Foundation. It’s a way to get these nuggets to market quickly. Our objective is to encourage the emulation of projects with our partners and to support solution providers to “feed” the innovation cluster with viable prototypes to quickly respond to the needs of the field.

Many success stories around the Arkathon of Hacking Health Valais

Recently, a start-up company, Transcend, created by three Valais computer science students, has developed an innovative training tool for high-tech rescue, based on virtual reality technologies. Another hat off to the start-up Eyeware, which has just raised a significant sum of €1.9 million for its eye-tracking system. These two solutions have hatched during previous editions of the Arkathon and are now shining on national and international markets!

>> Discover the interview of three winners’ teams of the last Arkathon’s edition

Join the community and hack tomorrow’s health !

Curious about our event? Do you want to participate in the 2020 edition and contribute its extraordinary longevity with us? Click here to find more information.

Our team of 4, Sébastien Mabillard, Nadia Mottier, Joël Rossier and Frédérique Décaillet, is looking forward to welcoming you to the Valais Alps!


Delphine DavanSwiss Hacking Health: The Secret Of An Amazing Longevity
read more

Le Coopérathon Revient Cet Automne / Cooperathon Comes Back This Fall

Lisez le billet en français ici:

The largest international open innovation competition in the world comes back this fall. For the fourth year in a row, Hacking Health is the partner of the health track which gives us the title of historical partner!

Volunteers from Hacking Health chapters in Montreal, Quebec City, Toronto, and Waterloo* are ready to support you during this human and entrepreneurial adventure with the goal to have an impact on healthcare.

Join doctors, nurses, healthcare professionals, patients, entrepreneurs, investors, startups, and experts from diverse industries and become a change agent.


An entrepreneurial adventure for all

Whether you have an idea, identified a problem or simply want to change the world, you can join the competition. Throughout the month of October, workshops are organized in each of the participating cities to:

  1. Build teams,
  2. Identify root causes of the problem to be solved,
  3. Design the business model,
  4. Create a prototype,
  5. Learn how to pitch your project to a panel of experts.

The semi-final is held on November 2nd in each city to identify the best impact projects before the grand finale in Montreal on November 20th.

All winners!

Among all former participants, some have won prizes but all have acquired new skills, developed their network, discovered new horizons and above all … lived a tremendous human adventure. Whatever your expertise, your industry, whether you have a project idea or just want to contribute, you can make an impact.

Registrations are now open. Join us!

An incredible match. The story of “I Seek Delirium”.

Tania (nurse at the Montreal Heart Institute) and Nicolas (entrepreneur, founder of NeuroServo) did not know each other. They I Seek Delirium - Le projet gagnant du Coopérathon 2018met during the pitch & networking meetup where teams are built around each project. As Nicolas says in the video below: “it clicked immediately and we decided to work together”.The potential of their collaboration was obvious.

Winner of the health track in Canada, “I seek delirium” has been integrated within NeuroServo and continues its development with the Montreal Heart Institute. The company and the diagnostic tool presented at Cooperathon 2018 have been the subject of an article in Fierce Biotech, a reference in the health industry.

Check out the projects from previous editions in this post.

Watch this video to get an overview of the competition and projects presented in 2018


* Some chapters in France may also join the competition.


Delphine DavanLe Coopérathon Revient Cet Automne / Cooperathon Comes Back This Fall
read more

Our Volunteers Break Silos And Borders

Hacking Health Windsor-Detroit is the first cross-border Hacking Health chapter in the world. It brings together two cities, which comprise a world-class automotive cluster that is reinventing itself as a global leader in health and mobility.

The 100-year-old Ambassador Bridge is iconic of this chapter’s determination to reach across divides and bring creative people together from the tech, health and automotive sectors to collaborate on innovative solutions to healthcare challenges on both sides of the Detroit River.


This chapter fosters innovation across the Canadian-US border

Now entering its fifth year – Hacking Health Windsor-Detroit has drawn over 1,000 participants, connected over 60 partner organizations, sparked a half-dozen start-up companies (CarePRN is one of them) and inspired a cross-border MedHealth Summit that annually matches health start-ups with investors .

There is also Kaitlyn Sheehan—a Registered Nurse— who had an idea for a mobile app that could improve health care on both sides of the Detroit-Windsor border. Read her fabulous story here and how she won a hackathon top award for mobile app design in this previous post.

Gathering automotive & healthcare sectors in the same place?

From left to right: Deborah Livneh, Zain Ismail and Yvonne Pilon, members of the HHWD chapter

After the lights dimmed on a successful MedHealth Summit in downtown Detroit in early 2018, one that featured an electric keynote by celebrated neuropathologist Dr. Bennet Omalu featured in the movie Concussion, the organizers gathered in a boardroom at the Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy at Wayne State University.  Many of those gathered had been founders and leaders from Hacking Health Windsor-Detroit – which provided the spark for the Medhealth Summit.

In part, the organizers wanted to debrief on such a successful meeting and chart potential destinations for Medhealth in 2019.  This meeting raised the potential of bringing talent from the automotive and health-care sectors together.

A year later, we are happy to report that Hacking Health Windsor-Detroit IV will explore the theme of mobility in the fall. The potential for creative engineers and programmers from General Motors and Google and Lyft to talk healthcare is exciting.



In the video below, Robert C. Brooks, III – a hackathon participant, talks about what the automotive industry can bring to healthcare:

Our Movement Builds Ecosystems of Innovation

At the Medhealth Summit debrief,  Stephen Konya, a Senior Innovation Strategist from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT with the United States Department of Health and Human Services, was invited to lead a discussion. He is exploring the growing network of health-related cluster initiatives across the United States – a cluster of clusters – and the opportunity to integrate the MedHealth Summit.

And that is the genius of Hacking Health – connecting thought leaders from health and tech regionally, opening up promising collaboration between previously sequestered sectors and looking beyond the horizon to connect creative problem solvers globally. That’s Hacking Health’s approach.


That’s the magic of a grass-roots movement

Want to support our movement? Join/build your local chapter or make a donation!


Original text from Dr. Irek Kusmierczyk,

City Councillor for Ward 7 in the City of Windsor

Director of Partnerships at WEtech Alliance

Leader of the Hacking Health Windsor-Detroit Chapter



Delphine DavanOur Volunteers Break Silos And Borders
read more

Hacking Health, Innovation Beyond Hackathons

Hacking Health is a not-for-profit organization created in Montreal in 2012 with head office at the CHUM Hospital. We have developed 12 entities across Canada (from Vancouver to St-John’s) and are present in 50+ cities around the world. All these entities (called chapters) are built by multidisciplinary teams of volunteers who want to bring innovation to healthcare and integrate new technologies for the benefit of patients.

All over the world, our 600+ volunteers organize high energy, collaborative competitions such as health hackathons. During these events, we pair healthcare professionals with patients, technologists, designers, entrepreneurs and other experts to build concrete solutions to healthcare challenges – see all future and past events here.

Listen to the interview of Annie Lamontagne, Special Projects Advisor and former Head of Global Growth at Hacking Health.

Listen to the podcast on iTunes, Podbean, Stitcher or Youtube.

From fun short events to transformative innovation hubs

The cornerstone of Hacking Health’s global success is the community built in each location. Chapters organize not only one-time weekend hackathons but also meetups and workshops which work as a regular forum for ideation, knowledge exchange, and networking opportunity.

Not each idea born during a hackathon turns into a company, nor do all participants have entrepreneurial aspirations, but people always make new connections and acquire new knowledge,” says Annie.

Hospitals, like CHUM, partner with Hacking Health with the desire to give medical professionals a different perspective on their problems with the opportunity of building tomorrow’s healthcare. Read the press release about our collaboration with CHUM here.

Health innovation management

As Annie likes to emphasize in the interview, health innovation management is an emerging and evolving science, and even when hospitals are open to new ideas, they might struggle in implementing them into their practice.

“At one time a speech therapist designed a solution for her clinical practice. She did not want to start a company but wanted to see her idea used in her everyday work. Before that was possible, she hit a lot of barriers inside the institution and had to put a lot of effort in justifying the legal requirements, get management approval, etc., to be able to use the solution,” says Annie Lamontagne.

Another successful hackathon participant was Dr. Denis Vincent, an Edmonton-based physician, who suffered a loss of a patient due to a misplaced fax document. He started looking for a solution to prevent such things from ever happening again. At the Hacking Health Edmonton hackathon in 2013, Dr. Vincent created ezReferral, a cloud-based, secure medical referral management tool that keeps all parties on the same page: family doctor, specialist, and patient.

Read other success stories: CarePRN, IUGO Care, EyeWare, Haleo, etc. Just to name a few.

Hacking health uses different approaches for attracting participants from the clinical practice to join the events. One of them is to turn to IT departments inside healthcare institutions to identify the healthcare workers who complain the most. Hacking health sees them as champions — they are those who refuse to accept the status quo and wish to see changes. They usually become the most influential ambassadors of innovations within institutions.

One of the aspects Annie is passionate about is rethinking the inclusion of older healthcare specialists in the innovation processes. “These are people with tremendous knowledge and experience, still wish to be active, and we need to value their participation.”

Some questions addressed during the interview:

  • How are hackathons in healthcare evolving over the years?
  • Hacking Health is active in 17 countries. What can different chapters learn from each other?
  • How to organize a hackathon?
  • How to motivate participants to join hackathons?
  • How do Hacking health events differ from other digital health events and how do they attract participants?
  • How do hackathons in hospitals look like?
  • What follows hackathons in clinical settings? Do hospitals adopt change management solutions?


Post in collaboration with Tjaša Zajc, author of Faces of Digital Health

Delphine DavanHacking Health, Innovation Beyond Hackathons
read more

WATCh-ME: HH Milano 2016


Using innovative technology to facilitate cognitive rehabilitation
through enhanced mother-child engagement


Back in November of 2016 at Milano’s Hacking Health Hackathon, the WATCh-ME team developed an award-winning idea for assisting children with developmental delays and their caregivers through their rehabilitation programs.

The project was initially conceived by psychologists and researchers Livio Provenzi and Lorenzo Giusti who based it on their practice at the Scientific Institute IRCCS E. Medea of Bosisio Parini, one of the most important research hospitals in Italy and the only Italian one recognized for rehabilitation and research in the field of developmental disabilities . Livio pitched and convinced designers, students and engineers to join in on the effort and helped develop a proof of concept over the course of the hackathon.

The team brought three awards home, including two entry tickets to BioUpper’s acceleration program and PoliHub Incubation program. The WATCh-ME team made it through the BioUpper Training Week and the semi-final phase through an improved and refined pitch. “Everybody on the team is just so surprised by how fast things are going – they went from joining me on a hackathon adventure to running a startup sprint!” says Livio.

The team now consists of 9 passionate members: Livio Provenzi and Lorenzo Giusti, psychotherapists and researchers, Sara Monacchi, product designer, Ana Carolina Falcao, service designer, Valentina Quaroni, physicist, Germano Infante e Mario Aricò, engineers, Luca Fumagalli, student in economical sciences, Martina Ricci, psychologist.

WATCh-ME: Maximizing rehabilitation exercises by including the mother

Children presenting developmental delays such as mental retardation or cognitive impairments are usually more limited in their interaction with their parents, further increasing delay for emotional, behavioral and social development. Rehabilitation generally focuses on cognitive impairments and is directed on the child alone. Devices can help, but little has been done technology-wise to strengthen the parent-child dynamic despite this being a key factor for successful rehabilitation.

WATCh-ME aims at making home rehabilitation easier, rewarding and playful, and ultimately more efficient, with hopes to reduce, and possibly cancel out the need to conduct hospital rehabilitation programs.

“Through WATCh-ME we aim at improving the effectiveness of cognitive and behavioral rehabilitation therapies and to sustain continuity of care.”

The idea consists in two wearable devices (for mother and child) connected to each other and to a third wearable object (to be attached to a toy or a third person, e.g., sibling) meant to support focused, sustained, and joint attention in children diagnosed with diverse impairing developmental disability conditions. WATCh-ME is going to provide precise data on these children attentional skills and improvements, engaging the parents as active partners of the therapy and making the home-based rehabilitation more playful and enjoyable. “Through WATCh-ME we aim at improving the effectiveness of cognitive and behavioral rehabilitation therapies and to sustain continuity of care.” says co-founder Livio Provenzi. Benefits are estimated both for the families – i.e., greater improvements quantified on a daily basis – and for the hospital units – i.e., possibility to obtain data and to monitor obstacles and facilitators of effective interventions.

Thanks to the collaboration between supporting BioUpper and PoliHub programs, WATCh-ME is getting the support needed to develop a prototype and has just made through the final round of BioUpper’s national competition, with 50 000 € as the grand prize for each top three finalists.

The team’s goal is to present a functional prototype for the grand final in April at Cariplo Factory, a Milano foundation supporting BioUpper and host to Hacking Health Milano’s November hackathon.

Beyond the competition, WATCh-ME’s aim is to enter a validation process in a randomized clinical trial within the next two years, through its main sponsor and partner, IRCCS E. Medea. As the benefits of WATCh-ME are both for families and hospitals, the team is discussing strategies to reach the market through differentiated marketing pathways before 2020.

Valérie DoréWATCh-ME: HH Milano 2016
read more


MEDIALPHA – Easier and faster access to lab tests

How do you revolutionize a healthcare system?

One way consists in cutting down waiting time and simplifying access to basic services, like blood or urine collection. Medialpha tackles a challenge common to most healthcare systems by facilitating collection services from the comfort of your home or office.


“Our platform is unique on the market – it used to take up to an hour to find the right service provider, we’ve cut that time down to 5 minutes.”

How Medialpha began

Medialpha was born from the friendship between Marina Staingart and Jean-Pierre Sabe-Affak. Jean-Pierre is a microbiologist with an experience in health services administration, providing him with great insight into the healthcare management system in Quebec. Marina followed a career in computer engineering and holds an M.B.A in finance – she traveled the world to discover the best practices in health care systems. Together, they created Medialpha, a Montreal-based company which provides healthcare services such a blood collection at patient’s home or office.

As doctors appointments’ waiting lists are getting longer and people’s timetable less and less flexible, basic healthcare services such as blood tests are not easily accessible. Patients can turn to the private system for requisitions but this can be costly, confusing and still time-consuming. Demand for such tests have also increased as insurance companies and preventive health practices have been emphasizing prevention over cure.

When Jean-Pierre and Marina enrolled in Hacking Health Montreal’s 2014 Hackathon, they were part of a bigger team who wanted to develop a solution for online appointment confirmation and wait list management. They credited this initial experience as a useful testing ground, as the hackathon allowed them to realize how well their ambition and values aligned with each other. Post-hackathon, they decided to tackle the problem by starting with a pain point that seemed easier to address: improving access to blood collection and testing.
This was the beginning of Medialpha, a company which seeks to transform how some of the basic healthcare services are delivered. “Empowering patients to have control of their schedule, and more importantly of their health, is at the core of our initial aspiration” explains co-founder Marina Staingart. “We credit our success to centering our business model on patient experience principles”.

In addition to being easy, affordable and safe, Medialpha is unique in the market and is currently growing partnerships with medical clinics, pharmacies but also insurance companies. More recently, ProMontreal Entrepreneurs provided $50k in funding to support the development their software platform – it is now fully operational and facilitates appointment booking according to location preferences.

How Medialpha works

Medialpha ensures patients will be matched with high-quality blood collection services who can operate from the comfort of their homes or offices. Patients chose the place and time of their appointment while Medialpha handles the paperwork and processing. “Our platform is unique on the market – it used to take up to an hour to find the right service provider, we’ve cut that time down to 5 minutes.” says Jean-Pierre Sabe-Affaki. “This represents important operational savings for clinics, nurses, or a private company like medical laboratory service providers or insurance providers”.

The concept is very simple:
-The patient sends his or her requisition via fax, email or online form on Medialpha’s website which then finds the best price on the market thanks to its proprietary software. Within 24-48h, Medialpha calls the patient to coordinate an appointment – a nurse is then sent to the patient’s house or office at his or her convenience. Medialpha also ensures the prescribing physician and patient receive the results via email.

What’s next for Medialpha?

Besides running pilot projects in 4 different clinics, Medialpha now offers administrative assistants to mobile nurses and has even extended its services to urine based tests and more specialized tests associated with allergies or reproductive health, facilitating access to over 500 different tests.

Valérie DoréMedialpha
read more

EYEWARE: Enabling interaction through face tracking technology

Eye Ware

How can you use face tracking technology to improve human-machine interaction ?

Eyeware has a grand vision: to give all computers, devices and robots the ability to understand people, with the help of next-generation machine vision algorithms. Thanks to its innovative eye tracking technology, complemented by head and face tracking, Eyeware opens the door to new applications in healthcare, robotics, consumer research, and social studies.

How EyeWare began

eyewareteamBy joining HH Valais’ 2015 Arkathon, PhD students Kenneth Funes and Carlos Becker were able to validate the application of Kenneth’s research on head tracking technology, a byproduct of his research on 3D gaze tracking, in a healthcare environment. 18 months later Eyeware co-founders are still going strong and focusing on releasing their first commercial venture.

Eyeware has a grand vision: to give all computers, devices and robots the ability to understand people, with the help of next-generation machine vision algorithms. Thanks to its innovative eye tracking technology, complemented by head and face tracking, Eyeware opens the door to new applications in healthcare, robotics, consumer research, and social studies. Their first product, Eyeware Assist, is a PC software that enables hands-free computer control for paralyzed people.

“The Arkathon was an opportunity to apply the research I was conducting into a concrete problem for patients at the Romand Rehabilitation Clinic (CRR)”

“The Arkathon was an opportunity to apply the research I was conducting into a concrete problem for patients at the Romand Rehabilitation Clinic (CRR)” explains Kenneth. At Idiap, a Swiss research institute for Human and Media Computing, he was developing cutting edge technology for which he was eager to employ in diverse applications, including healthcare. On the other hand the CRR had a number of patients without mobility in their arms which found current systems for computer control unsatisfactory, with only but a handful of companies developing solutions. Impressed by the demonstrator the team developed over the course of the Arkathon, the clinic offered them to their facilities, staff and patients to help support development post-hackathon and validate patient use.
This enabled the team, now joined by Idiap senior researcher Jean-Marc Odobez and entrepreneurs Serban Mogos and Bastjan Prenaj, to test, validate and refine the product.

Eyeware Assist

Post hackathon: getting to market, defining the offer

As grand prize winner for the Arkathon, the team also integrated The Ark’s e-health acceleration program, which was instrumental in supporting their go to market strategy. “Through this acceleration program, we want the projects developed at the Arkathon to be realized quickly and take full advantage of windows of opportunity in their respective markets,” says Sébastien Mabillard. He’s the coordinator for e-health projects for The Ark Foundation, a regional incubation and acceleration service which provides support not only for technology and business development but also for marketing, legal and medical.

Besides winning the $50,000 René Liechti Foundation award, and the International Create Challenge, Eyeware also gathered support from Swiss venture consortium Venture Kick, which also helped fuel the go to market work. Recently, they were amongst the finalists in the renown MassChallenge accelerator program.

What’s next?

In the process of developing their first product, the Eyeware team are aiming expand their offering to social behavior research, marketing, and social robotics, amongst others, as their software can support studies on human-human interaction, help understand consumer’s interests, and be a key component in human-perception algorithms for robots.

Their first product, EyeWare Assist, is about to hit the French and German markets. It provides users more than just a head and face controlled mouse, allowing them to stop, resume, scroll and even configure. By letting the device track his or her face features and movements, the patient is able to refine control and expand capabilities – even more interestingly, the software is able to learn and adapt to each user. It will become available for all platforms, and the team is working to find optimal channels for making their product easily available to their customers.


Valérie DoréEYEWARE: Enabling interaction through face tracking technology
read more

CarePRN: matching home care needs and givers

Care PRN

How can you improve access to professional and convenient home care?


Paula Lauren (fourth from left) competed at Hacking Health in Detroit last month, and received awards for her group's app, "CarePRN."

About CarePRN

RN nurse in training and home care provider Jason Wolfe-Greer entered Hacking Health Windsor Detroit’s first hackathon with a simple idea: make it easier for families to find and schedule home care for their loved ones. Together with his team they developed Care PRN, which won “Best Student Team from the US” award. This allowed them to benefit from a 3 month launch program at event host and research and technology business center Tech Town Detroit. This digital marketplace will make it easier for families find a trusted home caregiver while supporting homecare givers in finding reliable work and reducing administrative expenses.

What inspired you to launch your own business?

The launch of CarePRN came from personal need. When I was helping to care for my fiancée’s grandfather at home, there was no good source to turn to in order to find trustworthy home care. I did not need the constant care of a home healthcare agency and did not want some stranger from Craigslist. The desire to be able to get a break from the care demands of caring for a loved one at home and knowing they would be in the trustworthy, competent hands of a background-checked, certified caregiver is what drove me to start CarePRN.

Given what you know now, what would you have done differently in the beginning?

I would change my expectation on how easy it would be to get an idea from concept to market and how long that would take. From when I started working on CarePRN, I thought I would be to market in under a year, but there are many challenges and obstacles that must be overcome to keep an idea moving down the path to market.



Valérie DoréCarePRN: matching home care needs and givers
read more

iUGO Care, Born in HH Toronto

CareKit was created during the 2015 eHealth conference in Toronto for the Hacking Health Design Challenge.
This comprehensive software and hardware solution enables monitoring and management in real time of at home patients with the use of wearables and sensors. Eight months later, Reliq Health acquired CareKit (rebranded iUGO Care) for $2 million in shares and performance warrants. Co-founders Leo Godreault and Giancarlo De Lio gave us some insight on their incredible journey.

Latest Update

Reliq Health Technologies Named #1 2018 TSX Venture 50TM Performer, and Reaches 10,000 Patients Live on Its iUGO Care Platform


How it started

“Leo initiated the project” explains Giancarlo. “We met before the challenge in a coffee shop, he told me about his idea, and he convinced me to come onboard”. Hacking Health Design Challenge focused on themes such as patient management, patient coordination and communication so their team developed CareKit, a care coordination platform connected to wearables and Estimote Beacon sensors linked to Apple’s HealthKit. The data generated by patients while at home is shared with healthcare professionals and family members, allowing them to monitor their health remotely.

Carekit TeamLeo and Giancarlo benefited from the strengths of well-rounded team with the right skill set and talents to succeed. Giancarlo is an accomplished entrepreneur with a background in healthcare IT who had previously sat on the jury for the 2014 eHealth Hacking Health Hackathon while Leo is a trained nurse who had also participated in the Apps For Health challenge.

CareKit won both Most Innovative Solution and Microsoft Digital Health Awards and the Microsoft Digital Health Awards – Giancarlo says that developing and refining both hardware and software was one of the added value of their project. The high quality of the final demo presented by Leo ensured their success at the competition.

Now barely a year after, CareKit, now rebranded iUGO Care, was acquired by Reliq Health. This opportunity will enable Leo and Giancarlo to accelerate their growth and expand their client base. When we asked them about
the key elements to such an amazing success in a short amount of time, Giancarlo simply said: “We took our
idea and hit the ground running!”
They both acknowledge that the Hacking Health Design Challenge was the drive behind iUGO Care. The eight week format of the design challenge facilitated prototype development and «the creation of something truly functional». Additionally they were able to understand the needs of the Ontario Telemedicine Network (OTN), an important leader in the field, and meet the right people. During the meetups organised by Hacking Health, they had the opportunity to discuss with mentors who stirred them towards the right direction. For instance, Leo explained that it was a suggestion from industry leaders that prompted them to consider a feature to monitor patients remotely. Giancarlo named Dave Greenwood as one of the leaders that saw the potential of their project and supported them during the various steps of the challenge. The fact that OTN supported iUGO Care even after the competition encouraged them to keep on going with their project.

After an exhausting but rewarding Design Challenge, they had to make a decision: to engage in iUGO Care as entrepreneurs or to let go. Giancarlo explains that it takes complete dedication to move a project of this
scale forward. Leo, who at the time was working as a nurse, took a leap of faith and decided to focus on iUGO Care with Giancarlo full time. What would he recommend to future participants that could be faced with a similar dilemma? “It’s very difficult, I would say that it has to be a project that is really meaningful to them. It has to be a risk that they are willing to take”.

Now What?

iUGO Care has announced two pilot projects and a full scale contract in the US and expects to expand into Canada and Europe later this year. Since the end of the competition, they added a voice technology to their existing software and hardware hub. The goal of iUGO Care is to reduce emergency visits and hospital readmissions of complex patients. iUGO Care forms a support circle around the patient that enables healthcare
practitioners, caretakers and family members to monitor complex patients at home and to guide them in
managing their care plans with a system of alerts and teaching modules.

To celebrate iUGO Care’s first anniversary, Leo and Giancarlo will mentor and judge during the next Hacking Health Design Challenge at the eHealth conference. They both continue to work hard on the development of their application and to create their own proprietary hardware while carefully following the result of the pilots.

We congratulate them for their dedication and hard work!

Read more success stories

Valérie DoréiUGO Care, Born in HH Toronto
read more