October 16th, 2019

// Biomedical Zone HeathBound Start Up Challenge 2019/2020 Tackles Technology for Mental Health and Addictions

Biomedical Zone HeathBound Start Up Challenge 2019/2020 Tackles Technology for Mental Health and Addictions

Applications to participate in this year's event open on October 21, 2019

TORONTO, Oct. 16, 2019 /CNW/ - The Biomedical Zone, a partnership between Ryerson University and St. Michael's Hospital, is pleased to announce a collaboration with Shoppers Drug Mart for its third annual Healthbound Start Up Challenge competition. 

This year's challenge will focus on finding innovative, technology-driven solutions from the community that will make a tangible impact for individuals experiencing mental health and/or addiction issues. The winning teams will receive a total of $50,000 as well as residency in the Biomedical Zone health technology incubator to help grow their companies.

"We are thrilled to collaborate with Shoppers Drug Mart in offering our third annual HealthBound Start Up Challenge," said Linda Maxwell, Executive Director of the Biomedical Zone. "We look forward to working with startups from across Canada to showcase innovative and practical technology-driven solutions supporting patients' mental health. This is a timely and important challenge, providing the healthcare community, patients, and caregivers with fresh new ideas, and startups with the opportunity to collaborate with leading healthcare organizations to affect real change."

"Access to mental health resources and solutions for Canadians living with mental illness is one of the biggest challenges facing our patients, our friends and our colleagues across the country," said Theresa Firestone, Senior Vice President, Health and Wellness, Shoppers Drug Mart. "We believe innovative ideas will be required to make meaningful impact and we're excited to work with Ryerson, St. Michael's and the Biomedical Zone on this startup challenge."

HealthBound is an innovation competition that convenes health institutions, startups, clinicians, and end-users of technology to develop solutions around ubiquitous healthcare challenges. 

The event's agile approach to innovation supports rapid adaptation and adoption of new technology in a healthcare setting. 

Shoppers Drug Mart and the Biomedical Zone chose mental health and addictions as this year's HealthBound theme as it is one of the biggest healthcare challenges facing Canadians today. In fact, according to the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, by the time Canadians reach 40 years of age, one in two have, or have had, a mental illness. 

Previous HealthBound challenges have included addressing healthcare-associated infections, and improving the patient experience in outpatient settings. 

Last year's HealthBound winner, Verto, created a technology to optimize patient flow and automate administrative tasks which has now been deployed within several Canadian hospitals.

Applications for startups to participate in HealthBound open Monday October 21, 2019 at 12:00 pm and ends on December 13, 2019. Finalists will pitch their companies to a panel of industry experts on February 13, 2019. For further information, or to apply to participate in HealthBound, visit https://www.healthbound-bmz.ca/

About the Biomedical Zone

Founded in 2015, the Biomedical Zone is Canada's first physician-led, hospital-embedded health technology incubator. A partnership between Ryerson University and St. Michael's Hospital, the Biomedical Zone's first-in-class concurrent business and clinical validation methodology supports startup companies and demonstrates how hospitals can drive economic impact while delivering the highest quality healthcare. To date, the Biomedical Zone has hosted 37 companies and supported the creation of more than 100 startup jobs. 

About Shoppers Drug Mart

Shoppers Drug Mart is one of the most recognized and trusted names in Canadian retailing. The company is the licensor of full-service retail drug stores operating under the name Shoppers Drug Mart (Pharmaprix in Québec). With almost 1,300 Shoppers Drug Mart and Pharmaprix stores operating in prime locations in each province and two territories, the company is one of the most convenient retailers in Canada. The company also licenses or owns 47 medical clinic pharmacies operating under the name Shoppers Simply Pharmacy (Pharmaprix Simplement Santé in Québec), and provides cosmetic dermatology services at two standalone locations, the Beauty Clinic. As well, the company owns and operates 43 corporate Wellwise by Shoppers Drug Mart stores and an ecommerce site Wellwise.ca, making it the largest Canadian retailer of home health care products and services. In addition to its retail store network, the company owns Shoppers Drug Mart Specialty Health Network Inc., a provider of specialty drug distribution, pharmacy and comprehensive patient support services, and MediSystem Inc., a provider of pharmaceutical products and services to long-term care facilities. Shoppers Drug Mart is an independent operating division of Loblaw Companies Limited.

SOURCE Ryerson University

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