Pressing fast forward on healthcare innovation


Ottawa, Ontario — Friday February 16, 2024

“We don’t do that here.”  

This was the statement that lit a fire under Dr. Matthew Bromwich, a pediatric ENT surgeon at CHEO and med-tech innovator, to find out why introducing new technologies in a hospital setting was so hard. It inspired him to create a better pathway for healthcare innovators like him to bring great ideas to life to benefit patients.  

He discovered the statement was true – supporting the research, validation, co-development, commercialization and implementation of new technologies is not exactly what people think of when they envision the work of a hospital research institute. White coats, sterile labs, microscopes and pipettes are often the imagery that comes to mind.  

But in order to press fast forward on promising healthcare innovations, we need to break the mould of traditional research institutes and bridge the gaps between the research, healthcare and business communities to help valuable research and new technologies transform into tangible solutions for hospitals.  

“In healthcare, we know that innovation is part of how we constantly improve outcomes of care. But healthcare as an industry is risk-adverse and can be challenged to work outside the box to bring promising new technologies to market. Research institutes have a role to play in helping shift this,” says Dr. Jason Berman, CEO and Scientific Director of the CHEO Research Institute, and Vice-President of Research at CHEO.  

In Canada, 10% of all start-ups are in med-tech. Of that number, 90% of these start-ups fail. Often, it’s because start-ups aren’t connected early enough to the right people to understand the crux of the challenges facing clinicians and hospitals, and how to navigate the complicated and highly regulated healthcare system.  

“By building a dedicated team and supporting a focused approach on innovation, the CHEO Research Institute is taking a different approach to improve these odds,” says Dr. Bromwich, Medical Director of the Innovation Core. “We will be working directly with start-ups and researchers to bring these ideas into market faster and ultimately improve our healthcare system.” Dr. Matthew Bromwich speaking at National Health Tech Innovation Conference

Part of the mandate includes the 8-80 Collaborative between the CHEO Research Institute Innovation Core and Bruyère. With over $4 million in Government of Canada funding, through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), the initiative will aim to support innovators, new ideas and health-tech products and services benefitting patients across the entire age spectrum. 

In early December, the CHEO Research Institute hosted the inaugural National Health-Tech Innovation Conference, bringing together representatives from research, healthcare and business to share and discuss the barriers to implementation of new ideas and technologies and how to help address them.  

If you’re interested in learning more and want to get involved, please reach out to [email protected] or visit 

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