McMaster Innovation Park
Hamilton tech startup gets $2-million boost
A business incubator at the McMaster Innovation Park is celebrating its first major "graduation" with the $2-million acquisition of a Hamilton startup company that is developing a unique home health-care platform.
CareKit Health — which has been operating at The Forge in the innovation park — is working on a range of technologies for home use, from automated audio reminders to beaming real-time vital signs to health-care providers.
An announcement Thursday said CareKit has been acquired by British Columbia-based Moseda Technologies Inc., which describes itself as an "established technology company working to develop mobile health solutions."
Moseda plans to further develop CareKit technology that uses wearable components, sensors, and a voice technology hub. The goal is to help the elderly and those with disabling illnesses to be more self sufficient at home while the technology provides a regular flow of data about them to ensure they are safe.
The company argues real-time monitoring by health-care providers remotely will allow emerging medical problems to be red-flagged and dealt with before they escalate.
"It really automates a lot of the care in the home that has traditionally been done by a family member or a personal support worker or nurse," said Lisa Crossley, the CEO of Moseda.
"It holds their hand in a way that is scalable depending on the situation," she said. A higher functioning patient might use a smartphone and input data either wirelessly or by hand, for example. In other cases, sensors on the patient will automatically beam vital-sign information.
As an example of the technology at work, she said, sensors can be calibrated to detect a person walking into a room, such as a bathroom. A voice message then might remind the patient to weigh herself or take a blood pressure reading. It could note that a medication needs to be taken from an automated dispenser.
All this would be accomplished through proprietary software, sensors, beacons and other smart hardware technologies that are available on the market, said Crossley.
CareKit Health is the brainchild of Giancarlo De Lio and Leo Godreault. The new company will see De Lio as chief visionary officer at Moseda and Godreault as the company's new vice-president of products.
CareKit emerged from a so-called "hackathon" at the eHealth 2015 conference in Toronto last June. Organizers challenged participants to build a solution for connected care for patients in the home. From there, a company spun out to set up in September 2015 at The Forge, the startup incubator partnership between McMaster University and Innovation Factory.
De Lio said CareKit Health has secured contracts in the U.S., Canada and the U.K. and "joining Moseda will give us the ability to rapidly increase our global presence and we are excited about the increased value our combined technology portfolios and talent will provide to our customers."
"We are very proud of the CareKit team, and are pleased to see them going public on the TSX Venture Exchange in our first go-public exit. This is great news for The Forge and for Hamilton," said Monika Yazdanian, director of The Forge.
The Forge has been operating for about one and a half years and more recently opened a division in a James Street North storefront.
Crossley said the company plans to stay in Hamilton and is looking for business space either at the Innovation Park or somewhere else in the city. The company hopes to have "several dozen employees" within a couple of years.
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