The burgeoning Digital Health sector holds good potential for the province of New Brunswick and Opportunities NB (ONB) is working hard to turn that potential into reality. We envision Atlantic Canada as a Digital Health innovation hub, with opportunities for well-paying high-skill jobs and healthcare benefits that will directly impact New Brunswickers.
Today, Surrey, British Columbia’s Health and Technology District has announced that Saint John, New Brunswick has been selected as the location for the first phase of its Atlantic Canadian division — Health and Technology District Atlantic.
We have made great strides in building new economic sectors like Cybersecurity and Cannabis; this announcement is the first step towards making Digital Health another New Brunswick strength.
What is Digital Health?
When we talk about Digital Health, we’re talking about much more than just electronic medical records or your Fitbit. Digital Health refers to a wide assortment of technological advances in artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, telemedicine, wearables, and 3D printing. The use of these innovative technologies is already transforming healthcare for people around the world.
The Health and Technology District is one of BC’s most rapidly growing and dynamic players in the Digital Health sector. They have an established model — launched in 2012 — that we will look to replicate here in New Brunswick.
New Brunswick’s Value Proposition
In Surrey, the Health and Technology District benefits greatly from an ideal location; they established a workspace adjacent to Surrey Memorial Hospital, one of the busiest hospitals in Canada. Since launching six years ago, they have created an incredible ecosystem comprised of innovative entrepreneurs, scientists, and healthcare professionals.
Their team recognized the same potential here in New Brunswick. They identified Saint John as their best option for this new division due to in part to the availability of land near the Saint John Regional Hospital, the University of New Brunswick’s Saint John campus, and New Brunswick Community College.
In addition, Digital Health technologies obviously include both hardware and software that track and measure heart rate, blood sugar levels, pulse, mood, and much more. This is all highly personal patient data that needs to be well secured. New Brunswick offers healthcare groups a safe innovation ecosystem thanks to our world-class cybersecurity sector and the fine work being done by our CyberNB division.
Partnerships Make it Happen
There is plenty of interest and activity around healthcare in New Brunswick. We look forward to collaborating with industry players and our partners at the Department of Health, the New Brunswick Health Research Foundation (NBHRF), post-secondary institutions, and our two Regional Health Authorities — Vitalité and Horizon.
ONB recognizes its vital role in this sector and we fully intend to capitalize on what is a transformational time for the healthcare industry. There will be new companies, new innovations and advances, and new growth in Digital Health.
Keep an eye on this exciting sector, we are just getting started.
Learn more about our team’s work at our newly launched Digital Health sector page.
Written by Jason Boies