Two Ontario-based venture organizations have recently forged an alliance to help bring high-tech innovations to health care networks faster.

MaRS Health and ventureLAB are building a pilot network of Ontario health care organizations that will serve as testing grounds for new tech spawned from startups. This is aimed not only at helping startups directly improve patient’s lives, but also understand the practical complexities involved in delivering care.

The new joint program also has plans to help partnering health care institutions and startups demonstrate their tech solutions through co-development events involving other health care practitioners and institutions, as well as connect with the wider developer community through hackathons and challenge competitions.

Both MaRS and ventureLAB already focus on innovations in the health industry and have previously built programs to accelerate the integration of new tech in the Ontario health care system. This new collaboration will also combine existing services from both organizations, including MaRS’ HealthKick and EXCITE programs, and ventureLAB’s Healthcare Ecosphere.

“ventureLAB has had great success in bringing together organizations and hospitals to solve real health care problems through its Healthcare Ecosphere program,” said Jeremy Laurin, president and CEO of ventureLAB, in a statement. “By working with MaRS on this new initiative, we hope to expand the reach of the program to include more hospitals, institutions, ventures and members of the Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs.”

The two venture organizations expect the alliance will help the participating pilot health care networks quickly address issues hospital staff face day-to-day, and potentially scale those solutions up to help the industry as a whole.

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