Innovation Nation: What Canada’s cutting-edge health tech startups need to get to the next level

Jeff Ruby, founder and CEO of Newtopia.Photo by Peter J. Thompson/National Post. National Post photo illustration.

Mark Taylor has a front-row seat to the development and launch of some of Canada’s greatest health-tech innovations as the leader of the licensing and commercialization team at Toronto’s University Health Network (UHN), one of the largest health-care and medical research organizations in North America.

Gene therapy to treat rare diseases in a single dose, devices that recognize brain tumours using artificial intelligence and a simple blood test that accurately diagnoses if you have cancer and, if so, what type are just some of the medical breakthroughs that are being developed and fine-tuned in the country’s biggest city.

“It generally takes lots of money and risk mitigation to get these kinds of products to market, but our approach is to develop and test internally in the hospital setting before we license product or start companies,” Taylor said. “We’ve been very lucky to have some world-leading wins here and we’re glad to be able to share our successes with the community.”