Cult-Fave Milk Bar Just Opened in Nordstrom
Breaking: There’s a New Comfort Food Lunch Pop-up Opening in Gastown
Apparently, Lots of Vancouverites Are Buying Chocolate-Covered Strawberries for Themselves
The Perfect Autumn Cocktail Recipe: Donostia Askatuta
Everything You Need to Know About the BCL’s 2022 Whisky Release
A New Pop-Up Wine Bar Is Coming to Strathcona in November
5 Shows to Catch at the 2023 PuSh Festival
What It’s Like to Be a Figure Skater for Disney on Ice
Ten Black Friday Deals to Check Out Now
The Ultimate Winter Staycation Guide 2023: 6 Great Places to Explore in B.C.
B.C. Winter Staycation Guide 2023: 48 Hours in Tofino
B.C. Winter Staycation Guide 2023: Everything You Need to Know About Whistler’s Creekside
We Tried It: Indochino’s New Custom Women’s Suits
11 Holiday Gift Ideas from Local, Indigenous-Owned Brands
Nugu Brings design-led, sustainable dinnerware to North America
Five of the city’s top healthcare innovators gathered at the Launch Pad last Wednesday for Vancouver Startup Week, and an eventful panel on the future of digital health. The consensus: the keys to success in tomorrow’s healthcare industry are data, data, and more data.Brendan Byrne, Chief Innovation Officer at Telus Digital Health, told the audience that the sheer volume of information doctors can now generate about patients is enormous, but it’s in putting that info to use that healthcare startups should look for success (the communications firm has been open about their shift in focus towards digital healthcare, investing over $1.5-billion in the health field since 2000). Doctors and caregivers can now collect a patient’s full genetic sequence, map the synaptic connections in their brain, and even document the tiny universe of bacterial species in their digestive system — but all that raw data is useless if it can’t be understood and put to work in the real world.That’s where the digital health innovations of tomorrow come in. How do you put all this insight to work for the patient and, perhaps more importantly, how do you get the patient to cooperate with your proposed solutions?CEO Sarah Goodman, of the health tracking startup VitalSines, said her company is considering everything from 24/7 data collection to an open “bio-app marketplace” in an attempt to find that all-important bridge between data and patient. Vancouver startup Ayogo is trying to integrate healthcare with the principles of games and online competition, in an attempt to do the same.Byrne said that everybody, from brand new entrants to large corporations like Telus itself, can see that a flood of powerful new digital health initiatives could be just a few key innovations away. Anyone could be the source of those innovations, so the only real question is who will be the first to adequately invest in developing those world-changing ideas.The group identified two major barriers to Canadian health startups: funding, and consumer trust. It’s a simple reality of the modern Canadian market that most of the truly lucrative deals must be made either in Toronto or the United States, and the panel strongly agreed that any foray into healthcare will require a hefty budget for international flights.As to privacy, the group’s opinions were mixed. Byrne and others said that in an age of high-profile data breaches, it’s inherently difficult to get patients to trust a digital service provider with such sensitive information. On the other hand, Curtis Duggan of Blue Mesa Health said that much of the information healthcare providers find most important, like blood sugar or resting heartrate, is not seen as particularly private information.All speakers could agree on one thing, however: once people can actually see the benefits of digital health all around them, the most troublesome objections will quickly begin to fall away.