Innovation - Research, Discovery & Innovation

At Nova Scotia Health, we work in partnership with government, academia, health centres, private industry, funders, communities and patients to drive innovation.

In the context of healthcare, innovation is defined as improvements to the efficiency, effectiveness, quality, sustainability, safety and/or affordability of healthcare. This includes new or improved health policies, practices, systems, products and technologies, services and delivery methods that result in improved health care, with particular emphasis on the needs of vulnerable populations (source: World Health Organization).

The rise of innovation in healthcare has created an enhanced role for technology. Technology provides new ways of delivering services and is vital as data analytics capabilities deepen, and artificial intelligence and robotics become integrated into our systems.

For the Health Innovation, Research, and Discovery Hub, innovation also means challenging the way we work together to advance health care in this province. Every day, we are finding new, exciting ways to work together to deepen our impact and translate the research done by Nova Scotia's brilliant research community into care that transforms lives.

The Hub is committed to the innovation ecosystem in Nova Scotia through activities such as:

  • working with the winners of each Health Challenge in the Proof of Concept Launchpad
  • identifying and evaluating technologies for Nova Scotia Health stakeholders to launch solutions
  • leading implementation projects
  • promoting system transformation through process reengineering within Nova Scotia Health’s clinical departments
  • establishing a skunkworks model to tackle Nova Scotia Health challenges and capitalize on opportunities
  • developing a funding model to support new technology and internal program pilots
  • developing new technology proof of concept launches.

Proof of Concept Launchpad

In order to leverage new and emerging healthcare services and solutions, Nova Scotia Health has created the Proof of Concept Launchpad to support and promote the ability to test and trial (i.e. proof of concept) new technologies at Nova Scotia Health.

The idea behind the Launchpad is to work with researchers, emerging companies, and commercialized solutions to increase the agility, nimbleness and responsiveness of Nova Scotia Health in our innovation ecosystem. All services and solutions will be subject to a discovery period and, if successful, a proof of concept deployment with the applicable clinical department within Nova Scotia Health.

Health Challenge

In 2020, Nova Scotia Health hosted two pitch competitions aligned to Nova Scotia Health’s strategic areas of focus. Volta, Nova Scotia Health, BioNova, QEII Foundation, and the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency came together to tackle key health challenges and address specific health care priorities. Additional health challenges themed around other health care priorities will be held in 2021.

Health Challenge #1, June 2020
Focus: Cancer Care
Winner: Adaptiiv Medical Technologies
Idea:  Using 3D printing to improve treatment accuracy and patient care
Learn more about Adaptiiv's winning idea.

Health Challenge #2, October 2020
Focus: Mental Health and Wellness
Winner: WeUsThem
Idea: Technology that empowers youth to track and take care of their health on a daily basis
Learn more about WeUsThem's winning idea.