Medtech is one of the fastest growing sectors in the Waterloo tech ecosystem, with hundreds of early and growth stage companies emerging and primed to transform health care.
Collaboratively, the AC and community partners like MIX, are working to create a seamless network of support for medtech innovators to successfully build, grow, and scale their companies here in Waterloo.
Two of the region’s foremost success stories, Intellijoint Surgical and Emmetros, have recently announced a partnership that will enable orthopaedic surgeons to deliver a uniquely customizable and collaborative care experience to patients and their families.
The new partnership is tangible evidence of the impact collaborative innovation ecosystems can have as they look to drive the development and adoption of local medtech innovations.
Founded by Armen Bakirtzian, Intellijoint Surgical develops and commercializes surgical planning and navigation solutions for hip and knee replacements. The company was born out of a final year design project at UW and has since become one of the top medical innovation companies to come out of the Waterloo ecosystem.
Emmetros founder, Mary Pat Hinton, created SparxConnect after being deeply inspired by her grandmother to create patient care solutions that improve patient outcomes and prioritized independence and dignity of the person receiving care.
The pair first met three years ago at an event hosted by the AC. They were introduced by Elliot Fung, now Executive Director of MIX, the region’s first collaborative space dedicated to medtech innovation. From his own experience in both the health care system and in the innovation ecosystem, Elliot understood that both Emmetros and Intellijoint had a shared mission - creating a patient experience that not only increases efficiency for clinics and the likelihood of positive patient outcomes, but one that impacts how patients feel about the care experience.
As Mary Pat’s team grew and was preparing to graduate from The Accelerator Program, she saw the value of co-locating her team with other innovative medtech founders and decided to relocate to MIX.
After joining MIX, she and Armen forged a partnership that would leverage SparxConnect’s patient engagement and collaboration platform to expand Intellijoint offerings beyond the operating room. The new solution, Intellijoint CARE™, is an innovative patient engagement solution for orthopaedic clinics who want to offer a highly personalized care experience while optimizing the time of their surgeons and staff.
This partnership gives us an incredible opportunity to further our mission of improving patients’ lives with technology while enabling the expansion of Intellijoint’s offering across the episode of care,” said Armen Bakirtzian, CEO and co-founder of Intellijoint Surgical. “We strongly believe that the combined expertise of both organizations will ensure Intellijoint CARE is a unique and transformative solution for the orthopaedic space.
“When values and mission-aligned companies like ours come together, we are showing that exceptional care really is possible,” said Mary Pat Hinton, CEO, Emmetros. “Because of our access to Intellijoint Surgical’s network of exceptional orthopaedic surgeons and direct consultation with their clinical research team, we are building a uniquely enriched care experience for orthopaedic patients. And this experience not only increases efficiency for clinics and the likelihood of positive patient outcomes, it impacts how patients feel about the care experience, and that’s what builds trust in the system – something we should all be striving for."
Mary Pat credits the ecosystem, and collaborations between organizations like the AC and MIX, for helping make the partnership possible.
The ecosystem that surrounds and supports the development of medtech companies in the Waterloo region is incredibly strong,” said Mary Pat Hinton, CEO of Emmetros. “For us, this started with the Accelerator Center where we had mentors who modeled the value of building trusted relationships – a critical ingredient to success.
“Partnerships like the one between Emmetros and Intellijoint are exactly the kinds of relationships we hope to foster through our collaborations with local partners in the medtech ecosystem,” says Jay Krishnan, CEO at the AC. Whether is it through service provider partnerships, like Grand River Hospital through our Plexus Medtech Program, or collaborations with other ecosystem players like MIX, we’re committed to helping Canadian-made innovations grow and thrive. We’re pleased to see two of our alumni working together to better patient care.”
“A strong ecosystem is an essential part of creating a thriving community of successful domestic innovators,” said Armen Bakirtzian, CEO and co-founder of Intellijoint Surgical. “This is even more true for medical innovators given the sector specific knowledge, infrastructure, and commercialization strategies that are required. The creation of MIX builds upon the strong start-up ecosystem supported by the University of Waterloo, Velocity, the Accelerator Centre and Communitech to focus on supporting medtech scale-ups once they leave the start-up spaces in the Region.”
Emmetros is the creator of SparxConnect, a secure engagement and collaboration platform that supports both home and healthcare providers in delivering exceptional, personalized care. Our unique approach makes it easy for care providers to consult, communicate, and collaborate with each other and most importantly, with people at the heart of the care experience: patients and their families Visit www.SparxConnect.com to learn more.
About Intellijoint Surgical
Intellijoint Surgical® develops and commercializes surgical planning & navigation solutions for total hip and knee joint replacements, as well as digital patient engagement for all orthopaedic specialties. It is committed to improving patients’ lives by providing every surgeon with effective, easy-to-use technology to manage the entire episode of care. Intellijoint’s technology is used by top orthopaedic institutions and surgeons globally. For more information on Intellijoint Surgical visit www.intellijointsurgical.com.
MIX is Canada’s first industry-led medical technology hub, located in Kitchener, ON. Its focus is to create a thriving ecosystem that develops, sustains, and retains domestic medical technology companies and establishes the Kitchener-Waterloo Region as a leader in medical innovation. Its 30,000 square foot facility includes current residents Intellijoint Surgical, Penta Medical, Vena Medical, Bloom Care Solutions, NERv Technolgy and Emmetros. Learn more about the residency program.