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Investments in Innovative Neonatal Care Help Families Bond

Support for IWK Health Centre’s Chez NICU Home Solution to Improve Patient Outcomes, Create Jobs and Open Global Market Opportunities

Building on its pilot project, the IWK Health Centre in Halifax is developing and commercializing the Chez NICU Home Solution for neonatal intensive care. Advancing the technology will provide increased support for families with newborns in neonatal intensive care. In addition, this support will result in new jobs and skills development in the life sciences and IT sectors, including seven new full-time and five student positions. Chez NICU Home is a product that the IWK will be able to license to other hospitals nationally and globally.

Nearly one in eight babies is born preterm in Canada. Historically, parents weren’t always able to play a key role in the care of these babies. Chez NICU Home technology will help families with children in neonatal intensive care maintain closer bonds. Research shows that increased parent involvement improves outcomes for infants and parents, with shorter lengths of stay, fewer infections and improved infant-parent bonding.

The Government of Canada is investing $3 million in the research and development of this secure virtual platform that will enable families and healthcare professionals to remotely monitor, interact with and learn about preterm infants through smart technology.

The funding was announced today by the Honourable Scott Brison, President of the Treasury Board and Member of Parliament for Kings-Hants, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA).

The investment is made under ACOA’s Atlantic Innovation Fund, which encourages partnerships among private sector firms, universities, colleges and other research institutions to develop and commercialize new or improved products and services.

Cisco Canada will assist the IWK with Chez NICU Home’s technology requirements and with the commercialization of the product. Cisco is providing a $455,000 project contribution.

Canada’s Innovation Agenda aims to make this country a global centre for innovation—one that creates jobs, drives growth across all industries and improves the lives of all Canadians. The Government’s investment in the IWK exemplifies that vision in action.

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