Ontario’s 14 million citizens are one step closer to harnessing the possibilities of digital health innovation, following the launch of the new Project SPARK website.

SPARK is a pathway through which healthcare innovators can gain streamlined access to provincial patient health data. On the other side of that pathway, patients can access their electronic personal health information in the same way they access online banking.

Launched with funding from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, SPARK aims to help break down barriers and stimulate innovation. The website connects digital health innovators to Ontario’s electronic data assets by guiding them through the SPARK pathway. SPARK is designed for innovators, including software developers, health service providers, vendors and startup companies. Its step-by-step process facilitates access to provincially housed patient health data. Innovators, in turn, can provide patients with tools that will enable them to access their own health information through their preferred digital device, such as a smartphone or tablet. Mobile health applications will be the catalyst to change care conversations.

SPARK is a collaborative partnership between the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, eHealth Ontario, MaRS Discovery District and University Health Network (UHN), who share a common vision to stimulate consumer digital health innovation for Ontario.

“We are very excited to partner with the ministry, UHN and eHealth Ontario to better enable access to health data and to drive innovation that improves both the health system and consumers lives,” says Joe Greenwood, executive lead, data, and program director of Data Catalyst at MaRS. “MaRS is a key partner in developing SPARK and an entry point into the pathway that will enable innovators to determine if they are ready to utilize core provincial data assets and accelerate taking their product to market.”

Check out the SPARK website at projectspark.ca.

MaRS News Desk