Providence a Key Partner in Today’s Digital Supercluster Announcement

Jan 16, 2020 | News

Providence Health Care is pleased to be a founding member of the Canada Digital Technology Supercluster. Supported by the St. Paul’s Foundation, we’re working with private and public industry partners to help make Canada a global hub for digital technology innovation through investing in solutions in diverse industries and sectors, including health care.

Today, the Digital Technology Supercluster announced 14 new projects with a total investment of $25 million; eight focused on talent development for the digital economy, six in technology. The announcement was made by Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry Navdeep Bains.

Providence is a key partner in the following four exciting projects:

The Dermatology Point-of-Care Intelligent Network – Imagine being able to quickly diagnose deadly skin cancer by taking a photo. Early detection of skin cancer is critical to improving the chances of survival, yet there can be up to a six month wait time to see a dermatologist. By using AI-powered medical imaging that incorporates dermatology and pathology data and images, patients can get diagnosed in days – rather than months – anywhere in Canada. As part of the Supercluster initiative’s Technology Leadership Cycle, the Dermatology Point-of-Care Intelligent Network will connect all points of care for patients who may be dealing with skin cancer.  Providence partners in this project include Change Healthcare (lead), MetaOptima Technology, Careteam Technologies, University of Victoria, UBC and BC Cancer.

Reducing Opioid Use for Pain Management – This active monitoring system will enable physicians to improve pain management, and proactively manage opioid prescriptions and their use in surgery patients. The technology will allow for personalized evaluation of a patient’s use of opioids, response to pain, nausea, mobility, and coinciding sleep efficiency – all critical elements in optimizing treatment and minimizing the risk of opioid addiction. Partners with PHC on this initiative include UBC, BC Children’s Hospital, Thrive Health, Xerus Medical, Excelar Technologies and Careteam Technologies (lead).

The Point-of-Care Ultrasound Network – Ultrasound imaging is used to provide an early diagnosis of many medical conditions, including urgent heart and pregnancy conditions. This Providence-led project will combine portable ultrasound devices, imaging technology, and machine learning to enable family physicians to make accurate diagnoses, regardless of where patients live. Providence’s partners on this initiative include Change Healthcare, UBC, Rural Coordination Centre of BC, and Clarius Mobile Health.

Hypertalent – Part of the Supercluster’s Capacity Building portfolio of projects, the Hypertalent initiative will focus on K-12 educators and Indigenous youth to tackle the tech talent shortage in British Columbia. HyperTalent will connect more than 100 teachers from rural and urban school districts with educational seminars, tours of leading technology companies, and hands-on experiences. This will build awareness of the kinds of tech careers open to students and support school curriculums with real-world examples of the opportunities ahead. In addition to Providence, this BC Tech Association-led initiative includes BCIT, Accenture, Arrow Lake School District 10, Vancouver School Board, BC Tech Association, Microsoft, SAP, Unbounce, Vancity, TELUS and others as key partners.

The above approved projects are evidence of the success of Providence staff, medical staff, researchers and leaders who have demonstrated great enthusiasm in responding to requests for Expressions of Interest.  The innovative ideas that are being generated show how much talent and drive we have in our organization to translate discovery into new knowledge and care solutions.

The Digital Supercluster aims to position Canada as a global leader in digital technologies by bringing together small, medium-sized and large companies, post-secondary institutions, research organizations and not-for-profits. The Supercluster co-invests in ambitious technology development projects and new solutions to improve the sustainability and competitiveness of natural resources, health care and industrial sectors and energize the economy. For more information, visit:

If you have questions regarding Providence's involvement, please contact: Balraj Bains at or 604-812-1814. 

Learning Forward

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