Unity Health and St. Michael’s Hospital Academic Family Health Team (SMHAFT) is seeking a solution to bridge the care gaps in asthma management to create care-efficiency, empower providers, empower patients, and improve outcomes for patients with asthma. 

Unity Health is posting this Call for Innovation to seek out qualified Canadian companies who can meet the desired outcomes.  Unity Health and CAN Health reserves the right to not move forward with this project at its full discretion and in particular if there are no qualified Canadian companies that can reasonably meet the desired outcomes.

To qualify for a CAN Health project, the company must have its headquarters in Canada and/or the majority (>50%) of the company owned by Canadians and/or significant economic impact to Canada including a high Canadian job creation potential, >70% of contract value to Canada (for distributors of a non-Canadian solution), independent autonomy over business operations and product development (for subsidiaries, affiliates or distributors), current presence (office(s) and client(s)) and can benefit from the CAN Health Network. Priority will be given to companies that meet all eligibility criteria.

For more information on the Call for Innovation process and the commercialization projects funded by CAN Health Network, please refer to the FAQ page on the CAN Health Network website: https://canhealthnetwork.ca/faq/

This opportunity is closed.
Problem Statement and Objective(s)

Problem Statement: Unity Health and SMHAFT is seeking a solution to bridge the care gaps in asthma management to create care-efficiency, empower providers, empower patients, and improve outcomes for patients with asthma.

Objectives: Unity Health expects to generate operational efficiencies and provider and patient empowerment while creating a better patient and provider experience of managing asthma.

Desired outcomes and considerations

Essential (mandatory) outcomes
The proposed solution must:

  1. Empower providers to improve quality of care across 4 major asthma care gaps while improving existing workflows and efficiencies in achieving these tasks:
    • Determination of guideline-based asthma control status in each patient with asthma
    • Tailoring of pharmacotherapy to asthma control status according to guideline criteria in each patient with asthma
    • Provision of an auto-generated personalized asthma action plan to each patient with asthma
    • Identification of patients with severe asthma who require specialty care
  2. Empower providers and patients to safely and jointly make more environmentally sound inhaler selections, at the point of care.
  3. Empower patients and provide a highly favourable patient experience of managing asthma through the solution, with features including:
    • A structured, self-completed electronic questionnaire capturing patient reported asthma parameters;
    • Availability of an electronic version of an asthma action plan through a patient portal or app;
    • Availability of a decision aid surrounding treatment for mild asthma through a patient portal or app;
    • Availability of curated educational resources, including strategies to increase health literacy 

Additional outcomes


The maximum duration for a project resulting from this Challenge is: 9 months

Background and context

Asthma is the third-most common chronic disease in Canada, affecting 8.3% of Canadians aged 12+ and increasing in prevalence. Poor asthma control is known to be associated with permanent airway remodeling, reduced QoL, and reduced productivity leading to economic losses.

Although effective therapies for asthma exist and well-controlled asthma is achievable in most patients, studies demonstrate that up to 90% of Canadian patients with asthma remain poorly controlled.

Four key evidence-based care gaps responsible for poor asthma control:

  1. Under recognition of suboptimal asthma control by both physician and patients. 
  2. Resulting under-treatment of asthma. 
  3. Failure to provide patients with a written asthma action plan (AAP). 
  4. Failure to refer patients with severe asthma to specialist care.

Bridging these care gaps will dramatically improve QoL and work productivity, and reduce healthcare utilization (ER visits and hospitalizations) in patients with asthma.

This opportunity is closed.