We don't have a trusted local brand, the size of the market is small and there's still a lot of cultural resistance. We check the vital signs of what should be a burgeoning industry
But the biggest challenge Canadian companies face in cracking the e-health market is the lack of a Canadian “brand,” said Barry Gander, executive director of The Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance (CATA).
Canadian companies, he said, toil in obscurity not only within the country but on the global stage as well.
“If people are looking for a solution or a partner Canada doesn't come to mind,” he said. “We really have to adopt a co-ordinated strategy to become better known.”
That's what CATA hopes to change with the debut of its global webinars, described as “the founding step in the creation of a new healthcare community spanning the world's biggest block: the Commonwealth.”
Gander said the idea is to use the global webinars to present profiles of Canadian companies to build awareness of the capabilities that exist within Canada in an interactive way that can lead to Canadian partnerships and dealmaking.
“We need to fuse all these public sector needs with the knowledge of our private sector capabilities, and we're just on the beginning of that road now,” said Gander. “Our aim is to create a system where everybody knows what everybody else is doing.”
Another challenge Canadian companies face is the same one any Canadian company faces: Canada represents such a small market it's often not worth pursuing.