SPARK does not develop digital health solutions: it helps those who do. SPARK is a pathway that makes it easier for innovators to flow provincial health information into the hands of patients and their health service providers.
The SPARK pathway is for digital health innovators working with one or more Health Information Custodians (HICs). Innovators can include software developers, start-up companies, health service providers/organizations, and vendors.
Innovators would use the SPARK pathway to connect their digital health solution to over five billion pieces of data that currently exist in electronic health records for nearly 14 million people in Ontario. Patients will then be able to use these applications to gain access to their own health information to manage their care.
The key components of the SPARK program include the SPARK pathway, innovators guide and access to provincial data sources. SPARK will guide innovators through a series of steps to allow health information to flow into the hands of its owner – patients.
There are many anticipated benefits of SPARK for digital health innovators, patients, health service providers and the province of Ontario. For example, SPARK will create a viable ecosystem that enables innovative health solutions to “plug-in” to provincial data infrastructure such as ConnectingOntario. SPARK will also support the development and diffusion of new digital health solutions to improve patient care, empower patients to better manage their own care through more access to meaningful health information and provide an ongoing research and development pipeline to contribute to the ongoing sustainability of Ontario’s investments in digital health.
SPARK is a collaborative partnership among the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, eHealth Ontario, MaRS Discovery District, and University Health Network (UHN). This partnership brings together thought leaders in digital health. They share a common vision to stimulate consumer digital health innovation for Ontario.