WelTel CEO joins ‘Women Leading in Health Tech’ panel at UN

WelTel Inc. is on a mission to improve health equity through digital innovation, and the world is taking notice.

WelTel co-founder and CEO Dr. Gabrielle Serafini will join the “Women Leading in Health Tech” panel discussion at the upcoming Women’s Entrepreneurship Day Organization (WEDO) Summit on May 20 at the United Nations in New York.

“I’m thrilled to be invited to contribute to this amazing event and meet inspiring women entrepreneurs whose companies are taking action to advance global health equity by harnessing the power of cloud technology,” Serafini said.

Sponsored by Amazon Web Services (AWS), the panel includes four other trailblazing women founders and CEOs, and is moderated by Maggie Carter, Global Lead AWS Social Impact.

At the summit, Serafini will discuss recent work with First Nations and Maori communities in Canada and New Zealand, where WelTel’s text-first, multilingual platform is promoting health and language equity by ensuring everyone has access to timely, appropriate and culturally-safe virtual health care in their language of choice. She’ll also touch on WelTel’s role in Rwanda’s successful response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“WelTel’s digital health tools balance the functionality needed to overcome the barriers of distance and geography with a community-directed approach to health care that respects the priorities and traditions of the communities we serve.”

See the WelTel website for more.

mPowered teams up with Ocean Set to build ocean data marketplace

Montreal, Canada -- Canadian blockchain technology provider mPowered has teamed up with Newfoundland-based start-up Ocean Set to support the health of our oceans by building the world’s first data marketplace designed specifically for ocean-related data.

mPowered, a Web3 company founded in Guelph, Ont., but now based in Montreal, is providing the technology stack that will power the marketplace. Ocean Set aims to make it easy for users to access, prepare, share and exchange data and algorithms about everything from ocean currents and temperatures to fisheries, offshore energy leases, and more.

“mPowered was initially created to help individuals and companies in the agri-food sector take ownership of their data and benefit from sharing it,” said mPowered CEO Joel Sotomayor. “Expanding our focus to the ocean data economy and protecting marine environments is a great opportunity that fits with our ‘data as a common good’ philosophy and we look forward to helping make the Ocean Set data marketplace a success.”

Peter Rawsthorne, Ocean Set’s founder and president, said the marketplace meets growing demand for a simple, secure platform for stakeholders in the ocean sector to access, manage, optimize and share potentially valuable data sets. mPowered’s blockchain-based ecosystem provides Ocean Set with the cryptographically secure, transparent and tamperproof tools needed to curate a frictionless environment for buying and selling data.

The Ocean Set data marketplace will be a valuable resource for companies, governments, and scientists in the fisheries, aquaculture, transportation, tourism, defence, and energy sectors, said Rawsthorne.

“Working with mPowered has helped Ocean Set build a trusted platform that will allow organizations to access, store, retrieve and profit from sharing ocean data sets without losing control of their data,” said Rawsthorne. “We believe this will encourage stakeholders to generate and share even more validated data which will support a sustainable ocean economy and protect marine ecosystems.”

WelTel named top innovator at Fraser Health iCademy pitch competition

Vancouver, B.C. — WelTel Inc. has been named Top Innovator by the Fraser Health Innovation Academy (iCademy) pitch competition.

The event was the culmination of a challenging program created by Fraser Health to foster collaboration with external partners and advance innovative solutions that significantly improve health services in the region.

WelTel was one of 60 B.C. companies that applied in 2019 to be part of the Innovation Academy’s inaugural cohort. Nine were shortlisted to present ideas, and four were selected to participate in the program, which was then interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The pitch competition was finally held June 30, when the judging panel selected WelTel’s proposal for a project aimed at improving engagement and health outcomes for chronic disease patients.

“WelTel is grateful for the opportunity to participate in the Innovation Academy and kudos to Fraser Health for creating such an innovative program,” said Dr. Gabby Serafini, WelTel CEO. “We look forward to working with Fraser Health to deploy WelTel and to extend primary care services and improve the patient journey for people living with chronic illnesses, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes and COPD.”

During the six-month project, general practitioners, behavioural health coaches and a clinical psychologist will use WelTel’s SMS texting-based platform to strengthen patient-caregiver relationships, promote positive lifestyle changes and help patients set and track their health goals.

To learn more, visit the WelTel website.

AntoXa to develop plant-made protein for potential coronavirus therapy

GUELPH, Ontario — Canadian biopharmaceutical company AntoXa Corporation has been awarded a contract extension from the Government of Canada that includes development of plant-made recombinant human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) as a potential coronavirus treatment.

Under the terms of the amended contract with Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC), AntoXa will also continue development of plant-made butyrylcholinesterase (BuChE), a protein that protects against toxic nerve agents. DRDC exercised an option to extend the contract to March 31, 2022, increasing the total value of the projects up to $828,712.38 over three years. 

Researchers are interested in ACE2 as it is the SARS-CoV-2 receptor, providing the entry point for the virus to infect cells. ACE2 could be used to target SARS-CoV-2 by blocking the spike protein from attaching to healthy cells, making it a potential candidate for prophylactic use or for use in the very early stages of COVID infection.

“Perhaps the most exciting thing about ACE2 is that it’s variant-agnostic, which means it could be effective against all of the variants of concern in the current pandemic,” said Ashley Meyers, AntoXa’s President and Chief Operating Officer.

For more, see the complete news release on the AntoXa website.

Udderly Ridiculous goat’s milk ice cream makers invite you to experience farm life

Bright, Ontario — After winning over ice cream lovers and food industry experts with their all-natural alternative to cow dairy, the makers of award-winning Udderly Ridiculous Goat's Milk Ice Cream invite lockdown-weary Ontarians to unplug and recharge by experiencing a taste of farm life.

Cheryl and Greg Haskett are welcoming people to their third-generation Oxford County farm near Bright, Ont. for an Udderly Ridiculous farm tourism experience that's fun, educational and COVID-safe.

The public can now pre-book Udderly Ridiculous Farm Life activities, which include Goat YogaGoat Recess (an opportunity to mingle with the goats), Alpaca Encounters and Alpaca Farm Walks.

"We're very excited to open our gates and invite Ontario families to experience a taste of life on the farm, to reconnect with the land and to get to know some of our zany goats and other animal friends," said Cheryl, who founded Udderly Ridiculous in 2018.

Since then, Udderly Ridiculous has scooped major recognition like the 27th Canadian Grand Prix New Product Awardand inspired food lovers across Ontario with their irresistible combination of gourmet flavours and all-natural, easy-to-digest goodness. Goat's milk ice cream is perfect for lactose-sensitive stomachs, plus it's richer in protein and healthy fatty acids with less sugar than ice cream made from cow's milk.

In January, Udderly Ridiculous was named one of the winners of the Oxford County Spark Program pitch competitionaimed at fostering and supporting new sustainable tourism ideas, experiences and partnerships in the region. The competition, which provided start-up funding and mentoring to the winners, inspired Cheryl and Greg to diversify the business by branching out into Ontario's $1.2-billion agritourism sector.

"We're thrilled to share our passion for our amazing goats — and for farming — with the public," said Cheryl. "We're inviting everyone to enjoy the fruits of our hard work and help share the good news about Ontario agriculture."

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Rillea Technologies White Paper: The WHMIS Gap

Belleville, Ont. — Did you know that millions of Canadians are exposed to chemical hazards in the workplace every year?

Rillea Technologies is an award-winning software development company that specializes in helping companies manage workplace hazards and understand complex health and safety rules and regulations.

Rillea’s SDS Risk Assist cloud-based software solution revolutionizes safety data sheet (SDS) management and chemical safety for manufacturers, municipalities, hospitals, laboratories and more.

Rillea co-founder Rob Hallsworth published a free white paper to help companies bridge the gap between the intent and the on-the-ground reality of Canada’s Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS).

To learn more about creating safer workplaces, visit the Rillea website or click here to get your free copy of “The WHMIS Gap: How Health and Safety Pros Can Reduce the Risks From Chemical Hazards in the Workplace.”

PlantForm signs MOU to bring Classical Swine Fever (CSF) vaccine to global markets

GUELPH, Ont. – Canadian biotech innovator PlantForm Corporation, Bioapp Inc. and POSCO International of South Korea have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to collaborate in bringing the world’s first plant-based vaccine for Classical Swine Fever (CSF) to global markets.

Although harmless to humans, CSF is a highly contagious viral disease that affects domestic pigs and wild boar populations, causing severe illness and death in millions of swine each year. While Canada, the United States and much of western Europe are currently free of the disease, CSF outbreaks have devastating animal welfare and economic impacts and the disease is endemic to regions of Central and South America, Asia and Africa.

“This is an important milestone for PlantForm as we continue to expand into new markets and explore new opportunities for plant-made pharmaceuticals generally and for our versatile vivoXPRESS® platform,” said Dr. Don Stewart, PlantForm President and CEO. “PlantForm is proud to partner with Bioapp and POSCO for this project to provide an effective, low-cost vaccine to combat CFS and to improve animal health and welfare in the agriculture sector.”

For more, see the PlantForm news release.