Leveraging 5G to reduce ER visits

Leveraging 5G to reduce ER visits by the elderly, in partnership with The Ottawa Hospital

The initiative provides up to $50,000 in financial support to start-ups and SMEs to develop solutions that leverage 5G wireless technology to lower the number of hospital ER visits by elderly community members.

In partnership with The Ottawa Hospital, OCI is seeking to support Ontario-based SMEs to provide a solution to the challenge above. This is an opportunity to have access to a private 5G testbed to develop and test your technology to solve a real problem for a hospital in Ontario. Up to $50,000 in grant funding is available through the OCI-ENCQOR 5G program and business advisory services from one of the three ENCQOR hubs (Ottawa, Waterloo and Toronto). Select applicants will have the opportunity to engage with subject matter experts from The Ottawa Hospital to inform the design of their solution.

An inquiry form must be completed by February 3, after which a Business Development Manager from OCI will contact you to discuss your project idea. A full application including budget and milestones will need to be submitted following this discussion in order to apply for funding. Firms not requesting funding may nevertheless request access to the 5G testbed.

Please note that The Ottawa Hospital is not obligated to work with funding recipients or adopt a solution.

Application Deadline: February 3, 2021

What is The Ottawa Hospital 5G Challenge?

The growing elderly population is driving increased emergency department visits and elderly patients are particularly prone to the negative impacts of hospital overcrowding. 5G wireless networks could potentially support community-based capacity to remotely monitor elderly patients 24/7, making it easier to investigate, analyze and act upon information suggesting a person is at risk of deterioration.

The Ottawa Hospital 5G Challenge will provide start-ups and SMEs with access to a private pre-commercial 5G testbed to develop solutions that leverage the power of 5G wireless networks to reduce the incidence of emergency department visits by elderly adults. They can also apply for a grant of up to $50,000 and receive business advisory services from one of the ENCQOR hubs (Invest Ottawa, Communitech and MaRS).

Priority will be given to solutions that can remotely monitor or predict the following health conditions:

  • injurious falls;
  • delirium;
  • infectious disease;
  • polypharmacy;
  • uncontrolled pain;
  • dehydration and other metabolic problems;
  • respiratory compromise; and,
  • psychosis, anxiety and depression

Support from The Ottawa Hospital

Select firms will have the opportunity to engage directly with subject-matter experts from The Ottawa Hospital to help inform the design of a solution with a broad appeal for hospitals beyond Ontario's borders. Please note that The Ottawa Hospital will not be obligated to work with any funding recipients or adopt a solution.

Who’s eligible?

  • You are an Ontario based start-up/SME (under 500 employees)
  • You use aspects of connectivity in your product or service

How is the money applied?

SMEs will be reimbursed up to 50% of their direct project expenses to a maximum of $50,000. Examples of eligible project expenses include employee salaries, contractor labour and materials purchased specifically to carry out the project.

Reporting of Eligible In-Kind Contribution

A condition for the release of resources and professional services will require the company to provide a detailed project budget and to report on matching of eligible cash equivalent contributions on a minimum of a 1:1 basis to the funds obtained. Eligible and in-eligible in-kind contributions will be outlined and need to be reported as part of the client agreement that needs to be signed with OCI.

The nitty gritty (rules & regulations)

  • The applicant must not have received a grant through the ENCQOR 5G program
  • The applicant must hold equity and a key position in the company
  • Applicants must be in good financial and reporting standing

Wait a second, do I get access to a 5G network?

Our ENCQOR 5G program is focused on advancing Ontario companies and making them more competitive globally. In doing so, we’ve established three 5G testbeds in Waterloo, Toronto, and Ottawa to provide hubs where companies can test, develop, and access technical support on a real pre-commercial 5G network.

How to Apply

An inquiry form must be completed by midnight February 3, 2021.

Complete the OCI Smart City: The Ottawa Hospital 5G Challenge Inquiry Form

After the application deadline, applications will be reviewed for completeness, eligibility, use of funds, demonstration of a viable business proposal and the impact the project will have on your company’s business growth. The applications will be evaluated by the OCI 5G Advisory Committee who will make its recommendations to OCI. OCI will make the final decision and will notify the successful applicants.

Please note that successful applications will be required to:

  • Complete an ENCQOR 5G Demonstration Project Application form
  • Provide a detailed Project Plan with milestones; projects must be completed in less than 1 year
  • Provide regular progress reports to detail, among other items, eligible cash contributions from the company
  • Provide any other documentation that may be required, including verifying incorporation, business number, etc.


Chris Ritchie
Business Development and Commercialization Manager
Photo of John Chiappetta  John Chiappetta
Advanced Technology Platforms Lead