Note: This blog is part of a series of posts grouped broadly along our three key, strategic themes dealing with the future of work & learningenergy and health. As our society is disrupted by increased globalization and technological change, we believe that entrepreneurship is the key to leading this change and building a better future. A future that includes greater access to quality healthcare, better ways of working & learning, and cleaner, more efficient ways of powering our homes and cities. The quality of our future will be defined by our ability to innovate, to lead change rather than simply respond to it. This is the work we support at MaRS.


Health is a $200-billion sector in Canada. It is economically significant because it employs millions of knowledge economy workers and is fundamentally inelastic to the market, which isn’t exactly breaking news – people will continue to get sick and require care. We also know that the outputs of the health sector’s work improve both social capital and productivity, in addition to the overall health of our citizens.

While all of this might seem to paint the ideal scenario for the “health” of this sector, there are actually many hurdles that it must overcome going forward.

In this talk, Zayna Khayat, director of MaRS EXCITE, identifies challenges that the Canadian health sector is presently facing. Zayna says that a massive translocation of Canada’s health system is underway. Increased data and insights, as well as the empowered consumer movement, are all leading this shift to the health system of the future.

She outlines the shift from the current state of the health system to what she sees as its future state:

  • From a one-size-fits-all model to a highly individualized and personalized system: we will decide what is best for each patient and his or her unique situation;
  • From institution centred to dephysicalized: instead of physically going to a hospital or clinic, people will be able to obtain care remotely through other sources;
  • From physician centred to disintermediated: physicians will no longer have all of the power, nor will they be the sole decision-makers;
  • From paternalistic to empowered: the individual will make his or her own choice rather than being told what choice is best;
  • From reactive to proactive: we will be able to anticipate illness better and prevent it from ever happening; and
  • From volume based to value based: we will pay for the value received as opposed to paying for distinct transactions.

Watch highlights from Zayna’s talk below to learn more about the future of health. Watch the full presentation here.

Sarah Aspler

Sarah Aspler was a Communications Assistant at MaRS. Sarah recently graduated with a bachelor of technology from Ryerson University in Toronto. See more…