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The Metro Edmonton region has a strong and growing health and life sciences industry sector. Approximately 60% of all Albertan life science companies are located here; it is the largest integrated healthcare system with the highest healthcare spend in Canada. As such, we have identified Edmonton as one of our most established economic sectors for meeting and conventions business in this industry. Here are three astonishing health innovations that have come from Edmonton and are being noticed.

  1. Going Scalpel-less

    Specialists at the Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute made headlines for ground-breaking techniques. Cardiac surgeon Jeevan Nagendran created Western Canada’s first dedicated program for “closed chest open heart surgery.” Using state-of-the-art tools and camera equipment, Nagendran’s team can repair a patient’s heart through a tiny hole between their ribs.

    And that’s not all for scalpel-less technologies. Scalpel-free brain surgery wasn’t created in Edmonton, but The University of Alberta Hospital’s new Gamma Knife technology is some of the most advanced of its kind in Canada. It allows surgeons to zap an area as tiny as a millimeter with radiation, without damaging surrounding tissue.

    For the coming years, we are thrilled to have the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress bringing an expected 1000 attendees to Edmonton. The planners are building an extremely rich learning environment alongside the The Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute-a world leader in complex cardiac care and innovative surgery technologies.

  2. Cutting-Edge Prosthetics

    Patrick Pilarski, at The University of Alberta’s SMART Network, has been working on algorithms that help amputees control their prosthetic limbs more easily and has produced, what they call, the most advanced prosthetic arm in the world. Not only does this robotic limb move almost exactly like the real thing (the fingers could eventually be fine-tuned to play the piano), but it can analyze data from the wearer and predicts what movement that person needs next.

  3. Health Cities Initiative

    In Edmonton, our health innovation experts have united to demonstrate the power and strength of our robust health sector. Just last year, the City of Edmonton launched a new initiative to prioritize health innovation and build Edmonton as “Canada’s Health City”. Health City is an economic development initiative that leverages Edmonton’s health industry to position the city as a premier location for health innovation. Health City operates in the space between existing and traditional health industry partners, building pathways and ease of access for innovation and collaboration with national and international partners.

    Now, we are seeing a stronger ecosystem that is actively attracting, retaining and supporting health-related talent. Thanks to a strong network of six post-secondary institutions, Edmonton has one of the largest pools of highly skilled talent in the country, and each institution plays an integral part in delivering innovative care, engaging in world-class research and commercializing new technologies.

    The Health City project has resulted in increased access to capital and accelerated health technology and research. The Health City initiative has touched an impressive array of ongoing projects specialized in cardiology, oncology, transplantation, and virology, and continues to build great connections for planners looking to host their meetings in Edmonton.

    In the federal government’s $50-million Smart Cities Challenge, Edmonton’s Health City pitch has been announced as one of the five finalists this year. Infrastructure Canada is strongly considering Edmonton’s proposal, which focuses on having residents, post-secondary institutions, research organizations and governments work together to provide health services to Edmontonians.
    For more information on Health City, visit


We know that the role of a great destination marketing organization goes beyond providing access to venues. Our All-In promise is to help connect planners with our local industry experts. Connecting planners with our life science industry influencers means having a direct link to our health, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals sectors, several specialized hospitals and leading health research institutes. In addition, through Edmonton Tourism’s Influencer Program, we have access to a wide spectrum of passionate speakers and researchers eager to tell their story. Whatever your field, you can get in touch with our research team to connect you with an Edmontonian that is well-versed on the subject. Together, we can create more transformative meetings and gatherings.

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