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Start-ups take aim at healthcare and information technology markets

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Start-ups take aim at healthcare and information technology markets

Ontario's Market Readiness program is committing $1 million to support two start-up companies coming to market with innovative new technologies.

Atreo Medical Inc.

Atreo Medical Inc. is a Burlington-based company created in 2007 by three biomedical and electrical engineers from McMaster University - Corey Centen, Nilesh Patel and Sarah Smith.

The company was created in order to sell the CPRGlove™, which was initially a class project. The CPRGlove™ is designed to save lives by giving any user an increased chance of successfully performing Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR).  

For the McMaster trio, inspiration came from a simple question - if presented with an emergency, would you be able to perform CPR accurately? Though they were trained in CPR in high school, the trio agreed that if put in such a situation, it was doubtful they could confidently perform CPR and save someone's life.

Incorporating multiple sensors in a wearable glove, the device collects sensory data and instructs the user on where to apply pressure, how fast and how hard to make compressions and even where to place one's hands on a victim's body. It also reminds users to check the heart rate and contact 911. 
By making the CPRGlove™ a widely accessible resuscitation tool, Atreo hopes to improve the survival rates of the nearly 350,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests that occur annually within Canada and the United States.

Impact - the CPRGlove™ could save thousands of lives. Imagine if it became a standard component for first-aid kits in schools, sports arenas, offices, airplanes and hotels.

Metabacus Inc.

Metabacus Inc. was created to commercialize the groundbreaking chip design automation technology developed by University of Toronto's Dr. Jianwen Zhu. The Metabacus solution uses technology called behavioural synthesis to simplify chip design, allowing semiconductor companies to design chips at half the cost and in half the time.

Designing advanced semiconductor chips is laborious, time consuming and expensive.  Over the life of the semiconductor industry, several steps of the chip design process have been automated, but today's engineers still manually write millions of lines of low level hardware code to develop a typical chip.

As chips double in complexity every 18 months, manually writing this much code is quickly becoming too expensive and time consuming.  Metabacus's behavioural synthesis technology allows semiconductor companies to design chips in simple software language, with only a fraction of the number of lines of code.

Then, at the click of a button, the Metabacus solution automatically translates the software into a fully functional chip design. The Metabacus solution can also make chips out of existing software, such as applications that run on personal computers or mobile devices.

Behavioural synthesis was first explored in the 1980s but first generation technologies had severe limitations that made them impractical. The Metabacus solution is the first behavioural synthesis tool that is able to automatically translate hundreds of thousands of lines of software code into highly optimized chip designs, making it truly viable for commercial use.

Impact - Metabacus possesses a disruptive technology with the potential to set a new standard for how all chips are designed. The company's success could have a significant economic impact and help strengthen the semiconductor sector in Ontario.