Tag Archives: health

Data OF 15 Million LifeLabs’ Canadian Customers Compromised

Lifelabs , Canada’s largest provider of health diagnostic testing services, acknowledged that more than 15 million of accounts have been compromised in a recent hack.

However Lifelabs has mentioned that they have negotiated with hackers and paid a ransom fee to get the data back.

Information of more than 15 million of customers in British Columbia and Ontario have been compromised. Data like the names, addresses, email addresses, customer logins and passwords, health card numbers and lab test results have been accessed by hackers.

The company states that the hack has occurred on November 1st 2019.

This is not the first time LifeLabs gets hacked. They had similar incident few years ago where hard drives with data of thousands of patients were stolen.

Lifelabs apologizes for the incident and says that it will offer one free year of identity theft insurance as well as dark web monitoring.

An Open Letter to LifeLabs Customers

To our customers:

Through proactive surveillance, LifeLabs recently identified a cyber-attack that involved unauthorized access to our computer systems with customer information that could include name, address, email, login, passwords, date of birth, health card number and lab test results.

Personally, I want to say I am sorry that this happened. As we manage through this issue, my team and I remain focused on the best interests of our customers. You entrust us with important health information, and we take that responsibility very seriously.

We have taken several measures to protect our customer information including:

Immediately engaging with world-class cyber security experts to isolate and secure the affected systems and determine the scope of the breach;

Further strengthening our systems to deter future incidents;

Retrieving the data by making a payment. We did this in collaboration with experts familiar with cyber-attacks and negotiations with cyber criminals;

Engaging with law enforcement, who are currently investigating the matter; and

Offering cyber security protection services to our customers, such as identity theft and fraud protection insurance.

I want to emphasize that at this time, our cyber security firms have advised that the risk to our customers in connection with this cyber-attack is low and that they have not seen any public disclosure of customer data as part of their investigations, including monitoring of the dark web and other online locations.

We have fixed the system issues related to the criminal activity and worked around the clock to put in place additional safeguards to protect your information. In the interest of transparency and as required by privacy regulations, we are making this announcement to notify all customers. There is information relating to approximately 15 million customers on the computer systems that were potentially accessed in this breach. The vast majority of these customers are in B.C. and Ontario, with relatively few customers in other locations. In the case of lab test results, our investigations to date of these systems indicate that there are 85,000 impacted customers from 2016 or earlier located in Ontario; we will be working to notify these customers directly. Our investigation to date indicates any instance of health card information was from 2016 or earlier.

While you are entitled to file a complaint with the privacy commissioners, we have already notified them of this breach and they are investigating the matter. We have also notified our government partners.

While we’ve been taking steps over the last several years to strengthen our cyber defenses, this has served as a reminder that we need to stay ahead of cybercrime which has become a pervasive issue around the world in all sectors.

Any customer who is concerned about this incident can receive one free year of protection that includes dark web monitoring and identity theft insurance.

Yours sincerely,

President and CEO


Charles Brown


Toronto Avocare Reduces Healthcare Wait Time

Avocare helps reception desks in the healthcare industry reduce their phone volume. They do it by enabling two-way channels of digital communication – text message, Facebook Messenger, and web messaging. To drive efficient communication, they further support both patients and practitioners by automating requests and conversations with our in house developed AI powered assistant. The outcomes are reduced costs for healthcare clinics, and improved patient access and satisfaction.

We sat down with Vikram Luthra, CEO & Founder, to find out more about his company:

Who started the company? Do you / team members have tech background?

The company was founded by Vik Luthra, an experienced entrepreneur and corporate executive. Subsequently, Vik partnered with Taylan Pince (CTO & Parner @ Avocare, and an experienced technology leader), to build Avocare’s products. Avocare has a talented team of designers, developer and advisors. Another partner in the business is Dr. Manisha Verma (a family physician), who is a partner and the companies Chief Medical Officer.

How are you being financed?

Avocare has raised pre-seed capital from some early stage investors, including its founder and partners.

What do you think will be / is a big obstacle to overcome?

A major obstacle will be barriers to technological change in the healthcare industry. Typically, technology is dominated by larger incumbents and switching and integration costs from existing solutions can be high. Furthermore, especially in Canada, adoption of new technologies is slow – for a number of reasons. Our challenge will be to drive change in a way that lessens the impact of these obstacles and factors on practitioners and patients.

How do you go about finding good developers / IT guys for your company?

Taylan, our CTO, has years of experience developing junior technical talent, and also brings with him a wide network within the tech community. Our team and recruitment has been built on this platform.

Who is your biggest competition?

Our biggest competition is web-based technologies that are offer digital services to patients on behalf of clinics. However, it’s important to note that our value proposition and product features differ in many ways – for one, we strive to make our services as accessible and efficient as possible to all parties, with great focus on helping clinic administrators run better practices. Providing great customer service and very simple user experiences help too.

How are you intending on taking your company to million dollars in revenues? In what markets?

There are many initiatives that we are working on from both a product and scaling perspective – including growth of our product and expansion into new markets in Canada and the US. We have a pipeline of clinics that are interested in the benefits that our product provides. Ultimately, it requires that we sign on as many clinics, practitioners and patients as possible, as quickly as possible, across key Canadian & US markets.

What is the big lesson you’ve learned (success or failure) with this project.

Building an incredible product and launching with our first clinic within 5 months is a huge success, however arguably we could have gotten to market sooner. We had recognized problems that needed to be solved long before the start of Avocare, but it took a long time to fully take the plunge – a consequence of over-analysis.

Lesson: As an early-stage startup, moving fast, and constantly iterating on and testing ideas with real world users is the most important thing we can and will continue to do. If we fail at things, it’ll be okay, as long as we pushing hard and fast to drive progress on our path.


Learn more about Avocare here:

Montreal startup Dialogue, benefits provider, raises $4M, expanding to Ontario

Dialogue raised $4m in funding from BDC Capital, and Hacking Health Accelerator. They are now will be expanding to Ontario but still operating in Quebec.

Dialogue offers a range of healthcare services to employees and their families. We work hard to keep individuals healthy, present at work, productive and happy.

Through Dialogue, employees can chat with a nurse for any health or well-being related questions, consult a psychologist when they are stressed, chat with a nutritionist to lose weight, or consult with a doctor for conditions that can be managed virtually. We are a new part of your employees’​ benefits program. No more time wasted in waiting rooms, or conditions that go untreated because they simply don’t have time.

“We are excited to announce our first expansion outside of Quebec, accelerated by particularly strong demand from Ontario employers. This marks the beginning of accessible virtual care to employers across all of Canada.”

said Cherif Habib, co-founder and CEO of Dialogue.

Toronto Exact Imaging, micro ultrasound system, secures CDN $21.5m in funding

Exact Imaging secures CDN $21.5 Million in financing to support the commercialization of Its new disruptive ExactVu™ Micro-Ultrasound for prostate imaging and biopsy.

Exact Imaging, the world’s leader in high resolution micro-ultrasound systems enabling real-time imaging and biopsy guidance for the prostate, announced it has secured CDN $21.5 million in a Series C investment to commercialize its ExactVu™ micro-ultrasound system. The financing, which closed late in 2016, was co-led by Lumira Capital (Toronto, ON) and Vesalius Biocapital (Luxembourg) with participation from numerous new investors including PMV (Participatiemaatschappij Vlaanderen) (Brussels, Belgium) and strong support from existing investors including iGan Partners/Rowanwood Ventures (Toronto, ON).

Watch Dr. Gregg Eure, M.D., F.A.C.S. Urology of Virginia talk about Exact Imaging micro-ultrasound system:


The company intends to use the funds to commercialize its ExactVu™ micro-ultrasound system.

The company has also just recently got FDO approval:

“This has been a great few weeks with the receipt of our 510(k) clearance and the announcement of our CE approval just two weeks ago,” says Randy AuCoin, Exact Imaging’s President and CEO. “These important regulatory approvals will allow our commercial team to start fulfilling the pent-up demand for the ExactVu micro-ultrasound system. The era of blind, unguided biopsies is coming to an end and urologists are searching for new tools that leverage break-through technologies, familiar workflows and allow them to benefit from improved imaging resolution to target their prostate biopsies. Our platform is such a solution – it images in real-time, it is located in the urologist’s office, and it is ultrasound-based. Most important, it allows for the guidance of both systematic and targeted biopsies due to its exquisite resolution”.

Vancouver startup Ayogo helping patients with chronic conditions / raises $2.5m

Ayogo builds applications for patients with chronic conditions. Our applications use gameplay and social mechanics to help patients develop new behavior and habits, and increase engagement with their care plans. Our customers are  healthcare innovators seeking to address the national quality and costs crisis in patient experience and engagement.

Who started the company? Do you / team members have tech background?

Ayogo was founded in 2011 by Michael Fergusson (CEO) and Paul Prescod (CTO), based on work they began together in 2008. Paul and Michael both have long experience as entrepreneurs and as technologists. Day-to-day, Michael focuses on business matters, Paul on the technical side.

How are you being financed?

Ayogo is largely bootstrapped, and built itself on revenue generated from sales to clients like Merck, Kaiser Permanente, AstraZeneca, etc. UPDATE: Ayogo raises $2.5M Series A to accelerate growth of gaming platform for chronic conditions

What do you think will be / is a big obstacle to overcome?

As we are leading in the games for health field, our biggest obstacle is marketplace adoption. This seems to be changing quickly, however, so our biggest challenge will be educating the market about the scope of what our current technology is designed to do. That said, we always have arrows in our technology quiver allowing us to work with unexpected healthcare opportunities.

How do you go about finding good developers / IT guys for your company?

There is a good community of designers and developers in Vancouver to draw from. Our philosophy is to build our company around the most talented people we can find, as skills and experience can be acquired, but talent is innate.

Who is your biggest competition?

Our competition is in the minds of the marketplace. This means that we are constantly competing for the attention and interest of the healthcare industry in order to persuade it of the efficacy of our product and process. We’re happiest when we speak with innovators in the healthcare industry. As industry increasingly understands the power that narrative, progression, and social connectedness have to educate, engage, and empower patients, our company’s profile and success grows.

How are you intending on taking your company to million dollars in revenues? In what markets?

What are doing is ramping social, content and thought-leadership mechanisms to greater distribution. Additionally we have to sculpt our current business momentum to achieve greater scale, to listen to our customers requirements. and not become distracted by directions that might cause us to lose focus. Our  market is primarily the US, Segments we work in are Pharma, ACOs, Payers, Care Providers – the whole healthcare galaxy, basically.

We’re focused on delivering scalable solutions to HMOs and ACOs, primarily in the US.

What is the big lesson you’ve learned (success or failure) with this project.

Our big lesson learned is that outcomes are what matter most in health care, and not to let the pursuit of perfection distract us from delivering something that can help improve outcomes now.

Website: www.Ayogo.com