Ron Galaev has reimagined same-day patient care in the emergency room. EmergConnect is a digital platform that registers, triages, and alerts patients how long they’re likely to wait at the ER via a mobile app. It aims to address overcrowding in the ER, offer a digital alternative to telehealth, reduce ER wait times, and increase ER efficiency. The innovation recently won the top prize of $30,000 at Innovation Factory’s LiONS LAIR pitch competition.

Galaev, the company’s founder and CEO, is also a fourth-year Biomedical Discovery and Commercialization student. In the past 16 months, he has taken EmergConnect from an idea to a product set to pilot at three major healthcare networks in Ontario this winter.

“Ron began working on EmergConnect in the summer of 2020 in Health Ventures,” said Sarrah Lal, Director of Health Ventures Development. “It was not his first start-up experience, but it was his first foray into healthcare.”

Health Ventures is an experiential learning program that introduces students to the health innovation landscape.  Students explore healthcare problems, solution development, business models, go-to-market strategies, and methods of fundraising.

“Health Ventures was the reason I started this company,” Galaev said. During his time in the program, he refined his concept by speaking to physicians about his idea, developed an early prototype for EmergConnect, and started to think through how he would pitch to potential investors.

“Since the beginning, Ron has been 100% focused on addressing the challenges in Emergency Medicine through a co-development approach,” said Lal, who continues to support Galaev as an academic advisor.

The Clinic @ Mac selected EmergConnect for its residency program in October of 2020. Residency @ The Clinic assists healthcare entrepreneurs on their journey by bridging gaps in knowledge and network.

“Thanks to Sarrah, I met my champion at St. Joe’s and through The Clinic, I met my champion at William Osler Health System,” Galaev noted.

Since his time in these programs, he received an investment from Front Row Ventures, closed his first round of pre-seed fundraising, oversubscribed, received Research Ethics Board approvals, won LiONS LAIR, and is gearing up for trials at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton, the William Osler Health System, and Sunnybrook Hospital.

“I am so proud of the tenacity that Ron and his team have demonstrated over the past year – just one year!!” said Lal. “I’m very excited for everything to come.”

A timeline of milestones accomplished by EmergConnect in the past 16 months:

EmergConnect's timeline from idea to implementation with the support of MGD Health ICE and The Clinic

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