Innovations and Industry Opportunities

The Bloorview Research Institute has a team dedicated to increasing the impact of scientific research, innovations and technologies, to make the most meaningful and healthy futures for all children, youth and families. Our team works closely with researchers, clinicians, industry partners, entrepreneurs and funding agencies to facilitate the advancement of transformative innovations for sustainable impact.

When to engage with the Commercialization Office?

I’m a Researcher or Clinical Investigator at Holland Bloorview:

Contact us to discuss your ideas, concepts and inventions and we can provide advice on key considerations while developing intellectual property. We work with inventors to ensure appropriate intellectual property protection including the filing of patents and trademarks.

I’m an Entrepreneur, Start-up or am part of a Corporation:

Contact us to discuss opportunities such as: Sponsored research, partnerships, licensing, and/or product development of our research inventions. We welcome exploratory discussions.

I’m an individual or family member with special needs:

We often solicit feedback from patients and families and incorporate families’ valuable input on commercialization initiatives.

Featured Technologies

Our portfolio of inventions stems from researchers across a broad range of research disciplines, technologies and applications. This is a sample of research innovations from the Bloorview Research Institute.

Anxiety Meter: Machine Learning in Healthcare

The Anxiety Meter provides a means to detect anxiety. Often anxiety can reach a state where by the time the individual is displaying symptoms of anxiety, it may be too late for behavioural therapies to be effective. Through machine learning algorithms, the Anxiety Meter measures an individual's heart rate and converts it into a visual representation of his or her anxiety level on a mobile app. The Anxiety Meter provides individuals with the tools to identify and manage symptoms as they occur, and can be employed by children, youth and adults to increase quality of life. Learn more.

Opportunity: We welcome potential partnership and licensing inquiries.

Brain-Computer Interfaces – Exploring New Methods of Communication

Brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) translate brain activity into commands to control surrounding technology. A collection of sensors (EEG, fNIRS) detect brain activity and convert them into electrical signals which are processed by machine learning algorithms. Once the desired type of brain response such as imagined speech, and/or emotional state is detected, the computer generates the corresponding control command. Applications are numerous and can include access technologies and/or assistive communication devices. BCIs create endless possibilities for intuitive, hands-free interaction with the world.

Opportunity: We welcome sponsored research, partnership and licensing inquiries.

ScreenPlay: The Art of Waiting

ScreenPlay is an inclusive, touch-free interactive media display designed for healthcare waiting spaces. It is an evidence-based solution shown to reduce children`s waiting anxiety and increase parent and clinic staff satisfaction in a randomized controlled trial with over 300 children and their parents.

ScreenPlay enables people of all abilities and ages to create beautiful music and animations together on a large screen by moving around on the floor in front of it. ScreenPlay rewards presence on and slow movement across the play floor, maximizing physical accessibility and reducing hyperactivity in clinic waiting spaces.

ScreenPlay was designed and tested by researchers and clinicians at Canada’s largest children’s rehabilitation hospital, and is currently used at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital in Toronto and other health care centers in Canada. 

Opportunity: Screenplay is available commercially and we welcome inquiries about installing ScreenPlay in your space. It is suitable for installation in hospitals, health care clinics, indoor play gyms and shopping centres.


The vocal cord vibration switch, also known as the “Hummer,” is an access technology that converts vocal cord vibrations into binary control signals for augmentative and alternative communication (AAC), environmental control, and computer access. This novel device - currently used by dozens of children with severe disabilities and complex access needs - is well suited for individuals who are unable to form words but can still produce vocalizations.

The versatile Hummer easily adapts to many environments. Unlike regular voice-based switches, it works well in loud environments such as classrooms as it is not sensitive to surrounding noise and only responds to the user’s vocalizations. The Hummer can be connected to a user interface such as an AAC device or computer, and can then be used to control a variety of activities—such as turning on music, playing a game, or typing messages on a keyboard— opening up a world of choice and communication.

Opportunity: Please contact us if you would like be added to the waitlist to access a consumer ready version of the Hummer.

Virtual Music Instrument

It is well acknowledged that music therapy has a positive effect on self-esteem and self-identity. Giving a child the ability to be an active participant in music, gives them a sense of accomplishment and success. The Virtual Music Instrument (VMI) provides individuals the opportunity to learn to play an instrument regardless of their mobility or ability. It also has the potential to address goals in the physical, cognitive, communication, sensory, and social domains. It gives children with disabilities access to a leisure activity, encourages exploration and offers a channel for emotional expression.

Given the portability of the unit, schools from around the world could benefit from access to the VMI. For example, a number of special schools in Australia were introduced to the VMI, where staff and students enthusiastically embraced the program. While children have been the primary focus of the research, the VMI has great potential to bring the same benefits to adult groups in the future.

Opportunity: Please contact us if you wish to access the Virtual Music Instrument, and/or for partnership opportunities for further development.

Selected Products

Looking to Partner?

Connect with us regarding:

  • Industry & research collaboration opportunities
  • Licensing opportunities
  • Collaborative product testing and development

Please contact us at commercialization@hollandbloorview.ca or 416-425-6220 ext. 6107.

Learn more