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Canadian IT Firms Show Their Wares At Philadelphia Conference

(Credit: Pat Loeb)

(Credit: Pat Loeb)

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By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Canadian trade officials today hosted the fifth annual “eHealth Innovation Summit” in Philadelphia, introducing that country’s high-tech health care startups to local providers.

But the companies, meeting today at the University City Science Center in West Philadelphia, had a new potential handicap to overcome.

“This is not the image anyone wants,” admits Toni Skokovic of Toronto-based Interfaceware, as he made a joke about his city’s crack-smoking mayor.  “It at least shows that what we lack in excitement, we have in variety, because there’s more than one type of snow in Toronto!”

But that wasn’t the elephant in the room. The real unmentionable was CGI, the Canadian company in charge of healthcare.gov, the web site that has set American health care reform back to a degree not yet known.

Could it cast a shadow on the rest of that country’s health IT corps?

“I haven’t heard of that as being a negative issue,” said consular trade officer Vince Finn, who says the providers and investors attending today’s meeting did not seem to be deterred.  Nor, does he think, they should be.

“It’s a lot of political noise. These problems will get resolved,” Finn says.

Finn points out that health care IT is a growing field with many applications.

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