Christie Innomed: healthy technology

“While numerous complex technologies are at the heart of the medical imaging sector, the success of our company relies on the quality of our personnel. Day after day, our team must meet the needs of our clientele, within each of our business segments,” explains Martin Roy, President and CEO of Christie Innomed. “We can’t be a partner of choice for over 60 years in such a technical field unless we understand and listen to our clients’ needs.”
The power of imaging
Christie Innomed is operating and evolving within three interconnected spheres of activities within Canada’s health industry: medical imaging, medical informatics (systems used by radiologists and cardiologists to read medical images) and Healthcare IT solutions (software aimed at coordinating healthcare to improve the performance of health institutions).   
With more than 200 employees across Canada, this Quebec company distributes and provides support for medical imaging equipment and software solutions, like archiving systems for image sharing. “Christie Innomed is a major player in medical imaging, who supports the needs of radiologists, cardiologists and other specialists, as much as those of the IT department administrators within the health sector.” For over 10 years, Christie Innomed has also been designing and distributing products and software developed here in Quebec. Their products improve workflows and modality management, which allows customers to deliver the best possible care.
As a key IT player in the medical industry, Christie Innomed is present in more than 1,000 hospital centres and clinics across Canada. Working with international leaders in medical imaging, such as Fujifilm, Shimadzu and Hologic, the company markets various products originating from Japan, Europe and the United States.
It’s all about chemistry
It all began in 1954, when the chemist Robert L. Vachon founded the Groupe Christie Ltée, a Montreal-based distributor of film and chemistry for the medical industry. Becoming an exclusive Canadian partner to Fujifilm in 1968 was a milestone for the company. From film development solutions, to x-ray equipment, and data archiving software, the partnership between these two leaders continues today.
In 1987, the company took on a new name, Christie Innomed, while acquiring Innomed Imaging, a distributor that provided them with a Canada-wide reach. 2007 marks another major step for Christie Innomed with the start of software solutions development. The acquisitions of StatDev and ABS Systems in 2010 and 2013 allowed the company to expand its range of solutions for its vast clientele by becoming a major player in the field of IT solutions to improve institutions’ workflow and patients coordination.
Very healthy growth
Martin Roy was named President and CEO of Christie Innomed in 2015. He leverages his academic training as well as his expertise in the health care industry to ensure a significant growth rate for the business, while taking on the various challenges of the three concurrent markets.
According to Martin Roy, one of those challenges is “the importance of always responding to the needs of the clinicians who use our solutions daily (radiologists and cardiologists), while taking into account the administrative objectives and vision of the various ministries of health within Canada.” The government being, of course, a key partner for the organization, the company must deal with the differences in hospital management from one province to the next. Christie Innomed must also take into consideration the needs of all those involved in the care of patients: from emergency room staff to patient transfer coordinators, and of course, radiologists, cardiologists and technologists.
Measuring itself against integrated multinationals, Christie Innomed remains excessively competitive by offering a unique versatility within the industry. The company not only distinguished itself for the past 60 years by offering a broad range of diverse and dynamic solutions, but also through its expertise and close contact with its customers.
Furthermore, Christie Innomed dedicates around 5% of its revenues to R&D annually. The organisation consults key opinion leaders, coming from their Canadian or international client base, to ensure that their clients’ perspective is woven into the evolution of the company’s own software and solutions.
Christie Innomed also benefits from the current reach of the tech business industry and its constant spirit of collaboration. “We work with institutions like TechnoMontréal, the AQT and MEDEC: organizations that help in the representation of our markets, while raising awareness about the value our sector offers to the entire country,” says Martin Roy.
In addition, they collaborate with renowned IT partners for the evolution of their products. For example, they called upon the CRIM to accompany their development team in the choice of technologies, as well as in the feasibility evaluations of new concepts based on web technologies. They also contribute to the work of the CIRRELT for the development of a simulator, which, when completed, could help optimize internal transport within health establishments.
The talent to innovate
With expertise being the main focus for Christie Innomed, the company takes advantage of its international activities to attract talent, in addition to benefitting from the unrivalled potential of a well-trained and very entrepreneurial labour pool at home, particularly in Quebec.
Martin Roy highlights the role of transparency in the selection process: “We must ensure that our current and future employees embrace the environment of our organization. Growth is very motivating, but also very demanding, it then becomes very important that we equip our employees adequately to ensure our success.”
Talking about personnel management, the president of Christie Innomed also underlines the importance of constantly improving the existing concept of telecommuting, and to promote work/life balance within the company.
Image of the future
With its great capacity for adaptation Christie Innomed never stops evolving to meet the needs of the international markets of medical imaging, medical informatics and Healthcare IT solutions. The organisation relies on the synergy between its experienced employees and its new members to move forward. As Martin Roy expresses, “We try to link the present, past and future to best respond to the needs of our clients, in the short, medium and long term.”
Source: Mélanie Pilon, Writer for the ICT Partners Vitrine TI Program and translated by Jeen Mierau
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