Cinchy helps healthcare and financial service industries accelerate response to COVID-19

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Monthly Archives: May 2020

Cinchy helps healthcare and financial service industries accelerate response to COVID-19

DMZ alumnus, Cinchy, is using Data Fabric technology to help Canadian banking and healthcare sectors unlock IT efficiencies and address the immediate impacts of COVID-19

Congratulations to the company on their recent announcement of securing $10M in Series A funding to support growing demand for Data Fabric Technology!

Cinchy’s Data Fabric technology is being used to unlock efficiencies so that banks and healthcare providers can deploy real-time solutions with existing or even reduced IT budgets. How can the tech community and public sector work together to accelerate the delivery of new customer and employee solutions without compromising on data privacy? Keep reading to find out.

More applications mean more data silos

Today, there’s an app for everything – meaning there’s also a data silo for everything. Do you ever feel like your business is drowning in complexity? The proliferation of new applications poses huge problems for organizations of all kinds, across all sectors. As explained by Cinchy CEO, Dan DeMers, data integration can easily consume 50% or more of the delivery budget for new solutions. In an IT model where we are constantly doing this, data integration grows more and more complex over time, and this simply isn’t sustainable for organizations. It’s a waste of time and money.

How data should work

So, how does Cinchy’s technology solve this issue for organizations? Cinchy believes there is an inevitable future about how data should work, and it involves shifting to Data Fabric technology.

Cinchy is an enterprise-grade Data Collaboration platform that merges data management, data protection, and data governance capabilities under one umbrella. It is Data Fabric technology that delivers the data management layer, and it is used to connect data from apps, as well as new data created directly in the fabric, to form a sort of internet of data tables. One of the key benefits of this architecture is that it removes the need to make data copies (a.k.a. integrations) when launching new solutions. Instead, data is “linked”, and this process actually gets faster and more efficient as the fabric powers more solutions. Think of the Data Fabric as generating a network effect for IT delivery where more projects translate into faster and cheaper delivery, not rising costs and complexity.

Why has Data Fabric been gaining so much traction recently? The reason is that organizational leaders are being asked to deliver solutions faster than ever before without being given additional budget or headcount. Therefore, they have been searching to find technologies that increase both speed and efficiency while not putting data privacy and protection at risk. As you might guess, the list of software categories capable of delivering all of these outcomes is short; Data Fabric technology has quickly risen to the top of the list.

Connect, protect, collaborate

Society is moving to a future where data owners, whether individuals or businesses, will demand more control over how their data is used. With conventional approaches, data is effectively managed by making a lot of copies, and, once copied, full control is simply no longer possible. All this changes with Cinchy’s Data Fabric design, where data owners (whether employees, customers, or supply chain partners) are able to grant access permission to fellow fabric users to see, change, approve or delete their data. With no copies of data to chase and protect, these controls become universal in nature and can be set all the way down to a single cell of data.

For large, highly-regulated organizations, the fabric acts as the secure, real-time engine for the delivery of unlimited new solutions with embedded data protection. Again, this not only enables secure, cross-team collaborations but actually accelerates and improves the organization’s IT delivery process. That’s the way it should be.

COVID-19: making a difference across industries in the months to come

During this time, organizations need to meet the sudden demand from employees and customers for new solutions to their needs. In the new COVID-19 world, it’s important that organizations not only address these demands quickly but find ways to do so that are hyper-efficient. For Cinchy’s enterprise and public sector customers, their platform supports this incredible challenge and even provides a competitive advantage when business returns to a focus on growth.

Helping Canada’s financial sector do more with less

All areas of financial services heavily rely on data as a key asset in the delivery of their digital transformation strategies: from paperless banking and accelerated loan approvals to remote staff management and increased service personalization.

There is now more data, and more types of data, than ever – making it more difficult to manage. This is where Data Fabric technology will play a key role in helping the financial sector respond quickly to new demands from customers and employees alike. Banks will need to harness data in the most effective way possible to accelerate the delivery of new solutions for remote workers, secure office spaces, and the and fully-digitized customer experiences. Canadian banks can leverage Cinchy and reap the benefits of its Data Fabric design to achieve data centricity and accurate data extraction for successful decision-making. Data Fabric will be the answer to helping the economy bounce back.

Powering secure, real-time healthcare solutions

The ongoing healthcare crisis raises important questions about the use of personally identifying information (PII). For example, should citizen GPS and Bluetooth location data be used to help augment contact tracers in their incredibly important work to track viral transmission and reduce spread? How can the technology community and public sector work together to respond to the current situation and help society be more proactive when addressing future outbreaks?

COVID-19 has highlighted the need for public health agencies to move beyond legacy data management systems based on Data Sharing/Data Integration and explore new approaches such as Data Fabric technology that improve data protection and IT solutions delivery. These new approaches will support the rapid delivery of large scale solutions ranging from augmented contact tracing to intelligent PPE inventory management, front-line worker support, and secure vaccine research collaborations.

Click image to see expanded infographic.

Cinchy’s Healthcare Data Command Centre solution uses Data Collaboration and Data Fabric technologies to help healthcare providers leverage data from sources like legacy healthcare systems, hospital apps and databases, mobile phone apps, laboratory research, third party PPE inventory systems and more. By drawing this data into a central, secure Command Centre where owners retain full control of how their data is used, public health agencies can quickly develop the data models required to deploy the real-time solutions that are so urgently needed in order to address the crisis.

Cinchy believes that it is imperative that public and private stakeholders join forces in order to take advantage of connected Data Fabric design – a made-in-Canada innovation that can be used to help address a global problem without compromising on data privacy or data protection.

Interested in learning how your organization can benefit from Cinchy’s platform? Reach out to the Cinchy team and book a demo here.

5 questions for tech entrepreneurs

Our world has fundamentally changed, and the future of business has changed with it. As entrepreneurs, our biggest concerns from eight weeks ago, such as “How do I manage my dilution?”, have been replaced with “How do I survive the next month?”

Then, capital was freely available and we had a good handle on customer behaviour. Now, investors have sidelined themselves to take care of their companies and customers have done a complete 180. We no longer operate in the old state of normal, and there’s little point in looking back.

If you’re a tech startup founder, this might well be your first economic crisis – even your first market cycle change. Stress levels are high and difficult decisions need to be made every day.

What is an entrepreneur to do? Where to focus efforts? What questions should be asked? To survive or even thrive in the new normal, entrepreneurs must be asking themselves five questions:

1) What is my legacy approach and how is it hindering me?


Think back to when you started your company. Was it you and your cofounder working around a kitchen table? That’s when your legacy approach was first formed. How you made decisions together, how you defined your priorities, how you structured your company. Then you grew from a team of four to eight to 16. Your organizational structure was solidified, and your early culture was born. As you went from your series A round to your B round, you gave investors different rights and you established different classes of shares. All of this defined how decisions would be made and who had a seat at the table.

Now is the time to reassess this legacy approach and consider how it might be hindering you. Does it take a week to get a decision from your board when it should only take a day? Is your reporting structure causing needless frustration? Do some stakeholders have too much say in your day-to-day? Are you handcuffed by a certain process? All of these issues can bog you down and get in the way of decision-making.

Time is in short supply. It should be measured in days, not weeks or months. All your time should be spent on anticipating the future, preserving optionality and extending your runway, not on dealing with old issues that don’t serve the new normal.

2) How can I increase my speed and agility?

Entrepreneurs that come out of this crisis intact will take time now to increase their speed and agility.

In the absence of a crystal ball, the best thing they can do is maximize their ability to turn on a dime. Swiftness and flexibility will also help you maximize your cash runway and give you optionality – two critical factors that will determine who survives and thrives.

Don’t forget, many great iconic companies were born in times of crisis – General Motors, General Electric, Google, Apple, Microsoft. These companies weren’t created during market highs, but times of extreme stress. They knew that by staying speedy and nimble, they’d be able to go where the puck was headed.

3) What stays and what goes?

COVID-19 is already forcing society to question what’s essential and what’s not. It’s shown us our dirty habits and wastefulness. We’re wondering whether norms developed decades ago, like maintaining a sprawling office instead of allowing employees to work from home, are still relevant.

Now is the time to adopt a lifeboat strategy: Take what you need and leave what you don’t. As we paddle to safety, we have a unique opportunity to jettison what was bogging us down – to clean up our balance sheets, look at our options, extend our runways, reassess our table stakes. 

4) How should I use the time now to think through the next wave of innovation?

Governments have acted quickly to help Canadian companies extend their cash runways. They’ve given entrepreneurs time to think through next moves. This is a big opportunity for Canada’s tech sector: Although we punch above our weight class in discovery and innovation, we’re well below where we could be in terms of commercialization.

Difficult as is it, this crisis will lead us into a new economy founded on innovation. This will create enormous opportunities in emerging industries, such as telemedicine, patient-centred digital health, AR/VR and digital experiences, online learning and education, business continuity technology and virtual event management.

Looking to the future, we should expect that there will be more crises of this scale. Another pandemic is possible, even likely. The impacts of climate change will continue to be felt. Our world is changing rapidly and now is the time to think big and innovate fast.

5) Who can I turn to for good advice?

For the past 11 years, we’ve been living in a bull market cycle – for many entrepreneurs, the only cycle they’ve experienced. The new normal can be intimidating.

Now is the time to find the right advisors. Someone who can be a true sounding board and co-pilot. The best advisors may not default to existing board members since investors can sometimes make suboptimal decisions in order to protect their slice of the pie. Entrepreneurs should look for people who have gone through difficult market cycles before, people who understand how not to cling to the bubble. Seek out support that you think will move your company in the right direction.

In conclusion, now is the time to take action. Not tomorrow — today. If you don’t make hard decisions now, your company might become a victim to another – one that’s faster or more agile. Right now, clinging to the past is your biggest boat anchor. It may be hard to see, but the future is your biggest opportunity. You can do this. And where you can’t, the right people can help you through it.

How PocketHealth is fueling healthcare innovation, attracting investment and scaling company growth despite COVID-19

PocketHealth’s patient-centric product introduces a new way of thinking in healthcare and has been instrumental in keeping hospital departments afloat during the current COVID-19 crisis.


The company recently announced a $9.2M raise in funding – while it seems hard to believe a startup could be pursuing growth and attracting investment in this environment, PocketHealth isn’t at all surprised that demand has skyrocketed.

Healthcare institutions have traditionally been slow to embrace innovation. However, Rishi Nayyar, Co-Founder & CEO of PocketHealth, explains that many have had no choice but to adopt new technology in hopes of relieving burdens on resources.

PocketHeath has completely modernized how sensitive medical imaging is shared between hospitals, imaging clinics, doctors and patients. The platform has stopped patients from making unnecessary hospital trips and being exposed to potential risk, and given institutions more resources to deal with COVID-19 screening and other related activities.

We caught up with Rishi to pass along our congratulations on the company’s raise and to learn what’s next in store for the company given the news – which includes big plans to scale.

Check out our Q&A with Rishi below.

Tell us about how you and your brother co-founded this business together.

The idea for PocketHealth began with a simple experience that my brother, Harsh, had while he was working in the Bay Area in Silicon Valley. He was playing tennis and sprained his ankle quite badly. He was required to get an MRI and an X-ray, and when he was done with that MRI, he was handed two CD-ROMs.

The thought of receiving CDs back then, which was in the mid-2010s, was quite absurd – especially considering the work he was doing in the Valley. At that time, he was an early engineer at a startup that eventually got acquired by Google. He was working on app virtualization: streaming large quantities of data to mobile devices all around the world, gigabytes of data. Meanwhile, in healthcare, hospitals and imaging centres had these small image files being placed on a CD-ROM to give to a patient. This patient was, by definition, sick. They’d have to come to the hospital, pick up the CD-ROM and then drop it off at their doctor’s office to continue their care. Harsh thought, why is this a primary way that imaging records are released? That’s something that stuck with him. He called me and said, “Look, this is a problem and we can build the tech to solve it.”

Time passed. The startup he was working at got acquired by Google. He eventually left Google and I left my job where I was working in banking. We saw an opportunity to create a cloud platform that would completely change the healthcare industry, and that’s when we started PocketHealth.

Can you tell us more about PocketHealth’s product?

PocketHealth is a cloud platform that allows hospitals and imaging clinics to share imaging records virtually with patients, physicians, and other hospitals and clinics. From the patient’s perspective, PocketHealth allows them to access and control their medical imaging records in the palm of their hand, in full diagnostic quality, and then share it with any physician in the world – instantly.

What has PocketHealth’s journey looked like since graduating in 2018?

The DMZ helped us ensure we had the systems in place to grow responsibly. We were surrounded by companies at the same stage of growth, and we were able to learn from these companies and the mentors. When we hit hyper-growth upon graduating, we were prepared.

We grew our product scope, significantly enabling hospitals to not just share with patients, but to also receive imaging inwards. Those products made a great impact in the market. It allowed us to grow our client base significantly – to the scale we’re at today.

In the early days of this pandemic, did you have any worry that it could negatively affect your company?

No, we knew from the beginning, especially working in health care, that COVID-19 would dramatically increase demand for PocketHealth. Burning CDs was no longer an option. COVID-19 has put a spotlight on the need for hospitals and clinics to modernize the way they share medical imaging. There are still patients who need imaging, who need to undergo diagnosis, who need treatment, and they require a copy of their exam to further their care. However, requiring patients to come on-site to pick up a CD is just not possible anymore.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic increased the demand for a product like PocketHealth?

We’re having Directors of medical imaging and CEOs of hospitals calling us saying, “We needed this yesterday”. We’ve increased the number of sites deploying on our platform by over 300 percent monthly as imaging clinics and hospitals across North America grapple with this problem.

We’ve been advantaged: one, we have a product that is extremely strong in the market and is patient-centric, and two, we’re built for rapid deployment. We’ve been able to go live at a hospital in days or even hours. From an I.T. perspective, it’s unheard of – to completely switch how you perform a job function or a data-release function in such a short amount of time.

It was recently announced that PocketHealth secured $6.5 million USD ($9.2 million CAD) in funding. What does this first round of funding mean for the company?

This capital will allow us to scale our team significantly. We are hiring across all teams: customer success, sales, marketing and engineering. We’re hiring a mission-driven team to achieve our expansion goals. We want to reach out to the millions of patients that we haven’t touched yet, as well as thousands of hospitals and clinics where we aren’t deployed yet.

What does the future look like for PocketHealth? What are the company’s next milestones?

We’re trying to attract top talent in all of our roles who care about the problem that we’re trying to solve. We know that we have a platform that is unique in the market, that has this amazing ability to resonate with patients and with the providers. We’re driven to expand PocketHealth beyond the scope where it already is. We’ve been able to get this far as a mission-driven, but bootstrapped, company. We’re excited to see what the next phase brings. We think it will bring more patient centricity, more patients who are empowered and involved in their care, and hospital departments that aren’t burdened with the inefficiencies of slow and outdated imaging release systems.

We have some exciting deployments outside of our traditional geographic markets that will be announced soon. This is definitely a global issue. We know that patients’ desires to be in touch with what’s going on in their bodies are universal. It transcends geographic and political boundaries. The product and infrastructure we’ve built it on is designed to scale globally very quickly.

What advice would you have for founders who are riding out the current pandemic?

Focus on the fundamentals. If you’re around right now, there is some value to your product. In bull markets, there can be a tendency to run a lot of experiments and expand your scope beyond your typical value proposition, but I would advise you to get to the basics. Think about why people purchase your product. How does it make them feel? How does it change their lives? Double down on that. That’s where you’re going to get the highest return. Look inwardly and create a focal point for your team to work towards. That will give you the best shot of weathering this storm ahead.

If you have the skillset to help PocketHealth advance their mission, they want to hear from you! Take a look at PocketHealth’s website to learn about the benefits of working for this high-growth company and the current job openings available.

Questions? Let us know at dmz@ryerson.ca