How Hamed Shahbazi Became a Recognized Canadian Healthcare CEO

Hamed Shahbazi Rising as a Recognized Healthcare CEO
Photo Courtesy: Hamed Shahbazi

By: Seraphina Quinn

In an industry where the patients come first, healthcare leadership often operates behind the scenes, supporting the vital work of medical professionals. However, this month, Maclean’s magazine shed light on the influential figures shaping the Canadian healthcare landscape. Front and center stands WELL Health CEO Hamed Shahbazi, prominently recognized as one of Canada’s most influential leaders in Healthcare. A new addition to this list, this acknowledgment follows Shahbazi’s significant contributions to the industry in recent years. Though, like many successful CEOs on the list, his journey goes much further back. 

In 1997, following the completion of his civil engineering degree at the University of British Columbia, Shahbazi dove straight into the startup world, kicking off his journey with Info-Touch Technologies. Picture this: internet kiosks popping up in convenience stores across the U.S., making it easier for folks without digital access to get online. But as the internet boom went global, Shahbazi rolled with the punches, shifting gears from emails to PalmPilot syncing to video chats until he struck gold with bill payments. Renaming Info-Touch to Tio (which means “uncle” in Spanish), he tapped into a market hungry for quick bill-paying solutions, and the rest is history. PayPal swooped in and snagged Tio for a cool $304 million in 2017.

Fast-forward to today, and Shahbazi has his sights set on revolutionizing healthcare with WELL Health. It all started with a personal experience when his mother was diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia in 2013. After facing long wait times and bureaucratic chaos, the cracks in Canada’s healthcare system became glaringly obvious. Despite living in a tech-forward country, the Canadian healthcare industry was stuck in the Stone Age.

Armed with an entrepreneurial spirit, Shahbazi dove headfirst into the healthcare scene. WELL Health began snapping up primary-care clinics left and right across the Lower Mainland in 2018. Then came the tech side of things: electronic medical records, telehealth platforms, cybersecurity—you name it. By 2021, WELL Health was an industry leader, owning the most outpatient clinics in the country.

Shahbazi understands the power of data in driving healthcare innovation. Through strategic partnerships and acquisitions, WELL has amassed a wealth of patient data which serves as the foundation for advanced analytics and personalized care solutions. By harnessing the insights from this info, healthcare providers can deliver more targeted interventions, leading to improved patient outcomes and reduced healthcare costs. 

As of 2024, WELL has built a cutting-edge suite of AI-driven healthcare tools which data management software and medical assistants that can provide real-time insights. By investing in predictive analytics and AI-driven diagnostics, WELL Health Technologies is now empowering healthcare providers to identify and address health issues before they escalate, ultimately saving lives and reducing the burden on the healthcare system.

So, while some folks might raise an eyebrow at mixing tech with healthcare, Shahbazi’s vision is for a more connected future for patients and practitioners alike. This CEO is showing no sign of slowing down on his journey of digitizing the healthcare industry across the globe.

Published by: Martin De Juan


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