How BlueBird IT Solutions Built a Leading Healthcare IT Infrastructure Company in Markham

Sep 18, 2023

When York University’s Markham campus opens in 2024, students will have access to the John Solomos Collaborative Study Room. For John Solomos, a Markham entrepreneur and founder of BlueBird IT Solutions, the dedication is deeply symbolic. Markham has always been the quiet catalyst for John Solomos’ success. In Markham, he received the first funding and guidance that would ultimately lead him to launch BlueBird IT Solutions, a healthcare IT infrastructure company.

Now, he’s looking to give back. “We’ve finally reached the size where we want to help put Markham on the map for its technology innovations,” says Solomos. And he’s looking to do it in a big way. “We’ve finally reached the size where we want to help put Markham on the map for its technology innovations,” says Solomos.

BlueBird IT Solutions is part of a consortium of companies that have received funding from the Canadian Space Agency to help build a medical capsule that could withstand extreme temperatures (and, eventually, space) and be used to treat people virtually in remote and Indigenous communities. “What they're intending to do is create a medical space that has an x-ray machine in it so that you could check vitals, 3D print cast devices, and most importantly, give remote access to see doctors where doctors aren't available,” explains Solomos. He’s hoping the Canadian Space Agency will demo the first unit in Markham but says it’s a great story for Markham either way. “It’s a great story for Markham.”

It’s also a great story for BlueBird IT Solutions. The business has come a long way since Solomos launched it out of a Markham basement in 2010. He’d been sitting on the idea for the business, which helps thousands of healthcare practitioners from small family medical clinics to some of the country’s leading hospitals utilize Electronic Medical Records (EMR) and technology to enhance patient care, while working at Dell. “I received a phone call from someone at OntarioMD, which is the nonprofit organization that was responsible for helping doctors migrate off of paper charts to EMR in Ontario,” says Solomos. He saw it as an opportunity to play a role in revolutionizing the way healthcare is performed in Canada. “The next morning I went and incorporated Bluebird.”

Over the next five years, he built his business plan with help from the business program at Seneca College. “That gave me my first $15,000 grant to start this business,” he says. It also gave him direction. Solomos wanted to look beyond healthcare to other businesses migrating digital records. “The program really helped me focus strictly on healthcare… that advice is really what allowed me to zero in and become a niche player in the medical space.”

In 2020, when COVID-19 hit, the business had already grown to a national team with clients across Canada. The pandemic presented a massive opportunity for BlueBird IT Solutions. “During COVID-19 we had to find unique ways to get doctors to be able to still connect with patients because everything was closed down,” he says. “Instead of sitting back and feeling the effect of what was going on, we made the decision to set up remote connections and help establish virtual care for doctors at no cost for our clients.”

BlueBird IT Solutions set up virtual care for thousands of healthcare professionals nationwide so they could work remotely and continue to see their patients. It allowed them to broaden their service offerings and expand their reach. Solomos sees the project with Canadian Space Agency as an extension of that. It’s also part of a broader story for him, the story of Markham as Canada’s tech hub. 

“There are a lot of cool things that we want to continue doing here and bring some more exposure to us and to Markham,” he says. “We don’t intend on leaving here.”