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Saving lives and empowering others to do the same

Photo of the Rescuent team with new mentor - Rod Wiebenga from D+I - at the MedTech's Got Talent Challenge Rapid Fire Rounds in Melbourne 2019.

3 DECEMBER 2019

Every year in Australia, 1 in 1000 people suffer a sudden cardiac arrest and a staggering 90 per cent of them will lose their life. But one startup is working to save lives with a new technology that empowers people to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) with confidence.

How about you – do you know how to perform CPR? If your answer is ‘no’, you’re not alone: only 5 per cent of Australians are trained to perform this simple, life-saving technique.

Rescuent Co-Founder, Dan Ferrier explains that the team have created a medical device the size of a credit card that guides the everyday person on how to perform professional quality CPR – so often the crucial difference between life and death.

“We’re a team out of the BioDesign Innovation program at the University of Melbourne,” says Dan.

As part of the program, the team were introduced to a wealth of clinical contacts to identify an unmet clinical need.

“One of our clinical mentors showed us these shocking statistics and through further investigation, we knew we had to somehow address the low survival rates of cardiac arrest through a widely accessible CPR feedback device,” says Dan.

Most people will know someone who has had a cardiac arrest – a relative, a friend, a mentor – and this resonated with the team’s belief that people should be offered the best possible chance of survival.

“Cardiac arrest can be devastating for close family and friends so we’re not only aiming to save lives, but empowering others to do the same,” says Dan.

Next week, Dan will take an exciting step and compete in the MedTech’s Got Talent Challenge Gala Finals. On HealthTech’s night of nights, the innovation ecosystem will come together to support the brightest emerging HealthTech and MedTech entrepreneurs in creating life-changing technologies.

As a finalist, Dan is being mentored by Rod Wiebenga from Design + Industry – an industrial design and product development consultancy that creates human solutions to complex problems.

Rod has been working closely with Dan to help him get ready to compete for a share in $50,000 and fast-tracked entry to the MedTech Actuator Accelerator program.

For aspiring HealthTech and MedTech entrepreneurs out there, Dan’s top tip is to be sure to understand the risk at each stage, and de-risk it. He also recommends remembering that starting a company is a long-term commitment that you are making with your colleagues.

“For us, our solution is technically not the most extravagant. But we’ve learned that if the need and problem are real, and the pain they cause is clear, then everything will fall in to place,” says Dan.

“Sometimes you may think that your idea is no good but stick with it until the end, wherever that may be. The team and need are what matters most. Solutions will come.”

For Dan, the best part so far of being involved in the Challenge has been the positive validation from the MedTech Actuator and Design + Industry.

“Their positive attitude has further fanned the flames under our feet and is driving us towards growth and success.”

Dan would absolutely recommend getting involved in the Challenge to other entrepreneurs.

“There are fantastic opportunities to pitch to leaders in the MedTech space, as well as connecting with a very supportive cohort and mentors. It has also led to collaborations with industry that otherwise wouldn’t be possible.”

Thank you to our major Challenge partners and sponsors – we couldn’t do this without you: The Federal Government, The Department of Industry, Innovation & Science; The Victorian Government, The Department of Jobs, Precincts & Regions; Global Victoria; LaunchVic; Government of Karnataka; Bangalore Bioinnovation Centre; Johnson & Johnson; Cook Medical; Medtronic; K&L Gates; Vestech; IDE Group; Design + Industry; Tricycle Developments; Ingenuity Electronics Design; Outerspace Design; MiniFAB; LEAP Australia and Wave Digital.

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