Supporting people with low vision to live their life the way they choose

MedTech Actuator Menzies Fellow and CueSleeve co-founder Dr Chris McCarthy is working to make it easier for people living with low vision and neurocognitive disorders to do what they want and love to do.

It can be challenging for people living with low vision to identify and move towards objects in their everyday life – whether at home or getting around on public transport, dining and more. For people living with neurocognitive disorders such as traumatic brain injury, movement to interact with their world can also be a significant challenge.

“Through this technology we aim to provide a low-cost assistive aid for people with low vision, and an accessible therapeutic aid for rehabilitation of hand-eye coordination in people living with low vision and neurocognitive disorders,” says Chris.

“The MedTech Actuator Menzies Fellowship will provide both the financial support and mentorship we need to develop and commercialise CueSleeve.”

The first prototype is the result of years of hard work from Chris’ PhD student and co-founder Deepa Prabhu, and the CueSleeve team including Mehedi Hasan, Dr Clare MacMahon (La Trobe University) and Dr Lisa Wise.

“CueSleeve is a wearable and flexible sleeve that computes and then delivers vibration-based cues to the user’s forearm skin, guiding them towards objects that they are interested in looking at more closely, touching or picking up,” says Chris.

CueSleeve detects and tracks the objects with sensors embedded within the sleeve and a head-mounted camera using advanced computer vision.

A Senior Lecturer in Computer Science at Swinburne University of Technology, Chris has worked at the forefront of prosthetic vision with Bionic Vision Australia and in developing a robotic aid for paediatric rehabilitation – now deployed at The Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne.

The MedTech Actuator Menzies Fellowships are valued at $70,000 each and will provide Chris with tailored mentoring from commercialisation experts, a $20,000 stipend and access to the MedTech Actuator™ – Asia Pacific’s MedTech, BioTech and HealthTech accelerator.

“I am excited to learn about entrepreneurship and business from the experts, and to bring this project, already years in the making, out of the lab and into the hands of people we believe it can truly benefit.”

The MedTech Actuator Menzies Fellowship is a partnership between the Menzies Foundation and the MedTech Actuator, supported by the Menzies Foundation as part of their Entrepreneurship in Science mission.

Sign up to our newsletter below and connect with us on Twitter and LinkedIn to follow Chris’ journey – and stay in the loop on how to be a part of the 2022 MedTech Actuator Menzies Fellowship.

Researchers join inaugural MedTech Actuator Menzies Fellowship

Congratulations to Dr Chris McCarthy and Associate Professor Jeremy Crook on their appointment as inaugural MedTech Actuator Menzies Fellows.

The MedTech Actuator Menzies Fellowships are valued at $70,000 each and will provide Chris and Jeremy with tailored mentoring from commercialisation experts, a $20,000 stipend and access to the MedTech Actuator™.

The fellowship unlocks the potential of Australia’s world-class research and researchers, particularly in the areas of human health, medicine, and biotechnology. Through the fellowship, researchers will fuse their background with new commercial expertise from industry’s leading minds to improve and save lives.

Chris is a Senior Lecturer in Computer Science at Swinburne University of Technology, an Honorary Research Fellow at the Bionics Institute and has worked at the forefront of pioneering technology. This includes Bionic Vision Australia and a robotic aid for paediatric rehabilitation – now deployed at The Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne. Jeremy is an Associate Professor and Principal Fellow at the University of Wollongong and Chief Investigator and Deputy Theme Leader of Synthetic Biosystems in the ARC Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science.

As a fellow Chris will advance CueSleeve, a haptic training device for improving eye-hand coordination in individuals with visual and neuro-cognitive disorder. Jeremy will be advancing a wireless electroceutical device for neural repair.

“As an academic researcher, I love solving problems but get most satisfaction in seeing theoretical solutions translate to real outcomes. This fellowship will give me the mentorship, focus and structured support I need to truly realise this for CueSleeve,” says Chris.

Jeremy says that he is excited to learn what it takes to bring a medical technology innovation to market.

“The fellowship will be important for achieving my aspirations to translate what began as merely an idea conceived by myself and team member Dr Eva Tomaskovic-Crook into a clinically useful medical technology,” says Jeremy.

Chris and Jeremy will initially embark on six months of mentorship, working with experts within the MedTech Actuator and along the commercialisation pipeline.

During the second six-month phase, Chris and Jeremy will take part in a tailored version of our flagship, industry-led accelerator. They will learn how to navigate key commercialisation milestones, from developing regulatory and reimbursement strategies to product development, approaching investors, and building a team.

Importantly, they’ll learn with – and from – other MedTech, HealthTech and BioTech founders from across Asia Pacific.

The MedTech Actuator Menzies Fellowship is a partnership between the Menzies Foundation and the MedTech Actuator, supported by the Menzies Foundation as part of their Entrepreneurship in Science mission.

Sign up to our newsletter below and connect with us on Twitter and LinkedIn to follow Chris and Jeremy’s journey – and stay in the loop on how to be a part of the 2022 MedTech Actuator Menzies Fellowship.