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MedTech Actuator Menzies Fellow: Dr Warwick Nesbitt

MedTech Actuator Menzies Fellow Dr Warwick Nesbitt is fusing research with entrepreneurship to help reduce the prevalence and impact of cardiovascular disease.

Dr Warwick holding his Lab-on-a-chip Device

Unlocking The Potential Of Lab-On-A-Chip Technologies

Warwick is the Laboratory Head of the Haematology Micro-platforms Group, based within the Australian Centre for Blood Disease at Monash University.

His multidisciplinary group focuses on the development of novel lab-on-a-chip technologies. These technologies have applications in:

  • basic haematology/cell biology research
  • new diagnostics in thrombosis and haemostasis
  • new antithrombotic drug discovery.

Nesbitt with his Team

Making A Difference To Heart Attack And Stroke Patients

Warwick says that a key inspiration for developing the lab-on-a-chip technologies is the prevalence and impact that cardiovascular diseases – particularly heart attack and stroke – have on the community. 

“Having had family members’ quality of life impacted through the devastating effects of stroke, I am keenly aware of the need for better diagnostics and therapeutics in this area of medicine,” says Warwick.

“My hope is that by developing better tests of blood function, we can improve the clinical management of cardiovascular disease patients.”

Research x Entrepreneurship With The MedTech Actuator Menzies Fellowship

Warwick became a MedTech Actuator Menzies Fellow to develop a better understanding of the MedTech landscape in Australia and internationally.

“I am excited to access the experience, expertise, and networks necessary to commercialise our lab-on-a-chip technologies.” 

As a MedTech Actuator Menzies Fellow, Warwick is building expertise in entrepreneurship, commercialisation, and the startup ecosystem. 

This support will help to unlock the potential in his research and embed the novel lab-on-a-chip technologies in clinical practice to improve and save lives.

Through the Fellowship, Warwick receives mentorship from industry experts, a $20K stipend, networking opportunities and invitations to exclusive events.

Our Network Is Warwick’s Network For Life

As a MedTech Actuator Menzies Fellow, our network becomes Warwick’s network – not just throughout the program, but for life. He joins our community of:

  • The brightest MedTech, HealthTech and BioTech founders across Asia Pacific in the MedTech Actuator Accelerator
  • MedTech Actuator’s extensive ecosystem of partners spanning hospitals, product development firms, multinational corporations, and investors
  • MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholars and Fellows
  • MedTech Actuator Origin entrepreneurs

Are you a future MedTech Actuator Menzies Fellow?

If you’re a senior researcher in human health at an Australian university or research institute, the prestigious MedTech Actuator Menzies Fellowship can help you to transform your research impact.

Get ready to fuse your research and science expertise with entrepreneurship – applications for the MedTech Actuator Menzies Fellowship 2023 will open in the coming months.

Women and applicants from diverse backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply for our 2023 intake. We want to hear from you and would love to chat if you have questions – reach out below.

To stay in the loop sign up for news and updates below, and follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter

You can also reach out to MedTech Actuator Program and Community Coordinator, Makenzie Thomas, with any questions at makenzie@medtechactuator.com

Lenexa Medical Technology Listed on ARTG

Lenexa Medical’s world-first technology to enable personalised pressure injury prevention has been listed on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods – and has the potential to save Australia’s health system billions every year. 

Personalised, targeted pressure injury prevention.

Lenexa Medical has worked tirelessly for years to develop and test their technology that detects and monitors patient position and pressure to guide clinicians in preventing pressure injuries. Now, with newly announced regulatory approval from the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG),  Lenexa Medical can begin supplying their life-changing technology to Australian healthcare providers. 

“Lenexa Medical’s technology is the first of its kind to facilitate personalised and targeted pressure injury prevention.” –Ajit Ravindran, CEO, Lenexa Medical 

“It provides clinicians and carers with vital information to reduce the incidence of pressure injuries,” said Ajit.

Harnessing the power of in-built sensors and smart software, the Lenexa Medical Quality-of-Care Pressure Injury Management System provides clinicians and carers with targeted real-time information to inform decisions, care and treatment. 

The non-subjective information guides clinicians and carers in correctly positioning patients to prevent pressure injuries. Crucially, the technology also indicates when and where the risk of pressure injury is likely to develop.

Lenexa Medical’s launch to the Australian market is a vital step towards improving the quality of patient care and life outcomes, and towards reducing the cost burden of pressure injuries on Australia’s healthcare system.

The initial rollout of the Lenexa Medical Quality-of-Care Pressure Injury Management System to Australian healthcare providers is expected in 2022. 

What are pressure injuries?

Lenexa Medical’s ARTG listing is an important step towards preventing pressure injuries (or bedsores) and their often devastating consequences. Pressure injuries are ulcers caused by pressure to the skin over a prolonged period of time and can develop in as little as two to three hours.  

Many patients in ICUs, surgeries, long-stay wards, and frail adults in aged-care are at risk of developing pressure injuries.

Anyone who is bedridden, immobile in a chair or wheelchair, wearing a cast, unconscious or unable to sense pain can quickly develop pressure injuries. And those with circulation problems, diabetes, or poor nutrition are at higher risk.

Pressure injuries impact life outcomes.

Pressure injuries are often very slow to heal and can extend into a patient’s bones, muscles, tendons and joints. 

Pressure injuries can take weeks, months or even years to heal.

The healing process can be influenced by the patient’s physical condition, and presence of other diseases such as diabetes. Sometimes the patient may even need surgery to help them to heal. Research shows that patients who acquire pressure injuries can experience longer stays in hospital, and can lose healthy life years.

Pressure injuries cost Australia billions every year.

Recent research published in The International Journal of Nursing Studies revealed the huge cost burden of pressure injuries.

The total cost of pressure injuries in Australian public hospitals in 2020 was approximately $9.11 billion. 

Hospital-acquired pressure injuries accounted for over half of this total cost – $5.50 billion. And $3.59 billion was used to treat pressure injuries.

Reducing hospital-acquired pressure injuries by just 50 per cent, with the help of Lenexa Medical’s technology, would result in saving Australia’s hospitals $1.10 billion in treatment costs.

Pressure injury prevention is key.

Despite the prevalence and impact on the lives of patients, and cost burden on Australia’s health system, pressure injuries are mostly preventable. And this is where Lenexa Medical’s technology can bring about much needed change.

The challenge in preventing pressure injuries currently lies in delivering the right care, detection, and treatment methods – all at the right time. 

Current methods are subjective and often inaccurate. As a result, early-stage pressure injuries develop easily, can be easy to miss, and are difficult to treat. But this is set to change with Lenexa Medical’s Australian rollout.

With ARTG regulatory approval, Lenexa Medical will place targeted, personalised pressure injury prevention and care in reach of Australia’s health and aged care systems. And this is news to celebrate – for individual patients and for Australia’s healthcare system.

Lenexa Medical x MedTech Actuator

The Lenexa Medical team joined the MedTech Actuator Accelerator in 2018 to take their pressure injury prevention concept to prototype stage, and to secure development funding. The team collaborated with accelerator program mentors to shape their go-to-market strategy. 

Here’s what Lenexa Medical Chief Scientific Officer Will Yang had to say about the experience of being a part of the program, and fusing his biomedical engineering and research expertise with entrepreneurship:

“As a researcher, I saw that the pace of research can be slow. We had great ideas and wanted to run but were pulled back by factors like grant applications, limited funds and publishing. At the time, I thought that this pace was just normal. 

But when I did the BioDesign Innovation Course at the University of Melbourne and subsequently got into the MedTech Actuator Accelerator, I understood how industry and commercialisation can accelerate the transformation of research into something that is tangible and that has an effect on people that need it.

I saw how fast it can be when you have inputs from the clinical, research and business sides and from a support network like the MedTech Actuator’s – guiding you on the connections you need to get to point B. It’s really about finding the right people who can help get you there.” 

Will Yang, Chief Scientific Officer, Lenexa Medical 

Learn more about Lenexa Medical. 

The Growing Role for Female Leadership in MedTech Startups 

Nutromics Head of Commercial and IP Rosie Stramandinoli shares her journey and reflects on the growing role and importance of female leadership in MedTech startups.

Here’s a statement you’ve probably heard before: women are underrepresented in MedTech startup leadership roles. Factors such as the underrepresentation of women in entrepreneurship and limited growth opportunities exacerbate the problem. 

This is the story of one woman who has dealt with these challenges and overcome the odds to get where she is today. It is a story about courage and tenacity, and an argument for investing in women – as told through the journey of Rosie Stramandinoli, Head of Commercial and IP at Nutromics. 

Moving from corporate leadership to startups

Rosie was a part-time STEM student while working full-time at a high-powered IP firm. During this time, she fell in love with the world of patents and intellectual property. 

“I realised very quickly that I wanted to be a patent attorney. So, when I graduated from university, I commenced my technical training to become a qualified patent attorney. Once I accomplished that, I worked hard and eventually became a partner,” she said. 

Not only did Rosie make partner, she was also ranked amongst the Top 250 Women in IP globally in 2019. 

On her move from corporates to startups, Rosie says:

“I really enjoyed the work and being able to help my clients. However, as the years went by, I realised that I needed to create a much bigger impact to feel truly fulfilled. A client suggested Monash University’s Global Executive MBA program. During my MBA, I met Dr Buzz Palmer. He introduced me to MedTech Actuator Accelerator alumni Peter Vranes and Hitesh Mehta, the co-CEOs and co-founders of Nutromics. The rest, as they say, is history.”

Photograph of the Nutromics team at a workshop in 2020.
Rosie at a Nutromics workshop in 2020.

The role of a female leader

Rosie brings to the table a wealth of experience gained from years of formulating strategy and leading negotiations. However, she acknowledges that being a female leader often brings a more empathetic and nurturing perspective to decision making. 

“Women are really purpose driven and can look at the same situation from completely different perspectives. In my experience, when things are really stressful or busy, women still take all pertinent factors into consideration to offer a more balanced decision. They contribute opinions that make for a more well-rounded outcome,” she says. 

Rosie says that, in her experience, good female leaders have been strong mentors, pillars of the community, and have created the most impact. 

“You will always have good and bad leaders, regardless of gender. But, if your organisation has a fair representation of good male and female leaders, your outcomes will be more balanced.”

Looking at Australian female MedTech founders like Michelle Gallaher from Opyl, Alice Williams from Ovira and Lauren Barber from NeedleCalm as well as industry innovators like Emily Casey from What The Health, Rosie sees that women are really carving out their own path. 

“Female founders and startup operators in Australia are doing a great job of making themselves and their impact heard and seen. They are overcoming biases and hurdles beautifully. We need to have more faith in female founders and leaders in MedTech and continue to support them,” says Rosie. 

“If we invest in women, if we offer them a platform to be heard, and if we provide them with opportunity, they will continue to flourish.” 

“Women are showing that they can do it all, just as well, if not better,” Rosie says. 

Creating a pathway for women to succeed

Rosie’s journey wasn’t an easy one. Early on, she had very limited access to resources, support networks, and mentors. 

“I did not come from a privileged background, but that did not deter me from being the best that I can be,” Rosie says.  

“I took any opportunity that came my way, with both hands. There were long nights, missed holidays, and sacrifices along the way. However, now that I am a leader, I don’t think that this is the only way to succeed. I really believe in helping women who want to achieve more.”

Rosie acknowledges that often a leadership journey is not a linear path for women and they must deal with obstacles along the way.

“Companies are encouraged to have women in their teams, but this isn’t enough. They need to listen to women or give them a voice. We need to remove those inadvertent biases that limit the definition of what women are capable of,” she says. 

What can these companies do to ensure that they’re giving women opportunities to succeed? 

“Companies should be actively helping women to grow personally and professionally. Leadership programs and mentoring are a few ways to do this. It is important to make it easy for women to reach out and ask for opportunities to learn and grow,” Rosie suggests. 

Ensuring your success as a leader

Rosie also offers two pieces of advice for women, based on her own experiences. The first is don’t be humble.  

“Early on in my career, I would shy away from talking about my accomplishments,” says Rosie.

“Now, I am more than willing to let others know about my achievements, as well as my struggles to get there.”

“Women are doing incredible work and we should be confident in our success and talk about it. We should also support each other. If you see a good female leader, tell them! Boost their confidence and boost your own, you deserve it.”

“The more you talk about your journey and your accomplishments, the more you will inspire other women to do the same.” 

Rosie’s second piece of advice is to reach out.

“Don’t be afraid to identify women who inspire you and reach out. Send them an email, connect with them on LinkedIn, or ask a mutual contact for an introduction. Good female leaders are always willing to give you their time and guide you to achieve success.” 

Rosie’s leadership story started as a young girl with no industry connections or mentors. All she had was a desire to achieve. 

Her tenacity and courage helped her get to where she is today, and she believes in making the path easier for women who come after her. She is a champion for women in the industry, and as long as we have leaders like her, the role of women in MedTech startups will continue to grow! 

Author: Royina Bakshi, PR & Comms Lead @ Nutromics

MedTech Actuator Accelerator 4th Birthday

Here’s to another year of supporting APAC’s best emerging medical innovations through the MedTech Actuator Accelerator!

From the very first MedTech Actuator Accelerator cohort in 2018 to today, over 50 medical innovations have developed into startups leading Asia Pacific’s health transformation. 

Last night, we got together with our alumni to celebrate our six cohorts navigating the commercialisation journey. And we continue our call for the seventh accelerator cohort taking place later this year – applications close this Sunday 6 March.

Looking back to reflect forward

Alumni joined us on stage last night with their original pitch decks from day one. This highlighted the strength of founders within our community, and how far they’ve come since completing the MedTech Actuator Accelerator.

Looking back to where we’ve been is an essential part of the process. It provides perspective and reassurance that we’ve come a long way and the confidence to rise to challenges ahead. Founders can tackle anything. Especially when they’ve got a community of founders, industry experts, investors, researchers, and clinicians backing them from the beginning. 

Our very first pitch

Buzz and Vishaal share MedTech Actuator's first ever pitch.

Dr Buzz Palmer, CEO of MedTech Actuator, shares the first pitch deck for the organisation.

At MedTech Actuator, we believe in learning from the past and helping others to avoid the same pitfalls. Follow the tips below from us and founders, as well as those in this blog post, if you’re looking to put together a stand-out application for the MedTech Actuator Accelerator.

Tip 1: Make sure the content can stand on its own. Fancy branding will only get you so far.

Nutromics

Hitesh Mehta and Peter Vranes, Co-Founders of Nutromics.
Hitesh Mehta and Peter Vranes in the early days of Nutromics

“When we pitched, Nutromics had just landed on our new logo, so we put it everywhere… actually six times on our competitors’ slide. Don’t do this. Keep it simple and clear.”

“As of today, we’ve raised $6M in total. We are very appreciative of the faith that Buzz Palmer, Vishaal Kishore, and the MedTech Actuator had in us. It was the conduit that got us to where we are today.”

– Hitesh Mehta and Peter Vranes, Nutromics

Tip 2: The team is everything. When pitching and applying to programs, let us know who you are and what you stand for.

Stelect

Elise Sutherland, Stelect

“We didn’t have a team slide, which I thought was odd. We mustn’t have thought team was important, but that’s something we learned through MedTech Actuator. Team is crucial.”

“According to our market slide, Stelect was doing it – we’re going everywhere. It was not a market entry strategy, it was an every market strategy. Things have clearly changed since then and our expectations are more realistic now…”

-Elise Sutherland, Stelect

Tip 3: Back up your claims and value proposition. And, if you don’t know something or you’re making an assumption, that’s okay. We don’t expect you to know it all.

Navi Medical Technologies

The Navi team
The Navi Medical Technologies team

“In our first pitch deck, our value prop was making things better and, of course, we reduced the risks whilst doing so. No quantifications needed – we just made things better. We leveraged this notion to back up our subscription revenue model, which lasted for about a month after we pitched to MedTech Actuator. That all changed when we spoke to hospitals and they laughed in our face.”

“If you’re thinking about the path to market, it is probably going to take twice as long as you expect.”

“The MedTech Actuator Accelerator was a real catalyst and enabled us to take that first step!”

-Alex Newton, Navi

Proud to celebrate with you

Thank you to the founders and everyone who surrounds and supports them. Together, we make up the MedTech Actuator community and it brings us great pride to watch you grow and move closer to market. We can’t wait to celebrate our 5th birthday with you all next year!

Ready to level-up?

If you’ve got an idea that you’d like to take through the program, then apply for the MedTech Actuator Accelerator by Monday, March 7.

Or, sign up to MedTech Actuator updates below to stay in the loop.

The MedTech Actuator Accelerator is supported by LaunchVic and the REDI Initiative, powered by MTPConnect.