Announcing MedTech Actuator Origin 2023 Winner

At the recent MedTech Actuator Showcase, we joined ecosystem leaders to celebrate Asia Pacific’s next wave of early-stage MedTech, HealthTech and BioTech entrepreneurs – with ELLIS taking home the prestigious MedTech Actuator Origin 2023 Award.

About MedTech Actuator Showcase

The annual MedTech Actuator Showcase brings together global health innovation ecosystem partners to connect and celebrate the achievements, impact, and progress of healthtech entrepreneurs and founders. This exclusive black-tie event brings together 250+ senior representatives and 30+ organisations from across the ecosystem.

Across an evening of celebration, guests heard from LaunchVic CEO, Kate Cornick, before diving into the founding journey of Nutromics with Cofounders, Peter Vranes and Hitesh Mehta, and VeinTech with Cofounders, Nikhilesh Bappoo and Nicholas Buckley. 

Shining light on early-stage founders, MedTech Actuator Accelerator startups, DermR Health and NanoCube Health founders Stefan Mazy and Lisa Milani pitched to the audience. Stepping into the spotlight for the first time were the MedTech Actuator Origin Finalists pitching to be crowned the winner of MedTech Actuator Origin 2023 and to secure a $15k cash prize, as well as mentoring from Tom Oxley from Synchron and fast-tracked entry into the 2024 Accelerator program.

Teams pitching in the finals included three Australian and one Japanese team:

  • Chyral | Gabriel Oyarzo | Chyral is developing a novel, non-invasive blood glucose monitoring device that uses infrared light.
  • ELLIS | Liz Davis | ELLIS is developing a sensor probe to detect respiratory complications early in ventilated ICU patients.
  • SmartPoly | Nasim Sabahi | SmartPoly aims to develop a synthetic solution for treatment of large-scale bone defects.
  • Spine Chronicle | Ryo Kitagawa | Development of the best spinal implants for elderly patients.

MedTech Actuator Origin 2023 Award: ELLIS

Congratulations to Liz Davis from ELLIS on taking out this prestigious award after a highly competitive process and pitching at the finals. ELLIS was selected and judges as the winner out of four early-stage entrepreneurs who made it to the Origin finals.

“It is really exciting to see such fantastic medical innovations coming through the ecosystem. Liz delivered an amazing pitch integrating a clear patient need with a strong commercial pathway. Congratulations to Liz and the team behind ELLIS!”

Matthew Frith – Chief Commercial Officer, MedTech Actuator

MedTech Actuator Origin 2023 Award winners: ELLIS; and MedTech Actuator People’s Choice Award winner: Spine Chronicle

Do you have an early stage idea for an innovation in human health? MedTech Actuator’s Origin is here to help and expression of interest are now open for Origin 2024. 

MedTech Actuator People’s Choice 2023 Award: Spine Chronicle

Congratulations to MedTech Actuator Origin Japan participant, Ryo Kitagawa from Spine Chronicle, for being selected for the MedTech Actuator People’s Choice 2023 Award.

MedTech Actuator Showcase guests from the innovation ecosystem – spanning investor groups and VCs, multinational corporations, hospitals, product development firms, universities, and research institutes – voted for their favourite pitch of the night, with Spine Chronicle taking home the prize.

This coveted vote of confidence went to Ryo from Spine Chronicle, who will take home an AUD$1K cash prize.

It Takes A Village to Raise a MedTech Startup

The MedTech Actuator Showcase and the specialised acceleration model underpinning all of our programs would not be possible without the support of the innovation ecosystem and startups in the MedTech Actuator portfolio.

Special Guests

Thank you to our distinguished Showcase guests for your support of our MedTech superheroes and the ecosystem:

  • Ms. Kate Cornick – CEO of LaunchVic;
  • Mr. Takayuki Watanabe – Managing Director of Japan’s External Trade Organization [JETRO] for Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific Islands; and,
  • Mr. Rodrigo Tilve Seaone – Economic & Trade Commissioner of Spain in Australia.

Showcase Sponsors

We would like to acknowledge our Silver Sponsors for the MedTech Actuator Showcase – thank you to:

  • Bupa
  • Nirtek
  • Johnson & Johnson MedTech
  • Design + Industry Australia
  • Cogentech


We would also like to thank our Foundation and Product Development partners for their constant and continued support of both the MedTech Actuator and the ecosystem.

Friends and supporters

A very special shoutout to all our ecosystem friends and supporters. Without you, we would not be able to surround founders with the support they need to bring innovations to the patients and clinicians who need it most.

MedTech Actuator Accelerator will be open for 2024 soon!

Do you have a medical innovation that you’re ready to bring to market? MedTech Actuator’s Accelerator is here to help and expression of interest is open. The Accelerator program will equip your team with the skills, network and resources needed to successfully navigate the commercialisation pathway. Become a part of MedTech Actuator’s next Accelerator cohort!

MedTech Actuator Origin and Accelerator are supported by the REDI initiative, powered by MTPConnect, funded by the MRFF and LaunchVic.

MedTech Actuator Origin Japan 2023 is sponsored by JETRO and co-organized with JETRO, OCCI and OBDA.

Meet the MedTech Actuator Origin 2023 Cohort

Meet the 20 impressive teams from across Australia selected for the MedTech Actuator Origin 2023.

Over three days in Melbourne, emerging founders will dive into workshops and industry-led mentoring to help them turbocharge projects and build a strategy to get their ideas to market. During the sprint, teams will be introduced to topics such as idea validation, intellectual property, pitching, pathways to market, business models, navigating Australia’s healthcare ecosystem, and funding for early-stage ventures. The Origin cohort will be joined by the 2023 MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholars.

Ten projects from Australia will be selected to pitch at the Origin Semi-final, along with four semi-finalist teams from Japan, to secure their place in the Origin Final at the MedTech Actuator Showcase on 30 November.

The Origin 2023 participants include clinicians, researchers, and students working on MedTech, HealthTech and BioTech innovations that will improve the lives of patients and impact clinicians’ workflows. These solutions span key areas in human health, including mental health and wellness, chronic disease management, cancer treatments and care, paediatrics, diagnostic imaging and data management in hospital settings, allied health and rehabilitation, and more.

Welcome our Origin 2023 Participants

We are excited to announce the 20 teams participating in the MedTech Actuator Origin intensive sprint and competing in the Rapid Fire Round.

  • IntelliChair | IntelliChair is an assistive and smart control for semi-autonomous wheelchairs that combines joystick & HGR & camera based obstacle detection.
  • BeTuned | BeTuned is developing a gaming-based digital therapeutic for mental health.
  • Biochrome | Biochrome is developing a portable point-of-care device for malaria detection, identification, and quantification.
  • BlissFlow | Blissflow is developing a non-invasive smart device to manage severe urinary incontinence in adults.
  • Carina Medical | Carina Medical is creating a device to facilitate cardiovascular disease screening in remote areas to Close The Gap.
  • ELLIS Medical | ELLIS Medical is developing a sensor probe to detect respiratory complications early in ventilated ICU patients.
  • Endometronics | Endometronics is developing a new non-invasive molecular diagnostic kit for endometriosis.
  • Chyral | Chyral is developing a novel, non-invasive blood glucose monitoring device that uses infrared light.
  • Lenia.ai | Lenia.ai harnesses the power of artificial intelligence to streamline the medical coding process.
  • LymMA | LymMAP is a high-definition composition mapping system for better chronic disease management.
  • ProSeek Bio | ProSeek Bio, a next-generation ovarian cancer screening blood test, to advance next-gen diagnostics for ovarian cancer blood testing.
  • ReArm | ReArm is developing a wholistic solution to help neurological patients regain independence with better rehabilitation.
  • VentiWatch/Abtulus | VentiWatch is developing a resuscitation management device to prevent loss of life due to improper resuscitative ventilations.
  • Iris Medical | Iris Medical is transforming the intrauterine (IUD) insertion procedure using hand-hand ultrasound technology.
  • Scar No More | Scar No more is an at-home therapeutic bandage to treat keloid scars.
  • Scriblet | Scriblet is an automated admin assistant, sitting in on consultations and producing progress notes.
  • Senoptix | Senoptix is a medical diagnostic device for effective treatment monitoring of patients with ovarian cancer.
  • SmartPoly | SmartPoly aims to develop a synthetic solution for treatment of large-scale bone defects.
  • Sugar Nappy | Sugar Nappy will develop sensors that can be integrated into nappies to monitor the health of babies.
  • ThermAI | ThermAI is designing next generation AI-powered miniature hyperspectral cameras for health diagnostics.
  • Hover | Hover aims to cater a safer human experience in the digital era and beyond.
  • Lindo Tube | Lindo Tube is an antimicrobial Blue Light (aBL) ventilator tube.

What happens next?

The experience culminates in the MedTech Actuator Origin Semi-Finals on 24th November where teams will compete for a place in the MedTech Actuator Showcase. At the Showcase, teams will have the chance to win a share of the $15k prize pool, over $5k worth of in-kind support and gain access to fast-tracked entry into MedTech Actuator Accelerator 2024.

Register to attend the Semi-final event. Admission is free!

MedTech Actuator Origin is supported by the REDI initiative, powered by MTPConnect, funded by the MRFF and LaunchVic.

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Announcing MedTech Actuator Origin Japan’s semi-finalists

After three days of working closely with 13 medical startups in Japan, the MedTech Actuator is excited to announce four semi-finalists who will join the MedTech Actuator Origin in Australia next month. 

MedTech Actuator Origin Japan – an early-stage innovation program for MedTech, BioTech, and HealthTech startups looking to explore Australia and the Asia-Pacific market – kicked off its second cohort this week, welcoming a diverse range of medical and health innovations that spanned across diagnostic imaging and data management in hospital settings, bioprinting, spinal implants, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) screening, and cancer treatments and care.

Emerging founders and entrepreneurs joined MedTech Actuator and partners, JETRO, OCCI, OBDA and industry experts, for a 2-day bootcamp in Osaka. Together, they learned about pitching their innovations to a global market, commercialisation strategies and more. The program culminated at a semi-final, where each startup pitched for their chance to come to Australia and join MedTech Actuator Origin in November.

Congratulations to AI4ASD, FairMed, Smile Curve and Spine Chronicle Japan Co. Ltd

Judges and industry guests were blown away by the medical innovations and quality of each pitch. Congratulations to the selected semi-finalists:

  • AI4ASD | Aki Kono | An AI early screening tool for Autism Spectrum Disorder.
  • FairMed | Sumire Fukuda | The development of AI to Assist Endovascular Surgery.
  • Smile Curve | Masakatsu Noguchi | A new screening system with ICT to quantitatively measure body surface distortion without X-ray exposure, enabling scoliosis screening.
  • Spine Chronicle Japan | Ryo Kitagawa | Development of the best spinal implants for elderly patients.

These Japanese startups will join MedTech Actuator in Melbourne next month for a week-long intensive program, where they will learn from industry experts, pressure test their innovations, and network with and pitch to Australia’s startup ecosystem.

One Japanese startup will ultimately be selected to pitch at the MedTech Actuator Showcase – an industry event attended by 300 experts in BioMedical innovation on November 30. At this event, startups will compete for a chance to win a cash and in-kind prize pack worth over $20,000, a one-on-one session with Synchron founder and inaugural MedTech Actuator Origin alumni, Associate Professor Thomas Oxley, and a fast-tracked entry into MedTech Actuator Accelerator 2024 to accelerate the commercialisation of their ideas.

MedTech Actuator Origin Japan is sponsored by JETRO and co-organized with JETRO, OCCI and OBDA.

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Osaka Heat Cool – Hacking the senses with temperature

MedTech Actuator startup and Origin 2022 Finalist, Osaka Heat Cool (ThermoScratch), helps to tackle the symptoms of Atopic Dermatitis (AD), allergies, and other skin diseases by stopping itchiness using thermal illusion on the skin. 

The idea for ThermoScratch was borne out of Osaka Heat Cool CEO, Kenzo Ibano’s personal experiences with his family’s skin issues. Regular witnessing of his son’s discomfort and intense scratching motivated him to seek out better solutions compared to what was available on the market at the time.

Recognizing the limitations of existing itch relief devices, Kenzo envisioned a more effective and comprehensive approach to addressing both heating and cooling sensations simultaneously. By combining his concern for his loved ones’ well-being with a burning drive to innovate, he embarked on the journey to create ThermoScratch – a device that offers a unique and comforting solution for itch relief.

ThermoScratch is a groundbreaking innovation in itch relief. Unlike any other device on the market, ThermoScratch utilizes the captivating “Thermal Grill Illusion” to alleviate itching sensations. Whilst other itch relief devices solely focus on heat, ThermoScratch takes it a step further by ingeniously combining both heating and cooling capabilities in a single device, providing ultimate relief through the use of cutting-edge technology. This unique approach offers its users the sensation of a comforting scratch.

Kenzo’s motivation to make his idea work was driven by a combination of his strong technology background and his co-founder’s expertise in thermoelectric semiconductors, electric circuits, and thermal haptics. This powerful blend of skills and knowledge empowers the team to overcome technical challenges and develop a product that stands out in the market. 

With Kenzo’s deep understanding of the underlying technology, his is driven to create a practical and effective solution that can bring relief to individuals suffering from itching and skin issues, such as his son and wife. This shared expertise serves as the driving force behind the team’s determination to see ThermoScratch succeed and make a positive impact on the lives of those in need.

Osaka Heat Cool’s experience with the MedTech Actuator Origin

Osaka Heat Cool recently participated in the MedTech Actuator Origin Japan program as they saw the need for international exposure in order to conduct more clinical trials, and to expand their sales options. Kenzo saw Australia as an ideal fit for the company’s product and ever-expanding goals.

The MedTech Actuator Origin Japan program supports health innovation across Japan, offering emerging founders and entrepreneurs the opportunity to explore the Asia-Pacific market for the commercialisation of health innovation. offers early-stage startups and emerging entrepreneurs the opportunity to pressure test their health innovation startup or idea. Selected startups and health innovations will learn what it takes to successfully commercialize a health technology innovation, and the crucial steps for driving a health tech startup to market.

Since joining the MedTech Actuator Origin in 2022, Osaka Heat cool has accomplished several significant milestones – they have successfully completed the manufacturing of their prototypes and showcased them at various international events, garnering attention from both audiences and media in Japan. They are currently in negotiations with prominent medical companies, exploring potential partnerships to jointly launch the ThermaScratch product.

These successes are a direct result of the learnings, insights and connections gained through the MedTech Actuator Origin program, which provided Osaka Heat cool with opportunities to learn from industry experts, pressure test their innovation, and network with and pitch to the Australian startup ecosystem.

The most beneficial aspect of being part of a MedTech Actuator program is the incredibly supportive environment. The community is unwaveringly encouraging, consistently focusing on the positive aspects of your idea and business. This positivity and support foster an atmosphere that fuels motivation and innovation, helping startups like ours thrive and progress.” – Professor Kenzo Ibano, CEO, Osaka Heat Cool.

Osaka Heat Cool are currently in negotiations with prominent medical companies, exploring potential partnerships to jointly launch their product to the market.

The MedTech Actuator Origin Japan program has been instrumental to Osaka Heat Cool’s success, providing the resources, support, and international exposure that can significantly accelerate a startup’s growth and success in the global market. Osaka Heat cool highly recommends the MedTech Actuator Origin program to others interested in commercializing their  health technology innovation, and driving their health tech startup to market.

Applications are now open for MedTech Actuator Origin Japan 2023

Take your health innovation to the next level with MedTech Actuator Origin Japan 2023 — an intensive program for early-stage startups and emerging entrepreneurs. This program offers early-stage startups and emerging entrepreneurs the opportunity to pressure test their health innovation startup or idea.

If you have a health innovation that you would like to take to the next level, we want you!

Apply today! Applications are open until September 15!

2022 MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholar: Angus Weekes

MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholar 2022: Angus Weekes

With a passion for developing innovative treatment options for cardiovascular disease, 2022 MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholar, Angus Weekes, is tackling one of the leading causes of patient mortality around the world. Angus’ research focuses on the biofabrication of tissue via engineered vascular grafts that strive to improve vessel bypassing treatment options .

Angus has a strong background in medical engineering research and a keen interest in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine.

Throughout his PhD at QUT, Angus has been working in collaboration with the Herston Biofabrication Institute at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital. His research project focuses on using electrowriting additive manufacturing to produce compliant scaffold substrates suitable for in vitro culture of vascular tissue. 

“Being exposed to such a great volume of information in a short time during the MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholarship ensured that we gained a high-level understanding of all essential aspects of commercialisation within the Australian MedTech ecosystem.”

Throughout his experience as a 2022 MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholar, Angus built on his skills and knowledge of research commercialisation. He valued the opportunity to network with a diverse range of peers who brought multidisciplinary perspectives on healthcare issues and generated a new range of ideas to solve some of society’s greatest challenges in healthcare.

Caption: Angus in the lab working on his PhD project, researching the biofabrication of tissue via engineered vascular grafts.

The delivery of the content throughout the Menzies Scholarship enabled students like Angus to reflect and discuss what they had learned and allowed them to connect this to their personal projects. For Angus, the program provided  a high level understanding of the essential aspects of commercialisation and the Australian MedTech Ecosystem to his own innovation in his PhD. 

“I would highly recommend the MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholarship program to those looking to expand their knowledge in the field of medical device commercialisation, who are yet to reach a start-up stage.”

Angus reflected on his high-yield outcomes from the program, stating that his experience resulted in a newfound interest and exposure to the financial aspects associated with developing a startup and commercialising medical technology. In addition to this, he believes that broadening his peer and industry network has been a key takeaway that can support his entrepreneurship journey. 

“Aside from the exceptional content, the MedTech Actuator team were extremely accommodating, great people who were happy to answer any number of questions, accommodating all attendees during the program.”

Since completing the program, Angus has continued to work on his PhD research which he expects to conclude early in 2024. Beyond the program Angus has had the opportunity to gain industry experience working as a Research & Development Engineer with Gelomics Pty Ltd, a biotech start-up based in Brisbane, where he has observed the development of the company and been involved in various projects that has enhanced and applied his understanding of commercialisation learned in the MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholarship Program. 

Are you a future MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholar?

The MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholarship is an opportunity for scientists, researchers and innovators to explore the world of entrepreneurship, research commercialisation and MedTech, BioTech and HealthTech startups. 

Applications are now open for the 2023 MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholarships. Find out more about the program and apply now.

Hear from previous Scholars:

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

The MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholarship is supported by the Menzies Foundation as part of their Entrepreneurship in Science mission.

Nina Langer: Menzies Scholar 2022

MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholar 2022: Nina Langer

Nina Langer is a mechanical engineer and a PhD candidate at Monash University bringing innovation to cardiovascular healthcare through her research and development of a heart-assist pump to improve the quality of life of patients with heart failure. In 2022, Nina was a MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholar, taking on one of society’s leading causes of death, heart failure. 

Developing a novel ventricular assist device for patients with heart failure with preserved ejection fraction.

One particular challenge contributing to worldwide healthcare burdens lies in heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF), which lacks enough research despite accounting for approximately 50 percent of cases leading to heart failure. Nina was motivated to explore the area and develop innovative solutions with the goal of improving health and quality of life for people across the globe. Through dedicated research and scientific advancements, Nina has taken on the project with deep passion for making an impact in the MedTech industry. 

“The unique interface between medicine and engineering fascinates me, and the collaboration between engineers and clinicians presents exciting opportunities”

Nina’s project is specifically tailored to study the hemodynamics and anatomical conditions of patients with heart failure. Her findings reveal that other treatment solutions are often large and difficult to implant, compromising patients’ chance of post-surgical survival. With little to no treatment options remaining, patients with life-threatening cases of heart failure often resort to palliative care. Through Nina’s proposed solution to this pressing problem, a novel heart pump could serve as a bridge between transplantation and permanent therapy, meeting an unmet need in the treatment of heart failure while reducing its financial burden on the healthcare system. 

Caption: Nina Langer working on her PhD project to develop a novel heart pump. 

Throughout Nina’s journey as a 2022 MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholar, she gained valuable knowledge about commercialisation strategies and business models, which she is applying to her research project and beyond. 

“The Menzies Scholarship Program offered me insights into the process of bringing a product to market and helped me determine my project’s stage and plan ahead.”

Nina participated in a series of workshops and interactive online coaching sessions throughout the Menzies Scholarship Program, and sought guidance from industry experts and inspiring founders where she learned valuable insights into the startup journey. In addition, the program helped Nina develop a well-defined plan for moving forward post-PhD, allowing her to gain a comprehensive perspective and strategic approach in advancing her career path. 

Since completing the program, Nina has continued her PhD studies, taking her expanded skill set and drive for innovation, now focusing on the product development of her novel ventricular assist device for patients with heart failure. 

I highly recommend the Menzies program due to its personalised approach and emphasis on individual projects… This tailored support fosters valuable learning and enables participants to effectively apply these strategies to their own projects, enhancing their chances of success in the competitive business landscape.”

Are you a future MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholar?

The MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholarship is an opportunity for scientists, researchers and innovators to explore the world of entrepreneurship, research commercialisation and MedTech, BioTech and HealthTech startups. 

Applications are now open for the 2023 MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholarships. Find out more about the program and apply now.

Hear from previous Scholars:

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

The MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholarship is supported by the Menzies Foundation as part of their Entrepreneurship in Science mission.

Meet George, our new General Manager for Singapore. 

MedTech Actuator welcomes our new General Manager (Singapore), George Han to the team. George will help drive the strategic growth and leadership of programs, and the ecosystem across Singapore and the region. 

With his studies from the National University of Singapore, and an MBA from the University of Hull, George is equipped with the skills and knowledge for leading a team and developing relationships with founders and startup talent, as well as the ability to map out business strategies for the sustainability of startups. 

George began working within the startup ecosystem in 2011 when he was selected to head the Sandbox function at Singapore University, building out the incubator operations from an infancy stage. Over the next six years, George worked with over 500 founders in developing their ideas into investable propositions. 

Through his time at two key universities in Singapore, George discovered his passion and skill set for entrepreneurship and learned that his experience could be incredibly valuable for startups in their venture creation journey. George worked across many projects that allowed him to further develop his knowledge of startup incubation. A highlight for George was working with founders of FinTech and EduTech, which allowed him to understand the importance of leveraging technology to empower businesses in their value proposition. 

At the National University of Singapore Industry Liaison Office, George worked with founders of DeepTech in renewable energy and artificial intelligence, where he learned the challenges of commercialisation of intellectual property, and the importance of equipping founders with a vast spectrum of skills and knowledge to build products and successful ventures. 

“As humanity has evolved, the problems faced are growing and complex – from developing solutions to a vast host of health issues to ensuring basic adequacy for a global population of 8 billion – the need for technology has never been more pronounced”.

As society is faced with the complexity of issues brought by population growth, George is motivated to work with founders who have a vision for improving the welfare and wellbeing of society and is excited to bring solutions by leveraging technology in the MedTech space.

“As a team, I am blessed with the opportunity to work with passionate and committed individuals who are experts in their fields”

George is excited by the opportunity to build a network of key stakeholders in Singapore and beyond, and further develop the opportunities for growth and expansion for startups. He is looking forward to supporting and guiding founders on their journey as they transform their ideas into sustainable business ventures. Understanding that learning is a lifelong process, George is excited to support founders to develop their skills and knowledge that will strengthen their value proposition for stakeholders.

Meet our team

More on how the MedTech Actuator team is supporting Asia Pacific’s next wave of health innovators – meet: 


PROMinsight: The Comprehensive Platform for Precise Patient-Reported Outcome Measures

HealthTech startup PROMinsight is revolutionising patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) with its end-to-end platform that offers precise and comprehensive measurements of the impact of eye disease, vision impairment and related treatments from the patient’s perspective. 

The idea for PROMinsight was born when Co-founders, Dr Eva Fenwick and Prof Ecosse Lamoureux who have been measuring patient-reported outcomes in research studies and trials for over 15 years in Australia and Singapore recognized the limitations of traditional “paper-pencil” surveys in clinical trials and clinical care. To address this challenge, they developed computerised adaptive tests (CATs), a sophisticated approach to measuring health-related quality of life assessment. CAT was already being used in educational testing and the team saw multiple benefits in using this method in health outcomes. The company built their first item banks and CAT to measure quality of life in patients with diabetic eye disease and eventually developed GlauCAT for glaucoma and IVI-CAT for vision impairment, with MacCAT for age-related macular degeneration, MyoRI-CAT for myopia, and DiabCAT for type-2 diabetes in the pipeline, all hosted on a bespoke cloud-based platform.

The CAT algorithm successfully reduces the time taken to collect patient-reported outcome data by up to 70%, which is a major breakthrough in the field. Researchers, clinicians, and patients find the CAT tests easy to use and appreciate the impact of the PROMinsight’s work. 

“Seeing the CAT algorithm work to successfully reduce a questionnaire from 20-30 items to just a quick 7-8 is very satisfying, and it’s also gratifying to hear researchers, clinicians and patients enjoy using the CAT tests and believe in our work”, Dr Eva Fenwick, Cofounder PROMinsight.

Although integrating the cloud-based CAT system into hospital electronic medical records (EMR) posed significant challenges, such as overcoming data security barriers and addressing the limitations of EMR systems around data analytics and visualization, the team successfully navigated these obstacles with the help of their exceptional IT and software support teams.

PROMinsight’s success story offers valuable lessons for other startups in the HealthTech industry. 

Firstly, it is crucial to get user feedback and iteratively update and improve the product. Secondly, it is important to think big-picture from the start and surround yourself with a great supporting team, including software, marketing, and clinical teams, who believe in your solution and aren’t afraid to provide honest feedback.”

Experience with the MedTech Actuator

PROMinsight joined the MedTech Actuator Ascend 2023 program, the new flagship program in Singapore to understand a robust Go to market strategy and connect with like-minded organisations with whom they could find synergy in their product offerings.

The team accomplished significant milestones including obtaining valuable knowledge and experience in the preparation process for engaging with venture capitalists and angel investors. They gained insight into the critical documents and information required to capture the attention of potential investors, which has been instrumental in their progress.

“MedTech Actuator has been extremely helpful in connecting us with relevant people and organisations who can assist in pointing us in the right path as well introducing us to potential partners and playmakers within the industry. We have been able to increase awareness of our product as well as find our limitations and strengths to position ourselves more accurately.”

The 6-month Ascend program is designed for scaling ventures in MedTech, BioTech, and HealthTech looking to gain insights, access opportunities, and overcome hurdles within the Singapore ecosystem. Singapore is a strategic launch pad for many startups exploring the broader Asia-Pacific region, and looking to gain, or strengthen market position across the many regional healthcare ecosystems. 

PROMinsight recommends MedTech Actuator programs to other startups, as understanding the ins and outs of business in Singapore can be tricky especially in the medical industry with the various restrictions and compliances set forth by the government. Through the Ascend program, MedTech Actuator introduced industry leaders to guide PROMinsight in this process and made sure the startup was connected well and prepared for the challenges of introducing and selling their product in Singapore.

Join us for Demo Day in Singapore

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to witness the innovative ideas and solutions of our Ascend startups at our upcoming Demo Day! The event will showcase startups from our Global Navigator program and will be held on 22 June 2023, from 3 pm to 7 pm at the Centre for Healthcare Innovation (CHI) in Singapore. Stay tuned for more information, which will be announced soon. 

If you have any enquiries, please reach out to Cayden Pang, our Enterprise Manager, at cayden@medtechactuator.com

FathomX – Improving breast cancer screening through AI

FathomX is a digital health AI startup that started as a spin-off from the National University of Singapore and the National University Health System, that aims to develop a range of AI technologies in the field of breast cancer. The startup develops knowledge, capabilities and value through collaborations with research and healthcare institutions, deployment and teleradiology partners as well as picture archiving and communication systems (PACS).

Breast Cancer is one of the world’s top disease burdens and in many countries, it is the Number 1 killer among women. FathomX started out as a research project in a global competition – The Dream Challenge organised by the United States Whitehouse, to identify AI Technologies that could help enhance the clinical process of breast cancer screening.

As the top Asian team in the global Dream Challenge Competition, the founders Professor Mikael Hartman and Professor Feng Meng Ling decided to spin off the company with the support of NUS Enterprise.  Since the competition, the AI model has progressed tremendously in its predictive accuracy, and refinement and users’ preferences are incorporated and continuously upgraded to meet differing and progressing needs. The solution is known as FxMammo™ and has been regulatory approved in Singapore and Thailand with more countries in the regulatory approval process. At the end of 2020, Stephen Lim got involved in FathomX to help the company develop a business plan and raised seed funds for regulatory applications. In mid-2022, Stephen came on board full-time as the Chief Executive Officer to lead the company in the next stage of development in commercialisation.

As any other deep tech novel technology company, FathomX faced a number of challenges during its commercialising journey such as regulatory compliance, availability of quality data and other factors in the commercialisation process. 

As digital health startups, startups need to comply with the regulatory framework for medical devices, which includes safety, efficacy, and quality standards. Developers of AI software as a medical device need to ensure that their product meets the standards set by regulatory bodies. To do so, the FathomX team worked with high-quality partners and consultants to obtain the regulatory approvals needed.

Another challenge the FathomX team faced was the Data quality and availability. AI systems depend on data to train the AI to achieve greater accuracy. For AI software as a medical device, the data used to train and test the algorithm must be of high quality and relevance. Obtaining access to sufficient and diverse data can be challenging, especially when dealing with sensitive medical information. As a company, however, FathomX managed to set up several high-value partnerships to develop and validate a high-quality model which is of a high accuracy level. They have also chosen to work with top universities and hospitals in 8 Asia Pacific regions to prove that their AI is accurate and relevant in those territories, including Australia, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. One such high-value partnership that they established was with the National Cancer Centre in Japan which is a leading cancer research institute.

When commercialising the product, finding the right partners and supporters is extremely crucial to test bed and deploying a solution, especially across multiple jurisdictions. The task is more challenging for a small startup. The FathomX team had managed to tap into strong business expertise and networks in order to set up high-value partners, distributors and deployment partners to quickly get their solution to market.

Product integration within healthcare systems and its benefits

FxMammo integrates with and is deployed in healthcare systems through a range of methods including direct integration with Picture Archiving Communication Systems (PACS), integration through a platform provider, direct integration into a hospital as well as cloud deployment.

FathomX’s AI-powered solution, FxMammo used for breast cancer screening.

Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in women and it is doubling in numbers by each successive generation in Asia. Successful treatment requires reliable early screening and detection, which involves difficult-to-read mammograms. The need for a reliable, easy-to-access solution that addresses the low ratio of radiologists to mammography screening needs for breast cancer, is both urgent and tremendous.

In developed countries with good healthcare systems, breast cancers discovered at Stage 1 have more than 90% survival rate. The number is reduced to below 20% at Stage 4. The key is early discovery. The standard recommended by WHO is once every 2 years mammography screening for women between 40 to 75 years old.

For women going for breast cancer screening, FathomX’s AI technology solution has been demonstrated to lead to fewer false recalls, unnecessary anxiety due to long waiting times at the current screening rate and fewer missed cancer diagnosis leading to more opportunities for early diagnostics. Their solution will augment the current shortage of mammography radiologists around the world and provide greater efficiency to their work processes. The main value of their AI technology is its ability to function as a radiological computer-assisted detection and diagnostic software intended to aid in the detection of breast cancer from acquired mammography images.

This solution provides key benefits at the clinician level as the radiologists who deal with mammogram image analysis can now have an accurate AI Assistant that can help with their workflow. The FathomX team are working with some hospitals to study the effectiveness and impact of AI deployed to assist trainees and new radiologists in reading mammogram images.  For patients, the benefits are higher accuracy in breast cancer screening and shorter waiting times when they go for screening.

The solution also serves as an assistant for clinicians and is deployed through a range of methods including direct integration with the Picture Archiving Communication System.

Experience with the MedTech Actuator Global Navigator Australia

The FathomX team utilized the Global Navigator Australia program to gain a deeper understanding and validate their knowledge of the Australian medtech innovation ecosystem, including the business, reimbursement, corporate, and regulatory landscapes. Their goal was to identify relevant partners to aid in commercializing and accessing the Australian market, specifically in areas related to their product.

Over the past year, FathomX experienced significant growth across multiple fronts, including expanding their team, raising Pre-Series A funding, testing and deploying their product in various settings, obtaining regulatory approvals in different jurisdictions, and conducting clinical validation studies to demonstrate their accuracy and value in different settings.

Global Navigator provided a valuable opportunity for FathomX to meet with Breakthrough Victoria, universities, and hospitals to explore potential opportunities. FathomX highly recommends the MedTech Actuator to medtech startups interested in entering the Australian market.

The program was a quick summary of the Australian healthcare landscape in a very short period of time which was extremely crucial for a business looking to enter the Australian healthcare market”.

FxMammo, FathomX’s product, is currently approved for use in Singapore and Thailand. The company is collaborating with partners, distributors, and regulatory bodies to gain approval in various regions worldwide and aims to scale the technology to over ten overseas markets in the next 2-3 years.

To learn more about the startup and its latest milestones, visit FathomX’s website.

Expression of interest now open for Global Navigator Melbourne

Calling all passionate founders and startups to grow their venture and transform global healthcare with the MedTech Actuator Global Navigator Melbourne.

MedTech Actuator Global Navigator Melbourne 2023 is an intensive growth-stage innovation program that enables healthcare startups to enter and explore the Australian Market through Melbourne.

Expression your interest today!

MedTech Actuator Accelerator Welcomes the 8th Cohort

We are incredibly excited to introduce you to teams of  MedTech Actuator™ Accelerator 2023. Over the next 12-months, startups will be provided intensive support to help them develop the skills, networks, and resources needed to successfully navigate the complex health commercialisation pathway.

Throughout the Accelerator, startups will connect to the extensive MedTech Actuator health innovation ecosystem. Over 100 speakers, 150 business, clinical and investment mentors, and the MedTech Actuator alumni portfolio will contribute their expertise to help these startups strategically grow and bring their innovation to the market faster while preparing them for future investment rounds. 

Cohort 8 startups come from all across Australia, with teams joining from Victoria, New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory, Western Australia and South Australia. 

Meet the Teams Driving Innovation in Australia’s Health Ecosystem

  • Acegirl Innovation Lab Pty Ltd.– Acegirl is developing a sleek and low-in-noise breast pump that mimics a baby’s latch, to empower all mothers to pump, despite their environment.
  • AdraCard– AdraCard aims to significantly reduce the burden of disease for those with anaphylaxis and decrease the rate of hospitalisations and deaths, by eliminating the hassle of carrying adrenaline. 
  • Aurabox– Aurabox is a cloud-based platform for storing, viewing and sharing medical imaging which allows doctors to view and collaborate with imaging from multiple sources in one place.
  • Circadian Health Innovations– We create a wearable light sensor to guide users toward better light for better health and longevity.
  • Hindsyt– Hindsyt is a cutting-edge technology that uses computer vision and machine learning to improve the accuracy and efficiency of radiotherapy treatments.
  • Kidney Ally– Personalised and affordable nutrition to slow kidney disease progression.
  • NanoCube Health – NanoCube Health is developing bioinspired nanorobots combining advanced diagnostics with targeted cancer treatment technology.
  • Parallel Medical Pty Ltd– Our aim is for healthcare organizations and physicians to adopt Nexus as a tool to improve patient care and outcomes, promote the advancement of surgical techniques, and streamline healthcare delivery processes.
  • Pretect Devices Pty Ltd– IView – We aim to eliminate  IV infiltration injury in the smallest and the most vulnerable.
  • Skin Genetics Inc– The DermR® Patch is a first-of-its-kind microneedle patch that quickly and effectively extracts skin cells pain-free, allowing for a new way of pre-screening for skin cancer without the need for a biopsy.
  • TENSible– TENSible is a non-invasive micro-electrical stimulation device that implements biofeedback and an integrated pain management virtual assistant to provide you with personalised chronic back pain relief.
  • Visualisation Hub– A healthcare data analytics platform that leverages AI to provide actionable insights for healthcare providers, pharmaceutical companies, and government agencies to deliver insights to improve patient outcomes.

The MedTech Actuator is an independent, not-for-profit organisation that curates a globally connected ecosystem of MedTech, HealthTech and BioTech innovation and investment. We do this by activating, accelerating and investing in startups.

  1. Activate – We prime and build capacity in the ecosystem, through our early-stage innovation pitch competition, the MedTech Actuator Origin and partnerships with hospitals and universities.
  2. Accelerate – We accelerate ventures and technologies through our flagship Accelerator program and our international programs, Access APAC and Global Navigator. We do this in collaboration with the network of ecosystem partners covering the entire commercialisation pipeline, from product development, regulatory specialists and clinical trial specialists to manufacturers and investors.
  3. Invest – We connect and curate opportunities to invest and co-invest for our ecosystem partners.

MedTech Actuator Accelerator is supported by the REDI initiative, powered by MTPConnect, funded by the MRFF and LaunchVic.

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