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TuCann Medical’s PIVC: Improving IV Cannula Safety and Patient Experience

MedTech Actuator Accelerator startup, TuCann Medical, is developing a Peripheral Intravenous Cannula (PIVC) that aims to prevent bloodstream infections, phlebitis and occlusion of these devices. Current cannulas used in hospitals have a high rate of complications and often need to be removed, resulting in multiple needle sticks for patients. TuCann Medical’s PIVC aims to change this by creating a safer patient experience where only one line is needed, every time.

The idea for TuCann Medical came about after co-founders, Dr. Maryam Soomro, Santiago Beltran Diaz and Kenneth Wong, realised that the sterility of peripheral IVs is often broken and is a major cause of sepsis and other infections in hospitals. They decided to tackle this problem by designing a PIVC that requires less needle sticks and has novel antimicrobials to prevent infections. As a result, TuCann Medical’s innovation prioritises patient vascular health and comfort, whilst reducing waste and saving time in clinical workflows.

The team is driven by the desire to improve the patient experience and to create a safer environment for patients in hospitals. TuCann Medical’s PIVC has the potential to make a significant impact on healthcare outcomes, reducing the number of deaths caused by sepsis and other infections.

The biggest challenge that the team has faced so far is growing as a startup and as individuals. Starting a company is a journey that requires a lot of growth and self-discovery. The co-founders have found that the biggest challenge is not only the company obstacles faced, but also managing this amongst the opportunities to grow and become better individuals.

“Make sure you are with the right people. Building a strong team is essential for the success of any startup, and the right team can make all the difference in achieving your goals”, Dr Maryam Soomro, CEO, TuCann Medical.

Experience with the MedTech Actuator

TuCann Medical team joined the Accelerator Cohort 5 in 2020.

The MedTech Actuator Accelerator is Asia Pacific’s industry-led, investor-backed 12-month venture development program for early-stage MedTech, BioTech and HealthTech startups. The program will simultaneously accelerate your technology development, build your team capability and provide access to investment. 

The Accelerator is designed to support every dimension of health innovation commercialisation, with elements of the program built to support each cofounder in their focus areas. In 2020, TuCann Medical joined the Accelerator Cohort 5 and used this opportunity to take their PIVC innovation to the next level.

“When I joined the MedTech Actuator, I was hoping to achieve several things. I wanted to gain access to extensive networks in the Australian startup space and to expertise of experienced mentors who could help guide me through the commercialisation process. I also wanted to improve my commercialisation skills, which I intend to carry forward into my startup,” Dr Maryam Soomro, CEO, TuCann Medical.

Throughout the program, founders have access to dedicated industry mentors, experts-in-residence, investors, key industry leaders, suppliers and government support agencies. 

“The mentors I met through the program, Toby McSweeney, Byron Darroch and Greg Rogers, were invaluable in helping me grow TuCann Medical. They helped us identify gaps in our commercialisation strategy and provided guidance on how to fill them”.

The MedTech Actuator Accelerator is designed for maximum speed and efficiency. The program sets milestones for each startup that helps them get to market faster. Startups are surrounded by all the expertise, resources, and infrastructure the healthcare startup needs so founders can focus on building the company.

During the program, TuCann Medical was able to connect with other startups on similar journeys and built a community of support, where they were able to share experiences and learn from one another. Since the Accelerator, TuCann Medical has achieved several milestones accelerating their health innovation to market, including:

  • Incorporation as a company whilst participating in the program, and since then have grown into a seed-stage company with incredible traction in trials, R&D and are moving closer to regulatory approval; 
  • Have negotiated exclusive licensing agreements with RMIT, where they are working on a functioning prototype that we are putting in for FDA assessment;
  • Participated in US-based Techstars and have built out their US networks;
  • Established ties with Monash Health and are negotiating trial agreements;
  • Closed a pre-seed capital raise (America and Australia) and are currently raising a seed round;
  • Have mapped out reimbursement strategies and built a board of advisors, including members from Cook Medical and Cochlear.

Join MedTech Actuator’s 8th Accelerator cohort

“The most beneficial aspect of the MedTech Actuator Accelerator is the lean commercialisation thinking it has, which was really excellent for strategising pathways forward and exit options. I would absolutely recommend the MedTech Actuator to others. It is vital to fill in the commercialisation gaps of the science-heavy start-ups and spin-offs in this space. The MedTech Actuator Accelerator is an incredible program that provides a wealth of resources, networks and mentorship to help young start-ups grow and succeed in the MedTech industry.”

Are you looking to take your health innovation to the next level? 

Applications are open until March 3 for the next Accelerator cohort! Join early-stage healthcare startups in a 12-month accelerator program, tailored to MedTech, HealthTech and BioTech innovation in Australia and Asia Pacific. With investment and access to over 150 industry experts, the MedTech Actuator Accelerator will help to strengthen your commercialisation strategy as you advance your technology closer to the market.

Sign up to receive the Accelerator information pack or schedule a call with Makenzie to discuss the application and see if MedTech Actuator Accelerator is right for you!

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

Announcing MedTech Actuator Showcase 2022 Award Winners

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 four taking home prestigious awards.

About MedTech Actuator Entrepreneurs

Our changemakers are taking their innovations further and faster with MedTech Actuator programs. Eight teams took to the stage in Melbourne to pitch to the ecosystem and industry leaders, including the largest names in medical technology and the startup ecosystem.

Stepping into the spotlight were entrepreneurs from early-stage innovation programs including MedTech Actuator Origin Australia and Japan and MedTech Actuator’s flagship Accelerator program.

Award Winners

MinterEllison MedTech Actuator Origin 2022 Award: EN∀I

Dr Simone Mitchel, Partner at MinterEllison joined us to announce the MinterEllison MedTech Actuator Origin 2022 Award.

Congratulations to Amin Abbas from ENI on taking out this prestigious award after a highly competitive process and pitching at the finals. NAME was selected by the audience and judges as the winner out of four early-stage entrepreneurs who made it to the Origin finals.

EN∀I is improving endometriosis imaging by using ultrasound with inbuilt guidance and 3D reconstruction.

“We were really impressed with the pitches tonight and we decided to offer the winner another $10k in in-kind legal services. Congratulations, EN∀I”, – Dr Simone Mitchel, Partner, MinterEllison.

As the MinterEllison MedTech Actuator Origin 2022 Award winner, ENI receives an AUD$10K cash prize, over AUD$5K worth of in-kind support from MedTech Actuator, legal services from MinterEllison to the value of AUD$10K, as well as access to a fast-tracked entry into the MedTech Actuator Accelerator 2023. 

MinterEllison MedTech Actuator Origin 2022 Award winners: Team EN∀I with Buzz Palmer, CEO MedTech Actuator and Simone Mitchel, Partner Minter Ellison

Bupa MedTech Actuator Accelerator 2022 Award: Anura Medical

Gerald Marion, Chief Customer and Strategy Officer at Bupa Asia Pacific, joined us to present the Bupa MedTech Actuator Accelerator 2022 Award. 

“Congratulations to the winner – innovations require a lot of perseverance and it is a long journey to market”, – Gerald Marion, Chief Customer and Strategy Officer, Bupa Asia Pacific.

The MedTech Actuator Accelerator supports founders in taking their innovation from Seed to Series A. Embedded in the MedTech Actuator ecosystem, startups radically advance their technology development, raise pre-seed capital, gain critical business and management skills and build a comprehensive commercialisation strategy. 

Congratulations to every founder on their relentless execution towards market success over these past six months – and to Phoebe Lewis from Anura Medical who took home the Bupa MedTech Actuator Accelerator 2022 Award, winning an AUD$10K cash prize.

Anura Medical helps people breathe better through continuous, wearable lung monitoring.  Founded by a team of engineers, doctors, and business consultants, Anura aims to create a new gold standard that will enable clinicians to treat breathing decline early and reduce health complications for people with lung disease.

Bupa MedTech Actuator Accelerator 2022 Award winner: Team Anura Medical with Buzz Palmer, CEO MedTech Actuator and Gerald Marion, Chief Customer and Strategy Officer, Bupa Asia Pacific.

MedTech Actuator People’s Choice 2022 Award: Vysum

Congratulations to MedTech Actuator Accelerator participant, Lorace Zhang from Vysum, for being selected for the MedTech Actuator People’s Choice 2022 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 Vysum taking home the prize.

This coveted vote of confidence went to Vysum for enabling easier eye drop delivery and glaucoma management. Vysum takes home an AUD$1K cash prize.

MedTech Actuator People’s Choice Award winner Lorace Zhang with Buzz Palmer, CEO MedTech Actuator and Rebecca Davies AO, MedTech Actuator Board Member

CROW Clinical Emerging Female Founder 2022 Award: April Van Der Kamp

In 2022, MedTech Actuator focused its efforts to help bridge the gaps for female and diverse founders to pursue entrepreneurship. In its first year event, Julie Von Grum, Director at CROW Clinical, joined to present the CROW Clinical Emerging Female Founder 2022 Award.

Now is the time for women to step up, to have a voice and confidence to go out start new ventures and raise capital”, Julie Von Grum, Director, CROW Clinical.

The CROW Clinical Emerging Female Founder 2022 Award was presented to April Van Der Kamp, CEO, DFU Solutions, acknowledging the impact and progress she has made as a leading female founder and CEO in the space. This award comes with an AUD$10K cash prize to recognise her contribution and efforts as an extraordinary female founder in our community. 

April started her journey with MedTech Actuator as a MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholar in 2021 before embarking on her journey in the MedTech Actuator Accelerator 2022 as the CEO of DFU Solutions, a BioTech startup developing safe, effective, convenient bacteriophage-based treatments for infected wound care.

Read more on April’s experience with the MedTech Actuator programs. Congratulations April, you inspire all the women in STEMM!

CROW Clinical Emerging Female Founder 2022 Award winner: April Van Der Kamp with Julie Von Grum, Director, CROW Clinical

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. Read more about the evening and sponsors in the event brochure.

Special guests

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

  • Mr. Yasuyuki Murahashi – Director-General, JETRO Osaka
  • Rebecca Davies AO – MedTech Actuator Board Member; Director, Heart Foundation
  • Michelle Gallaher – MedTech Actuator Board member; CEO – Opyl

and others.

Showcase Sponsors

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

  • MinterEllison
  • Bupa
  • CROW Clinical
  • Hydrix
  • Biodesign Australia
MedTech Actuator Showcase 2022 Sponsors

Partners

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 applications are now open for 2023!

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. Over 12 months, the 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 2022 is sponsored by JETRO and co-organized with JETRO, OCCI and OBDA.

MedTech Actuator Showcase 2022 Lineup Announced

The annual MedTech Actuator Showcase brings together leaders and representatives from both the Australian and global health innovation ecosystems. The night will connect and celebrate the achievements, impact and progress of MedTech Actuator entrepreneurs and founders.

At the Showcase, MedTech Actuator Origin and Accelerator Cohort 7 startups will pitch to an audience of over 300 individuals to win $30,000+ in prizes across 4 categories. This event will also feature inspiring speeches from industry leaders, an insightful fireside chat with fast-growing MedTech startups, and opportunities to connect with ecosystem stakeholders.

Meet the four MedTech Actuator Accelerator startups pitching

MedTech Actuator’s flagship 12-month Accelerator program annually selects health startups investing up to  $200,000 in equity-based funding. The program encourages access to over 200 industry experts from across Australia and the globe, to accelerate their growth towards the market. 

At the showcase, hear from four Cohort 7 Accelerator startups innovating in phage therapy,  respiratory function, lumbar punctures and eye drop delivery.

Anura Medical Enabling preventative health care through innovative lung monitoring. 

DFU Solutions Improving outcomes for diabetic foot ulcer patients.

Vause Medical An accessible improvement to lumbar punctures in newborns

Vysum Enabling easier eye drop delivery and glaucoma management.

Meet the four MedTech Actuator Origin Finalists

MedTech Actuator Origin is an early-stage innovation program that turbocharges the development of emerging human health technologies and solutions across Australia and Asia-Pacific. 

32 Qualifying teams joined MedTech Actuator in Melbourne for an intensive sprint, where, over three days, they learned from industry experts, pressure tested their innovations, networked with a cohort, gained exposure to the startup ecosystem and health innovation, and pitched at the semi-finals. 4 Origin finalists innovating in dental, IVF,  dermatitis and endometriosis we selected in the semifinals.

AcuDent AcuDent is developing a medical device to revolutionise the detection of severe gum disease.

ENVI ENVI is improving endometriosis imaging by using ultrasound with inbuilt guidance and 3D reconstruction.

Innova IVF Innova IVF is creating simple, affordable chip technology to measure the energy of embryos in real time for IVF treatments.

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

At the Showcase, an exclusive black-tie event, 300+ senior representatives from 30+ key ecosystem organisations including governments, global corporations, universities, product development and startup support companies, and the inspiring health innovators, startup entrepreneurs and future stars of the Asia-Pacific health ecosystem will come together to showcase the MedTech startup ecosystem.

Join us at the MedTech Actuator Showcase and experience the power of the global MedTech ecosystem here in Melbourne. If you are interested in attending or sponsoring the event, please reach out to Matthew Frith, Chief Commercial Officer at MedTech Actuator.

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

From fighting cancer to founding ChezLeon: Cheryl Pollock’s story

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and MedTech Actuator would like to acknowledge the impacts of breast cancer and the importance of creating awareness about it. 

MedTech Actuator startups work to improve and save the lives of people through health innovation. This month we are shining a light on ChezLeon, a MedTech Actuator startup that designs & manufactures patented DP-TX Massage Wear that helps relieve pain and reduce swelling from fluid blockages. Fluid blockages can be caused by a wide range of conditions including lymphoedema, mastitis, oedema, heart & vascular conditions, major surgery, injuries and post-breast cancer treatment. By treating the blockage rather than the swelling, DP-TX products help patients regain their freedom and quality of life.

The journey from fighting cancer to founding ChezLeon

 Cheryl Pollock came up with the idea for her startup ChezLeon after going through cancer treatment and dealing with lymphoedema herself. 

After undergoing cancer treatment involving the removal of all my lymph nodes in both groins, I started to experience pain and swelling caused by the blockage to the lymphatic system.  I tried everything on the market and found that the current treatments were unsatisfactory and were causing more issues”, Cheryl Pollock, CEO and Founder of ChezLeon Pty Ltd.

With a background in mechanical engineering, construction and studying remedial massage and the lymphatic system, she realised that the current treatments were not addressing the problem which is the blockage caused by the surgery and lymph node damage.

The current treatments for lymphoedema focused on the outcome – the swelling; they were not suitable for everyone, particularly in the hot Australian climate. Using her engineering skills, Cheryl designed a clothing insert using differential pressure to gently massage the site of the blockage providing immediate relief. ChezLeon DP-TX massage bra inserts for Breast Cancer, gently massage the area of the blockage, helping to break down scar tissue and to move the fluid around the blockage. It helps drain the limbs or prevent build-up in the limb or associated area. Soon Cheryl was approached by other patients suffering from various fluid blockage conditions asking for help. Seeing patients dealing with pain and swelling for several years and finding immediate relief by wearing the product is what drove Cheryl to do more. 

“I was able to help women with golf-ball size swelling and pain due to lymphoedema lead a pain-free life with the ability to return to work and regain their quality of life”, adds Cheryl.

ChezLeon DP-TX massage inserts

Bringing the product to market

The startup journey has been challenging for ChezLeon, particularly in finding a manufacturer, and a supportive community. Existing manufacturers were reluctant due to a lack of capability and skills. After spending months finding the right manufacturer locally, in the end, ChezLeon had to rely on outsourcing manufacturing for the product.

Being a solo female founder in her 60s, it has been a hard road to find funding for ChezLeon. Due to the nature of its product, bridging the funding gap between the Minimum Viable Product (testing) to commercialisation (market launch) has been complicated due to the costs involved. 

In spite of these challenges, ChezLeon is breaking through these barriers and making significant progress in bringing high-impact health products to market. Cheryl advises startups on a similar path to focus on their passion and the impact their product can have on patients when facing difficult times in their commercialisation journey.

I started as a patient and then worked with patients gaining a real understanding of what they were experiencing and what they wanted.  I developed my products with and for the patients.  They gave me the passion and determination to get through hard times, they picked me up and kept me going.  Being a medical start-up is one of the most difficult paths to go down. Without passion and people to motivate you, it would be extremely difficult. Deeply understand what your patients need by listening to their pain and addressing the cause; you will find helping them the most rewarding and grateful experience”.

MedTech Actuator Accelerator Experience 

 ChezLeon joined MedTech Actuator Accelerator Cohort 5 in 2020 with the hope to gain networking, support and funding opportunities. Since then ChezLeon has been able to get private investment and get sample runs manufactured and trialled with hospitals such as Liverpool &  Campbelltown Hospitals, GenesisCare – Gold Coast, Breast Cancer Physio-Gold Coast and Oncology Recovery Service-Sydney. The company is also engaged in the planned clinical study of head and neck Lymphoedema at  Mater Hospital Newcastle.

“I recommend joining the MedTech Actuator Accelerator early to set the foundation and map out the pathway as this will save a lot of time and energy in the long run. The MedTech Actuator gives you a great foundation to navigate the difficult pathway through the development of medical products. Their connections and networks give you access to specialists in their particular field worldwide so you get the latest information from the source”, Cheryl.

Cheryl at the MedTech Actuator’s Morning with Women in Health Entrepreneurship event.

Breast Cancer Awareness

Chery Pollock, CEO and Founder, ChezLeon Pty Ltd

“Everyone’s cancer journey is different. From my experience, going through cancer treatment is very scary, as you go through a range of emotions. It’s as if life stands still, nothing matters except your family and getting through this. Then you are told that due to the treatment you could end up with lymphoedema, a debilitating swelling of a limb/s with no cure. ‘You have just survived a death sentence only to be given a life sentence’. 

As with cancer, early detection is the key to a successful outcome, the same applies to lymphoedema. Early intervention, and taking a preventative approach help with the long-term management of fluid build-up. As it can take from 3 to 30 years for swelling to develop enough to be diagnosed, patients need to take a proactive approach to manage their condition from day one.  From breaking down scar tissue to encourage lymph growth and strengthening lymphatic pathways to self-massage, exercise, skincare and deep breathing.  Also understanding their condition, their body and what works for them.  There is no miracle cure, no one-off treatment, it is a condition that has to be managed for the rest of your life therefore any treatment has to be maintained.  The most important thing is to have a positive attitude, have some fun and laugh as often as possible.  This not only helps you but also those around you who are on the journey with you”, Cheryl on breast cancer awareness. 

Learn more about the lymphatic system, lymphoedema and how to manage it on ChezLeon’s website and follow their journey as they create awareness about Breast Cancer.

Expression of interest is now open for MedTech Actuator Accelerator 2023.

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








Announcing 7th Cohort of the MedTech Actuator Accelerator

We are incredibly excited to introduce you to teams that make up the MedTech Actuator Accelerator cohort 7. 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 BioMed commercialisation pathway.

Powering through the comprehensive application process involving first interviews, due diligence, and the Innovation Assessment Board pitch, startups in Cohort 7 (2022-2023 program) are now primed and ready to kick off their Accelerator journey. 

Throughout the program, startups will connect to the extensive MedTech Actuator health innovation ecosystem. Over 100 speakers, over 150 business, clinical and investment mentors, and our impressive alumni network will contribute their expertise to help these startups grow. Over $1M has been allocated to help teams in Cohort 7 bring their innovation to the market faster, and to prepare them for early-stage investment rounds. 

 Cohort 7 startups come from all across Australia, with teams joining from Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia. 80% are innovating in the MedTech space – a significant increase from the last two years dominated by HealthTech, and more than 50% of startups in the cohort are female-led. 

Cohort 7
MedTech Actuator Accelerator Cohort 7

“We are thrilled to support new startups pursuing their innovative ideas to improve the lives of patients. The cohort is bringing a great variety of products this time ranging from healthtech marketplace to bacteriophage-based products and to a new generation of medical devices which we are particularly excited about,” says Maria Pelipas, Head of Programs 

Meet the MedTech Actuator Accelerator Cohort 7 bringing innovation to the Health ecosystem in Australia :

  • InflaMed: Managing chronic inflammation in the palm of your hands
  • Healtharium: Making it easier to find, buy and sell healthcare software.
  • DFU Solutions: Improving outcomes for diabetic foot ulcer patients.
  • Anura Medical: Enabling preventative health care through innovative lung monitoring. 
  • AU-MDXD: Delivering technology-based mobility rehabilitation at the point of care and home
  • Gravida Health: A guiding hand to improve the induction of labour.
  • Vysum Technologies: Improving glaucoma treatment compliance and management for better vision.
  • Vause Medical: An accessible improvement to lumbar punctures in newborns
  • Symex Labs: Empowering couples to manage their reproductive health through continuous hormone sensing  
  • Misti: Protection from childhood infection via lung delivery of treatments
  • ACUTRODE: Helping doctors treat the seizures that they can’t see

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.

Stay updated and follow our founders’ journey by subscribing to our newsletter below or following us on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Harnessing telehealth to power a connected global health ecosystem

MedTech Actuator startup Neev Tech Labs is transforming how patients around the world experience and access healthcare through telehealth innovation

The Neev Tech Labs virtual care platform, Connect2MyDoctor is powering a connected global health ecosystem – supporting the response to challenges including delivering healthcare while preventing the spread of COVID19, and rising chronic illness.

Connect2MyDoctor is a HIPAA compliant and ISO 27001 certified virtual care platform that enables healthcare providers to deliver care in efficient and patient-centric ways. The comprehensive platform spans on-demand care; consults between rural hospitals and large tertiary care centres; care for in-patients in isolation and regular care; home care; and remote patient monitoring including medical device integration to capture real-time data.

The idea for Connect2MyDoctor was sparked in 2012 when, soon after moving with his family from Dubai to Australia, the daughter of Neev Tech Labs CEO Pramod Kutty needed to see a medical specialist.

“We were not used to the long wait period and tried to find help in the meantime through Dr Google and doctors overseas to understand more about the problem. I thought, there should be a better way to do this,” says Pramod.

This experience and Pramod’s subsequent market research led him to launch Connect2MyDoctor in 2016. Neev Tech Labs is now headquartered in Melbourne and has teams in India, Dubai, and Bahrain, along with a growing network of advisors.

Healthcare providers, hospitals, insurance companies and corporates around the world are turning to Connect2MyDoctor in growing numbers to improve and save the lives of individual patients and to create systems-wide change. The virtual care platform is deployed in 35+ multi- and super-speciality hospitals in India, the Middle East, Turkey, Azerbaijan and others. There are currently 2,000+ doctors across 50+ specialisations on the platform, supporting patients in 15+ countries. Connect2MyDoctor will soon open an office in Dubai and will also expand into the African subcontinent.

In a reflection of the difference the platform is making, Connect2MyDoctor was selected as the preferred telehealth platform of a leading healthcare association in India. This has opened access to a member base of 10,000+ hospitals. Connect2MyDoctor has also launched work with the Federal Authority of Human Resources, UAE and their mental health partner to provide 300,000+ employees and their families with access to mental health specialists from the comfort of their homes.

Neev Tech Labs was recently accepted into Hatch Quarter’s MENA Bridge for Startups global bridge program – designed to give exceptional Australian companies the tools and connections to enter and succeed in the booming Middle East and North Africa “MENA” markets.

Connect2MyDoctor wins Micro Business Award

Connect2MyDoctor wins Micro Business Award at India-Australia Business and Community Awards 2022. The annual IABCA Awards initiative looks to strengthen and celebrate the organisations, social enterprises and business leaders from across the globe who are advancing the India-Australia relationship.

Connect2MyDoctor wins Micro Business Award at India-Australia Business and Community Awards 2022. Photo credits: IABCA

“We feel privileged and honoured to have won this prestigious recognition from IABCA. It is a testament to the ground-breaking work we have done in the area of telemedicine and virtual healthcare. The importance of online healthcare has grown significantly during the pandemic and we are happy to have contributed our bit by enabling high-quality virtual healthcare access for the needy. In our next phase, we focus to deploy our new modules – cARe – 3D/AR module for patient education, OmniROM for remote rehabilitation, HomeDoc our home care module with Remote patient monitoring globally. As the preferred telehealth partner of the Association of Health Providers of India (AHPI), which has over 10,000 hospitals in its network, we are looking to further expand our horizons and address the health requirements of the patients in a virtual and efficient manner.” Says Pramod Kutty, Co-Founder and CEO of Connect2MyDoctor.

The MedTech ActuatorTM is proud to support Neev Tech Labs on their journey. The company joined the MedTech Actuator in 2019 to support market validation of Connect2MyDoctor; to connect with global industry and mentorship; to be guided through commercialisation models and capital raising.

“The MedTech Actuator helped us validate our business models and opened doors,” says Pramod.

“For any MedTech startup, the MedTech Actuator is the perfect kickstart for access to teams, industry leaders, mentors and pre-seed funding.”

Follow the journey of Connect2MyDoctor and learn more about the platform in this Economic Times story by Pramod Kutty.

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.

HatiSens – Faster Heart Attack Detection to Guide Treatment

MedTech Actuator Accelerator startup HatiSens is developing a point-of-care device that can accurately and rapidly diagnose heart attacks to guide clinical treatment.

HatiSens is based on Co-Founder Siew Joo Beh’s PhD – currently underway at the Integrated Photonics and Application Centre (InPAC) lab at RMIT University. Siew began developing the technology with Co-Founder Dr César Sanchez Huertas in 2018.

The HatiSens team consists of researchers and clinicians who worked closely together prior to the birth of the startup, bringing a great synergy to the team. Siew sees this synergy as a strength, along with their multidisciplinary expertise in photonic and microfluidic technology, biochemistry and clinical cardiology. 

Fusing Research With Entrepreneurship.

“We see an opportunity for our technology to make an impact in the field of emergency diagnostic testing,” says Siew. “Heart attacks in particular require quick and precise diagnosis to ensure patients receive the right treatment immediately.”

Siew and César are driven to translate their research into a clinical product that revolutionises how heart attacks are diagnosed.

The MedTech Actuator Accelerator – and MedTech Actuator Origin pitch competition – has supported Siew in fusing her research background with entrepreneurship to bring this ambition closer to reality.

“When we were first accepted into the MedTech Actuator Accelerator, I found it quite difficult to put away my ‘researcher’ hat and put on my ‘entrepreneur’ hat,” says Siew. But seeing the potential for impact, Siew has been tenacious in honing her entrepreneurship expertise.

Knowing Your Audience.

Through the MedTech Actuator Accelerator and Origin, Siew has learned how to adapt her communication style to different audiences – many of whom were new to her as a researcher.

“I found investors struggled quite a bit when I used technical terms in my early pitches,” Siew says.

“Every time I pitched, I would have a hypothesis in my head, test it out, observe the audience’s reaction and feedback, and reflect on this afterwards with my team.”

Siew says that this experimental, iterative approach has become a mantra for the HatiSens team, inspired by Co-Founder Arnan Mitchell – to always have a hypothesis and expected outcome in your mind before you attempt anything, and test it out.

“Over the last few months, I found myself easing into pitching and becoming a better communicator than I was when I first started.”

Her advice to emerging entrepreneurs is to always have a pitch ready to go, and to practice communicating in a way that is easy for your audience to understand.

“Always be ready to pitch. You never know when a potential investor is around the corner.” 

“My philosophy is that if my Mum is able to understand what I am doing, then someone else will be able to understand what I am doing,” says Siew.

As well as communicating in new ways, Siew has learned how to keep a laser focus on advancing the company. For example, as a researcher, Siew is always excited to share the technical side of research with peers. 

“But I quickly learned that technologies are best kept secret unless an NDA is signed.”

Building A MedTech Startup.

Siew joined the MedTech Actuator Accelerator in 2021 to investigate product-market fit in a very competitive space, and to ultimately translate her research into a commercial product.

“Since we first incorporated as a company through the MedTech Actuator Accelerator, we have identified our key target market within Australia, successfully raised pre-seed funding, established our brand identity and the first mockup of our point-of-care device, as well as strategised our path to market,” says Siew.

“The MedTech Actuator Accelerator gave us the knowledge, skills and resources to grow our company beyond the pre-seed stage. We entered the accelerator as naïve researchers – and by the end of our first six months we had developed specialist expertise in running a MedTech startup.”

Photo of HatiSens Co-Founder Siew Joo Beh

It Takes A Village.

Siew is grateful to Dr Elane Zelcer, who she says has been a kind and resourceful mentor since day one.

“Elane checks-in with us every month and gives us advice on how to navigate through the MedTech ecosystem,” says Siew.

“We would also like to thank the MedTech Actuator team and 2021 accelerator cohort who have supported us through a pretty stressful year – especially with the lockdown in Melbourne.”

Siew highly recommends the MedTech Actuator Accelerator to any emerging MedTech, HealthTech or BioTech entrepreneurs, saying that it has helped the HatiSens team to understand what their startup should focus on. 

“The MedTech Actuator Accelerator has helped us to identify and mitigate risks along the way, providing far greater value for investors.”

Join the next MedTech Actuator Accelerator intake.

Do you have a MedTech, HealthTech or BioTech prototype or proof-of-concept to improve or save lives? Get ready to take your innovation further, faster in 2022 with our new MedTech Actuator Accelerator cohort – apply now.

You can also download the information pack, or book office hours with our team to discuss your application.

More on HatiSens

Learn more about HatiSens and follow their journey at www.hatisens.com.au.

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