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.

Make Your MedTech Actuator Accelerator Application Shine

Thinking about applying to the Medtech Actuator Accelerator? Here are top tips from Maria Pelipas, our Head of Programs, on how to prepare a stellar application.

Welcome founder,

You have come up with a health venture idea, you have talked to your friends and family, and you are ready to take the plunge and become a startup founder. So what’s next?

The MedTech Actuator Accelerator is a 12-month program that helps early-stage founders address critical aspects of the commercialisation process such as regulatory approvals, reimbursement models, pricing strategies, product development, and IP. We bring together more than 100 experts who help health startups like yours to figure out how to get to market. 

If you’re thinking about applying to the MedTech Actuator Accelerator, here are three areas of your application that you need to nail in order to be successful and take your first steps towards becoming an early-stage founder. We’ll take a look at pressure-testing your idea, building a great team, and essential planning to make sure you get the most out of your experience with us.

1. Let’s start with your idea

Photo of Nutromics Head of Product Robert Crowder delivering a workshop.

MedTech Actuator Accelerator cohort 1 startup Nutromics Head of Product, Rob Crowder leading a workshop.

Are you ready to disrupt healthcare?

Chances are you have come up with something that could disrupt the current workflow at a hospital or for clinicians. To begin with, think about this: what is the current approach, and how familiar are you with it?

Our application process dedicates large segments to market and customer validation: pain points, competitors, market estimates, etc. We do this because we need to understand the potential of your idea and why the current market is ripe for disruption.

If your product is a medical device, here are some of the questions that you could think about before applying: who currently manufactures similar products? What makes you think there is a need for your idea? 

And really, when you say that your product will be better, what features will make it better? Have you thought about the changes that it will entail for users and the added value? And how about disruptions that it will create, and the adoption curve? 

Talk to your end users

A good first step would be to talk to clinicians or other potential users to get their perceptions about the gaps and solutions. 

Why is this important? Here are some thoughts from one of our founders.

Tim Tyndale, Quitta:

Customer validation can seem like an inconvenient step that slows the building process. After all, we entrepreneurs know exactly what our customers want already…right?!

In truth, validating the problem and solution is more important in MedTech/BioTech than almost any other field. In a highly regulated industry, the further you go down the development journey, the harder it gets to make adjustments. 

In Quitta’s case, we wanted to tailor our solution to the needs of our end-users without having to conduct expensive clinical trials for each iteration. Fortunately, e-cigarettes created a legal precedent in the U.S. for us to test real-world demand and gain all-important user feedback.

Without developing a deep understanding of the needs of our customers, we could have spent lots of time and money building a product that no one wanted at the other end.

Through this time we acquired more than 3,800 customers.  We learnt about their needs through interpreting sales data, conducting focus groups and formal interviews, and hundreds of informal conversations with individual customers.

Start with ‘the need’

Let’s imagine you are creating smart glasses for surgeons to use in the operating theatre. One piece of advice would be to not talk to them about glasses just yet. 

Instead, start with the current workflow, the problems they face with current solutions. In other words, the need – is there any?

After you validate the need, you can begin the solution validation interviews. I always recommend the book called The Mom Test to the founders that are looking to do their first customer interviews. Check it out to make sure your potential customers are not cornered into praising your innovation when you talk to them.

When completing your application, make it clear that you understand the problem inside and out and back to front. Be concise and back yourself up with X, Y, Z to really capture our attention.

2. Your team

Photo of the Virtetic team.

Having a great team makes a huge difference to your health venture’s success. Photo: Virtetic, MedTech Actuator Accelerator cohort 6.

Every Spock needs a Kirk

The MedTech Actuator Accelerator is intensive. We are proud of the efforts founders are putting into their startups but it sure can be overwhelming at times. We wholeheartedly believe that you need a solid team to succeed and you need to be in it for a long game. 

If you have a team already, then think about the balance of skills – are you the visionary and your co-founder is the down-to-earth pragmatic with commercial experience? That could work. 

At Medtech Actuator, we believe every Spock needs a Kirk. So, as well as your skills mix, think about comprehensiveness, chemistry, flow, magic, and connection as key ingredients. Health ventures take years before they enter the market and secure a revenue stream, so motivation and focus can’t be underestimated.

Your team influences success

Here is what one of our founders had to say about the importance of a team.

Nick Murphy, GenEmbryomics: 

The MedTech Actuator Accelerator has been the perfect springboard for GenEmbryomics. The program has prepared our business for the realities of what it will face on the road to becoming a thriving startup. But there are some things that even the MedTech Actuator can’t do for you! 

Startup teams will have a range of personalities, expertise, and passion, and require the virtues of a functional group like communication, compassion, honesty, trust, and respect. This way a startup can forge lasting success through a concerted unity of action. 

Setbacks, disagreements, and mistakes will all inevitably happen. But a good team dynamic will buffer these issues and ensure the resilience to learn and push through them.

A startup team that can fall back on each other will, I think, always have a better chance of success at achieving their goals than a team with gaps in the key basics of teamwork.

The finer details of your team

As a part of the application process and due diligence, we will ask you to explain the relationships between co-founders and your projected shares distribution. Not only do we want to understand the team dynamic, commitment and magic between you all, but also the finer details of how your team is structured, legally. 

If your CEO has full responsibility for the business strategy, the program participation, shares need to reflect that. And know that splitting shares 50/50 could create unnecessary difficulties down the road, like a decisional gridlock.

3. Time commitment

Photo of MedTech Actuator Accelerator Cohort 6, 2021

Founders from MedTech Actuator Accelerator cohort 6 were thrilled to meet in person again.

Get ready to sprint

We have been through a lot in the past two years – closed labs, caring responsibilities, founders not being able to meet co-founders and brainstorm – we get it. It has been tough. 

In the two programs delivered since the pandemic began, we have seen that those founders who can meet in-person quickly and build support networks to fall back on, ultimately, succeed faster than those who try to brave the journey alone.

Within the program, startups will be undertaking one-week focused sprints each month. These sprints are delivered in the form of interactive workshops, panel sessions, and fireside chats with vetted industry experts. The sprints are designed to tackle, guide, and refine strategic thinking around critical elements associated with MedTech commercialisation including regulations, reimbursement, clinical trials, product development and IP.

The downtime between sprints isn’t a break. You will dedicate this time to implementing your plan and working towards milestones, alongside rigorous mentoring, coaching, and leadership support from our resident mentors and the MedTech Actuator team.

Our experience leads us to prefer in-person sprints as much as possible. We are recommending founders to attend at least two sprints in person in Melbourne and a Demo Day in February 2023 (subject to government restrictions, of course). 

Giving it your all

So, consider your workload in advance. Think about the first week of every month between July and October – will you be able to fully engage in what the program has to offer? Will you be able to maximise the time between sprints to put into practice the learnings of the program?

We recommend that at least one team member attend the program full-time. You can delegate the attendance of some specific sessions to your co-founders but you still need to have that one key person on the team who will oversee your participation in the program and its deliverables.

I will give you an example. In the program, we have sessions on product development. If a CEO doesn’t attend and delegates it to an engineer on the team, then when the time comes to submit the product development strategy, incorporate it into the pitch deck, pitch to the investment committee, or at the Demo Day, the CEO needs to be fully across the details.

So in the application and during the interviews we want to see that you have thought out the program’s time commitment and that you, and your team, can handle the workload and give it your all.

Here to help with your next steps

In this blog post, I have addressed only three aspects of the application. I am sure you still have questions, so don’t hesitate to sign up for our info session on Feb 15th, join our half-day bootcamp on March 4th or book an individual call with me here to discuss your application.

Or if you’re all set, apply by March 6th!

Accelerator programs can be overwhelming and exhausting. But they don’t need to be – connection, community and relationships of support are what makes the difference. If you decide to join us on the journey, you will be welcomed into our community of 250 MedTech founders and befriend companies like Nutromics, Navi, Ventora, Jaynik, and others. Come, join and level up!

GenEmbryomics sequences the genomes of IVF embryos

MedTech Actuator startup GenEmbryomics offers an innovative new technique for IVF patients to screen for every known genetic disease before pregnancy.

“We are the first to develop and offer as a service IVF embryo genome sequencing and screening for every genetic disease,” says Nick Murphy, GenEmbryomics Founder and CEO.

Nick and team became aware of patients undergoing their long and arduous IVF journey, then discovering that their baby had a genetic disease. 

“We knew that we could pick up these genetic diseases using our genome sequencing technique,” says Nick.

Current tests available to patients are comparable in cost to GenEmbryomics. However they are limited in scope of genetic diseases that they identify, while GenEmbryomics enables patients to screen for every known genetic disease.

“The GenEmbryomics technique of sequencing and screening the entire genome out-performs the currently used tests,” says Nick. 

“GenEmbryomics provides IVF patients with peace-of-mind that they can have children without the burden of genetic disease.”

Photo of baby sleeping.
Photo by Carlo Navarro on Unsplash.

MedTech Actuator Accelerator x GenEmbryomics

The MedTech Actuator’s specialised acceleration model surrounds startups with the ecosystem support they need to bring their MedTech, HealthTech or BioTech innovation to the patients and clinicians who need it most.

Through the MedTech Actuator Accelerator’s intensive mentorship, industry collaboration, up to AUD$200K initial capital injection and capital raising support, founders can achieve in 12 months what can typically take 3 years or more.

GenEmbryomics is based in Melbourne and joined MedTech Actuator in 2021 to develop a market ready company by the end of the program.

“With MedTech Actuator’s knowledge and experience we’ve been shaped to make this achievement realisable,” says Nick.

A major milestone for GenEmbryomics was connecting with keen investors.

“MedTech Actuator prepares companies to take on investment – we were ready to engage when investment discussions began.” 

Nick notes that MedTech, BioTech and HealthTech startups require an array of specialist skills and resources.

“The MedTech Actuator Accelerator is comprehensive and helped GenEmbryomics to develop in the specialist areas we needed. This support was crucial in preparing us for the reality of the life sciences industry.”

Nick would not hesitate in recommending the MedTech Actuator Accelerator to MedTech, BioTech and HealthTech startups with a prototype or proof-of-concept.

“The MedTech Actuator Accelerator has been a fundamental contributor to our progress and traction. They always go the extra 100 miles – and are wonderful people!”

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 – Download the information pack or book office hours with our team to discuss your application.

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

Feature photo by ANIRUDH on Unsplash.

Supporting people with limb loss through VRx

MedTech Actuator Accelerator startup Virtetic is developing game-based virtual reality digital therapeutics (VRx) for people living with limb loss. 

Driven by a passion to help others live their best lives, Virtetic supports people to transition to life with a prosthesis and regain their function and independence faster.

“Virtetic started in our research lab, where we needed a way to evaluate how people move when learning to use a prosthesis,” says Ricardo Garcia-Rosas, Virtetic Co-founder & CEO.

To solve this need, Virtetic created a virtual reality platform to support their research. 

“As we used this platform, with the help of our clinical advisors we discovered great clinical applications for it to support the rehabilitation process of people living with limb loss,” says Ricardo. 

Virtetic X MedTech Actuator

Virtetic joined the MedTech Actuator Accelerator in 2021 to build their understanding of medical technology commercialisation and to develop a plan to do this for their technology.

The program’s specialised acceleration model surrounds startups with the ecosystem support they need to bring their MedTech, HealthTech or BioTech innovation to the patients and clinicians who need it most. Through intensive mentorship, industry collaboration, up to AUD$200K initial capital injection and capital raising support, founders can achieve in 12 months what can typically take 3 years or more.

“The MedTech Actuator Accelerator helped us to develop our go-to-market strategy, file a provisional patent application, and sign a collaboration agreement with the largest prosthetics manufacturer,” says Ricardo.

Ricardo says that the MedTech Actuator Accelerator’s network of industry experts has been a great support and recommends the program to those commercialising a medical technology for the first time.

“The MedTech Actuator Accelerator provides you with a framework to develop your strategy – and access to the network to put it to action.”

Photo of the Virtetic team.
The Virtetic team.

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.

Read more about the program, download the information pack or book office hours with our team to discuss your application.

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

Nutromics accelerates path to precision medicine.

Award-winning Melbourne-based startup Nutromics is revolutionising precision medicine and recently bolstered funding to $10M total.

The Nutromics smart wearable patch puts personalised, real-time molecular information within easy reach of clinicians, leading to better patient outcomes and a reduced cost burden on healthcare systems.

The Nutromics biosensor technology is integrated into a small, unobtrusive smart patch worn by the patient. The wearable continuously monitors the patient’s molecular information. This information is wirelessly transmitted to a flexible software application that easily integrates with consumer health software and hospital platforms.

A patch for every patient.

Nutromics’ market vision is a ‘patch for every patient’, with benefits including:

  • tracking molecular vital signs – enabling timely and informed triaging and clinical decisions
  • therapeutic drug monitoring – enabling accurate dosing of life-saving medication
  • remote patient monitoring – enabling recovery at home whilst receiving hospital-level monitoring and advice.

Traction is growing fast. Nutromics has developed an initial market of therapeutic drug monitoring for the antibiotic vancomycin, dosed to over 6 million patients in the US every year. 

It is challenging for clinicians to pinpoint the precise vancomycin dose required for individual patients, with 60% of doses outside the therapeutic range. 

Consequently, 10-20% of patients receive a toxic dose. This can result in Acute Kidney Injury – akin to a heart attack for your kidneys. 

Beyond a high frequency of toxic doses, underdosing vancomycin can lead to other complications. This includes longer recovery times; illness complications from ineffective antibiotic treatment; and development of antimicrobial resistance. 

But the Nutromics smart patch is set to put accurate dosing in easy reach with personalised, real-time molecular information.

Tracing Nutromics’ success trajectory.

Photo of Nutromics Head of Product Robert Crowder delivering a workshop.
Nutromics Head of Product Robert Crowder delivers a workshop.

2017

Nutromics was established in 2017 by Hitesh Mehta and Peter Vranes. The co-founders first developed the idea for their technology in the MedTech Actuator – Asia Pacific’s MedTech accelerator.

2018-2020

Between 2018 and 2020, Nutromics secured multi-million-dollar funding through grants from the Cooperative Research Centres Project and Innovative Manufacturing Cooperative Research Centre, and investments from venture capital firms Artesian and CP Ventures

2021

Major wins in 2021 for Nutromics included: 

  • raising $5.7M in funding, bringing total funding to $10M
  • being awarded a top 5 finalist in MedTech Innovator, out of 1100 companies from over 54 countries 
  • winning ‘Technology Platform Solution of the Year’ at the 2021 National iAwards, among other finalists including Rio Tinto, Orica, and HCL
  • winning ‘Chief Judge Innovation Award’ at the 2021 Victorian iAwards 
  • increasing their team from 8 in February 2021, to 20 employees as of December 2021.

2022

Nutromics is currently conducting research and development for their proof-of-concept device in collaboration with RMIT University, the University of New South Wales, St. Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney, University of California, Santa Barbara, and University of California, San Diego

How MedTech Actuator supported Nutromics.

Photo of Nutromics Co-Founders Peter Vranes and Hitesh Mehta delivering a pitch.
Nutromics Co-Founders Peter Vranes and Hitesh Mehta deliver a pitch.

The MedTech Actuator’s specialised acceleration model surrounds startups with the ecosystem support they need to bring their MedTech, HealthTech or BioTech innovation to the patients and clinicians who need it most.

Through MedTech Actuator’s intensive mentorship, industry collaboration, up to AUD$200K initial capital injection and capital raising support, founders can achieve in 12 months what can typically take 3 years or more.

Nutromics Co-Founders Hitesh Mehta and Peter Vranes say that the MedTech Actuator has been integral to the company’s growth.

“It was in the MedTech Actuator that Peter and I fleshed out the idea for Nutromics and we received funding to explore opportunities,” says Hitesh.

Peter agrees, saying that the MedTech Actuator ecosystem has built the company’s profile immensely.

“Being a part of the MedTech Actuator has strengthened our strategy and boosted our achievements – and CEO Dr Buzz Palmer still offers his time, advice, and network to support us,” says Peter.

Learn more about Nutromics and follow their journey at www.nutromics.com.au.

Join the next MedTech Actuator 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 cohort – apply now.

Download the information pack or book office hours with our team to discuss your application.

Radetec Diagnostics develops fast COVID19 test

With assistance from the Additive Manufacturing Hub at AMTIL, MedTech Actuator startup Radetec Diagnostics has developed an innovative device to facilitate fast and inexpensive testing of various infectious diseases – including COVID19.

Melbourne-based Radetec Diagnostics is a bio-nanotechnology company dedicated to developing a world-leading “platform technology” based on quantum dots – advanced luminescent nanoparticles that can be used as labels for imaging and sensing applications.

This has a wide range of clinical applications, particularly in the field of point-of-care rapid diagnostics, portable in-vitro diagnostic (IVDs) devices that are used for fast and inexpensive testing of various infectious diseases such as COVID19, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) or even cancer and Parkinson’s disease biomarkers.

The Additive Manufacturing Hub recently supported Radetec in developing the reader just in time for the roll-out of its first product – a COVID19 antigen point-of-care rapid test. The support allowed for a timely delivery of the entire set of diagnostics devices (reader and test strip) to US-based distribution partners for immediate live trial and evaluation.

Read more about Radetec’s game-changing technology in this recent case study from the Additive Manufacturing Hub.

Radetec has now opened equity financing to accelerate the execution of their go-to-market strategy.

The company is now:

  • revenue positive – through ancillary product sales
  • trialling their COVID19 point-of-care test in Indian hospitals, with regulatory approval underway
  • trialling their COVID19 point-of-care test in US hospitals, and working closely with a US distributor
  • developing a chlamydia point-of-care test – with the prototype ready by the end of 2021
  • building a product pipeline – with a suite of products at various stages of development.

To express interest in becoming a Radetec Diagnostics investor, reach out to Lee Xie – Radetec Commercial Director at l.xie[@]radetecdiagnostics.com.