A grant for the Melbourne Health Accelerator Program

On Monday the 22nd May 2017, the Special Minister of State Gavin Jennings and Manager of Public Sector Innovation at Department of Premier and Cabinet Andrew Niere, joined health professionals and researchers at the Royal Melbourne Hospital, to announce grant funding of $450,000 towards the Melbourne Health Accelerator program.

This accelerator program helps translate Australian innovations into business opportunities, while bringing health technology companies in direct contact with front line health professionals and hospital administration.

The program will also encourage low-cost, effective solutions to modern healthcare changes. The modern day health ‘customer’ has shifted from younger people with acute conditions to older people who are managing chronic diseases.

Today’s overcrowded Emergency Departments portray the changes our health system needs to make.

Keeping people out of hospitals with home care, telemedicine and smart devices. Avoiding over servicing using big data to assess risks versus benefits. Stopping errors with integrated software.

And improving communication between health professionals, patients and family members with social media style apps.

“Australia produces world class medical research, but we need to do more to realise the commercial and social benefit that flows from it, including better healthcare and new jobs.” Gavin Jennings

Here are the Winter 2017 participants

Patrik Hutzel

Patrik Hutzel is the founder of Intensive Care at Home. He is an Intensive Care nurse who has previously worked in Germany for a company that cared for people with a tracheostomy and were ventilator dependant, in their own home. This service gives people the option of living at home, rather than remaining trapped in an Intensive Care bed. It also helps prevent ICU readmissions by providing 24 hour Critical Care nurses rather than standard community carers.

Patrik believes that Australians would really benefit from a service like this.

Ross Hardy

Ross Hardy is founder and CEO of Adyuvo. He trained with the Royal Air Force as an Operating Department Practitioner and has 17 years experience in Theater and Critical Care, as well as Aged, Palliative Care and Oncology.

After suffering a broken pelvis in late 2015, Ross saw first hand how poor communication can adversely affect patients. He decided to creating a platform that links together a range of communication systems. The aim is to keep patients and clinical staff in touch and keep people with chronic disease out of hospitals.

Barry Nguyen

Barry Nguyen is a co founder and CEO of Phytogp. He is a physiotherapist and also a serial tech entrepreneur, with international experience in health startups. Barry is currently working on a digital platform that will improve communications for Doctors and patients, by harnessing information from communication systems and using Artificial Intelligence to interpret the data and drive effective solutions.

Also working in the company is Edward Laurence the Chief Technical Officer and Khurram Akhter the Chief Medical Officer.

Martina Clark

Martina Clark is the director of Carers Couch. She is a young woman from Germany who has worked in in banking, technology and the pharmaceutical industry. Martina lost her best friend Anoula to cancer, when the woman was only 34.

Throughout her friends sickness, Martina realised there was a need to share personal experiences of sickness and access greater support for carers. Martina has created a website full of videos, showing people and their families going through the experience of cancer, and talking about their own journey.

Steve Snow is the director of Praxhub. He has a legal background and has worked in law, healthcare then for the pharmaceutical industry. Steve has created an online platform for Australian doctors to connect, exchange ideas and earn free CPD points.

As a busy professional Steve understands that Doctors are time-poor and under high stress to stay up to date with ever increasing flow of information.

Liz Williams

Liz Williams is the CEO of Hemideina, a medical device company that wants to bring cochlear implant technology to the 80% of people who currently can’t access it, due to the delicate nature of the external battery and sound processor. This company aims to produce a lower cost cochlear implant by developing a fully internalised, 2-component cochlear implant. Liz has a PhD in synthetic organic chemistry from Cambridge University and has worked with CSIRO for 3 years. Kate Lomas is the Chief Technical Officer. Kate has a background in biophysics and met Liz while at CSIRO.

Tania Willett is the communications manager for Duplex Healthcare. This is an Australian cleaning company that has provided infection control equipment, education and training to the healthcare industry for 25 years. Duplex has 2 types of robotic ultra violet cleaners in the early stage of testing and trials. This is the latest technology in infection control. The UV light can get to all the surfaces in a hospital room and change the DNA structure of bacteria.

Safiollah Heidari is the CEO of NeuroPhyte, a company that wants to help people with brain injuries and other cognitive issues, by using Virtual Reality technology linked to a cloud platform. The aim is to improve neuro rehabilitation by accurately accessing people’s deficits and designing personalised rehab programs. The co founder is Mojtaba Kermani, other company members are Amin Mahdizade and  Adel Nadjaran Toosi.

Shanthakumar Bannirchelvam is the financial director of Semacare, a medical platform company. One of their products is Remoncloud, a hand-held digital health diagnostic tool, that can assesses cardiac rhythm, temperature and oxygen saturations. It also has the capability to work as a health tracker, appointment reminder and telecommunication tool.

There is a wide variety of people on this program, all with very different backgrounds and skills. However they all have something valid and practical to offer the health services industry. Over the next 12 weeks they will meet with hospital staff, test their applications, get feedback on their products and build a business model.

“The Royal Melbourne Hospital has a long and proud history of firsts in medical research and care; and innovation has been at the core of all our medical breakthroughs.” Professor Kilpatrick

There were over 12 participants in the 2016 pilot program, from an equally wide range of backgrounds and skills. They include:

  • David Lester from NIESM.
  • Zeyad Hammad from Pronto Healthcare.
  • Christopher Yeap from Backup.
  • Ken Swan from RedUnyen.
  • David Humphreys from Broodly.
  • Nigel Ball from Helthi.
  • Andrew Yap from MedTasker.
  • Tull Roseby from DailyCare.
  • Kunal Kairo from Eugene Labs.
  • Tori Fox from Virtual Healthcare.
  • Paul Wilson and Nick Marfleet from Lumin.
  • Sam Holt from SkinView.
  • Lyndon Gasking from Zoetic.
  • Candida Wong from HealthaPorter.
  • Leonore Ryan from CardiHab.

Many of these founders are now working on substantial projects.

It is important to create a community of participants, both past and present who can support and encourage each other.

Health reform isn’t just about smart tech. It’s about cooperation and collaboration among all the players, patients, clinical staff, management and health startups.

© Wikihospitals May 2017