A newly launched Digital Health Accelerator Program is hoping to capitalise on the talented tech, IT, business and medical scene in Western Australia to propel locally founded digital health businesses onto the world stage and successfully solve unmet needs for patients.
Led by the Telethon Kids Institute and made possible with an X-TEND WA grant from the New Industries Fund run by the Department of Jobs, Science, Innovation and Tourism, the program is the first of its kind in WA, offering access to three courses and providing support for innovators at all stages.
Digital health commercialisation specialists will be bringing their BRIGHT Futures in Digital Health programs to Perth for the first time, offering 1-day Ideate and 3-day Innovate workshops to early-mid stage digital health innovators and start-ups. The ANDHealth/PI BRIGHT programs have been run successfully in the Eastern states since 2017 and will leverage both local and national industry experts to help existing start-ups reach investment readiness. The BRIGHT: Ideate workshop will be held in Perth on November 14th 2019 and the BRIGHT: Innovate 3-day workshop will follow in June 2020.
ANDHealth is Australia’s only non-profit, non-equity taking industry-good and industry-led accelerator dedicated to providing commercialisation support programs designed specifically for digital health companies. In just two years, flagship ANDHealth+ cohort companies have raised $15.6M, generated 74 new jobs (FTEs), 5 new CxO roles and $3.6M of revenue.
For aspiring entrepreneurs that dream of one day creating their own digital health start-up, Perth Biodesign for Digital Health is the third offering from the new program and will run in early 2020 as a partnership between WA locals Perth Biodesign and digital health technology experts Curve Tomorrow. The three-month course is now accepting applications from passionate individuals with clinical, engineering/IT/computing/design, business and research backgrounds. During their time in the course, successful participants will be placed into teams and spend time in clinical settings identifying digital and mobile health challenges. After careful needs screening under the guidance of Perth Biodesign – implementing the Stanford Biodesign methodology – the teams will then use the Curve Way to ideate and prototype solutions and plan to implement them.
“The Perth Biodesign course is in its fourth year of successfully enabling multidisciplinary teams to identify medical device opportunities, including digital health technologies which have huge potential to personalise and improve access to care, reduce costs and increase care quality for the health system in WA. Consequently we have identified a need for a Biodesign course specifically tailored around typical digital health commercialisation pathways, which are distinctly different to traditional medical devices.The potential for digital health to.” says Perth Biodesign Director, Dr Matt Oldakowski.
Arthur Ong and Mo Jaimangal of Curve Tomorrow are just as enthusiastic about applying their experience to helping local innovators. Their work building and commercialising digital health products has included HeadCheck, picking up signs of concussion in children’s sport, and PEERS, an online app to detect early signs of social disorders in children and adolescents.
The Program partners are Telethon Kids Institute, Linear Clinical Research, Curtin University, The University of Western Australia, Murdoch University, Perron Institute, Lions Eye Institute, Ear Science Institute Australia, Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research, ANDHealth and Curve Tomorrow.
The X-TEND WA Program is a competitive grants program – funded under the New Industries Fund and run by the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation – which is designed to build capability and capacity within the WA innovation community.