PDTech is working to empower Parkinson’s Disease patients to be involved in their treatment strategy and reconnect with their health care providers.
What drew you to the problem you are working to solve in Biodesign?
Sam: I have had an interest in the human brain from a young age. As such, when the time came to choose a project for Biodesign I found myself naturally drawn to the area with the most neuroscience. However, there’s more to it than that. Parkinson’s Disease is a debilitating illness that is very common not only in Australia, but around the world. Having encountered patients with Parkinson’s Disease multiple times throughout my medical degree, and having seen and heard firsthand from these patients about their struggles, I knew that this was a disease I wanted to help tackle. I’ve loved working with the team throughout the innovation process and hope that our product can help to empower patients and families affected by the condition.
What have you learned/gained from the Biodesign process?
Vicki: There are so many things that I’ve learnt. Going through all the business/IP sides of things was very useful for moving our products along in the development process. It also gave us more confidence in our products and ideas when we then went into the eChallenge scheme and in talking to our mentors.
What are the next steps for the team/team members after the course?
Jady: We did the eChallenge course after Biodesign. I thought Biodesign gave us many really good concepts or ideas and made us ready for starting a small business in eChallenge. We are well-prepared and we’ve learnt lots of marketing and customer communicating skills in Biodesign, which makes us ahead of others in eChallenge. We plan to pitch our concept in more and more conferences and we’ve started to promote and test our demo in many customers. I feel every team member is passionate about our concept and we want to tightly work on it.
What do you want to be doing in 10 years’ time from now?
Anas: A serial entrepreneur, creating business that’ll make life easier and at the same time profitable in a sustainable way.
What would be your advice to someone considering taking the course in 2019?
Mark: Make sure you talk to both doctors and patients to find out their problems and thoughts as they are often different. After creating a shortlist of ideas, resist picking one final idea until you have researched all possible ideas on the shortlist, as you may find that while an idea may be good, it may not be profitable or have a large market. Similarly, don’t forget about your business plan, market analysis and product costs as these can contribute to whether the product is a success or a failure just as much as the product idea itself.
Anas is the Business Manager of PDTech. He’s a PhD candidate (business) with an MBA and a Masters in Electrical & Computer Engineering. He was a software managed services manager for the largest telecom equipment manufacturer in the world, Huawei.
Mark is the Product Engineer of PDTech. He is in his final year as a PhD student studying Biomedical Engineering, and has published papers on medical devices and signal analysis and has one patent in this area.
Sam is the Chief Medical Officer of PDTech. He is in his final year of Medicine and will start work as a junior doctor next year. He is very interested in neuroscience and is currently undertaking an elective placement at the UCL Institute of Neurology in London.
Vicki is the R & D Manager of PDTech. She is a research scientist at the University of Adelaide and has experience sourcing external funding for her salary over the last 5 years.
Jady is the Marketing Manager of PDTech. She is doing her honours year in Health Science (Obstetrics & Gynaecology). She was a Youth Representative of Australian Red Cross, which gave her good interpersonal communication skills.