Perth Biodesign’s latest cohort, consisting of 19 innovators, have presented their solutions to transform care for patients across a range of healthcare facets, ranging those suffering from endometriosis, adolescent mental health, surgery waitlists and suicide prevention.
The innovators, who hail from clinical, technology and business backgrounds, recently presented to a full house of leaders, investors and entrepreneurs across the health and technology ecosystem at Perth Council House.
The cohort have just emerged from a five-month Digital Health program with Biodesign, one of several programs aimed at building the next generation of healthcare innovators in WA.
Since the program’s inception, alumni have raised beyond $15 million across 26 new medical technologies.
Kevin Pfleger, Chair of Biodesign Australia, said the program is critical in driving biomedical and health innovation across the state.
“WA’s life sciences ecosystem continues to go from strength to strength, and Perth Biodesign provides pathways for local innovators to make an impact, globally,” he said.
Judges on the night included Professor Fiona Wood, former Australian of the Year and the creator of Spray on Skin for burns victims; HealthEngine cofounder Dr Marcus Tan; Intan Oldakowsak, Perth Biodesign and Medtech entrepreneur; and the CEO of Curve Tomorrow, Mohinder Jaimangal.
Digital Platform Matilda, which is designed to assist those suffering from endometriosis, took out the first prize.
Although 830,000 Australians have endometriosis, existing care pathways mean the average treatment time is seven years.
Matilda co-founder and women’s health physio, Joanna Morris, said she is excited about the opportunities ahead.
“As a clinician, I spend every day seeing first hand the deep impact Endometriosis has on people’s lives,” she said.
The 2022 cohort also included Bunji, a digital companion that aims to prevent suicide post hospitalisation discharge; Tria Health, a platform supporting parents of teens dealing with mental health challenges and Waitless, which aims to solve the significant public surgery wait list problem.
Oliver Bazzani, Perth Biodesign co-director, said the cohort is working at the forefront of solving some of the greatest healthcare challenges, not just in Australia, but globally.
“This program brings together the most ambitious brains in the State to solve some of the biggest challenges we face in Health” Oliver said.
“We are already seeing the huge impact this has on the lives of patients, as well as driving investment, jobs and growth for Western Australia”.
Innovation Minister Stephen Dawson also congratulated the participants of the program.
“Western Australia has a growing health and medical life sciences industry that is on the cusp of many new and exciting opportunities,” he said.
“We are recognised as having a world-class research base and entrepreneurial talent in health and medical life sciences.”
“Your dedication to delivering innovative healthcare solutions is applauded.”
Meet the Perth Biodesign Digital Health cohort of 2022
Matilda is a place where people with endometriosis can get timely access to expert holistic care from the comfort of their own home, with the encouragement of the ‘Tilly Tribe’, Matilda’s supportive peer community. Matilda is a cohort-based digital platform that empowers people with endometriosis to take control of their health and implement positive evidence-based behaviours to improve their symptoms before or after laparoscopic surgery.
Bunji is a digital companion for people with lived mental health experiences. The app Bunji provides 24/7 access to information and supports immediately post-discharge. This AI assistant is able to interact with the patient and provide answers to questions, book appointments with community mental health services and link them to peers. Bunji pro-actively reaches out to the user and with a daily check-in, early signs of relapse can be noticed.
Waitless empowers uptake of conservative management in patients on public hospital wait lists. To achieve this, Waitless educates patients about the benefits of conservative management, connects them with available support services, monitors their progress, and allows them to easily take themselves off a waitlist if they no longer feel the need for surgery.
Tria Health removes uncertainty with the mental health system by offering timely, targeted, fit-for-purpose support. With evidenced-based, clinically endorsed resources, our curated tools improve understanding and communication. Connecting with a support navigator provides that human connection guiding through the mental health miasma. With a shared passion for mental health and a deep awareness of the problem, our team puts the needs of parents first.