The first-ever cohort of medtech startups have graduated the Cicada Innovations MedLab accelerator, bringing needle-free vaccines, VR rehab for the brain, and a “Fitbit for your bum” one step closer to market.
The four-month accelerator program culminated in a MedLab Demo Day, where the six early-stage startups presented their products to a 500-strong crowd that included local and international investors.
The standards of the participants reflects “the depth of talent in medical research and innovation here in Australia”, Cicada MedLab general manager Warren Bingham said in a statement.
“Australia is home to many hundreds of amazing medtech entrepreneurs with world-changing ideas, who simply need the right support to transform their ideas into world-leading businesses,” he added.
Already, 2019 is gearing up to be a big year for medical startups. In February, Melbourne-based Hemideina raised $1 million to develop and commercialise a tiny hearing device, and Ikkiworks secured government grant funding to develop its robot companion that monitors the vital signs of seriously ill children.
In January, healthtech startup Coviu secured $1.18 million in government grant funding to commercialise its remote physiotherapy technology.
So, without further ado, here are the first graduates of the Cicada MedLab program, who may well be the next Aussie startups making medtech news.
The Beyond 700 team has developed TearView technology to allow eye-care specialists to visualise diseases or damage on the fragile surface of the eye.
The technology uses infrared to spot damage that can’t be picked up by current methods, to use in diagnostics or to assess contact lens compatibility.
Doclink is a medical intelligence platform designed to support doctors by connecting them to the cloud, big data and deep learning.
Currently, it’s being used for screening, early diagnostics and treatment of cancer, but the tech could be applicable in many other areas.
Loop+ is a care platform for wheelchair users, described on its website as a “Fitbit for your bum”.
The technology is designed to help wheelchair users manage their health, with a focus on reducing pressure injuries. It collects data on user activity to create individual risk profiles and actionable insights, which can be shared with healthcare professionals.
The team at Neuromersive are using virtual reality for brain rehabilitation, making the recovery process more fun and more engaging.
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By gamifying regular daily tasks, the technology provides a modular and measurable therapy solution for people who have suffered from traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries or strokes.
This startup has found a way to deliver peptides, such as vaccines or insulin, through a pill rather than the traditional injection.
Peptides usually degrade quickly in the human body, meaning they have to be administered with a needle. However, Renature Labs uses natural proteins to protect them for longer.
The development means peptide products will be more cost-effective to manufacture, and could make treatments more accessible on a global scale.
Finally, SDIP creates bio-reabsorbable implants which can be inserted to fix up internal issues, without the need for further surgery to take them out again.
The implants can be moulded into different shapes to address different needs, and when the damage is repaired, they absorb into the body without leaving any acidic or harmful by-products behind.