We were pleased to partner with The Actuator to bring the national MedTech’s Got Talent Bootcamp here to Adelaide.
This FREE boot camp workshop was open to anyone interested in the medtech sector and provided an introductory overview of the various constituents of the commercialisation trajectory of medical technologies.
The workshop provided a lot of valuable information to participants who heard from experts who shared their views and experiences in commercialising a medical technology and provided insightful information for aspiring entrepreneurs. There were also information sessions on IP, market positioning, finance and the art of the pitch session.
Bioactive Injectable Therapies for Intervertebral Disc Regeneration: from Benchtop to Preclinical Translation
Degeneration of the lumbar spine intervertebral discs is widespread and strongly implicated as a cause of low back pain. Current treatment options are limited, and focused on alleviating pain without preserving the structure and biomechanical function of the disc. Our lab applies a multidisciplinary approach to disc regeneration that combines injectable hydrogels for acute functional disc restoration, anti-inflammatory drugs to arrest the degenerative cascade, and stem cells to potentiate long term native tissue reconstitution. To optimize stem cell-based disc regeneration we are leveraging developmental mechanisms by studying how disc progenitor cells regulate tissue formation during embryonic disc formation. To progress these therapies towards human application, we have validated a clinically-relevant large animal model that recapitulates the spectrum of human disc degeneration. Short term studies evaluating the above therapeutic approaches in this animal model have yielded promising results.
Professor Robin Daly from the Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition at Deakin University presented on:
Exercise: An essential medicine to prevent frail bones, falls and fractures
The expression “exercise is medicine” has become a catchphrase used by clinicians, health professionals and others to motivate people to become more active to prevent and manage common chronic diseases. Despite overwhelming evidence to support the general health benefits of regular exercise, not all forms are equally effective when it comes to osteoporosis, falls and fracture prevention.
The presentation provided an overview of the latest research to support the optimal exercise prescription to improve musculoskeletal health and function, and reduce the risk of falls and fractures. New research highlighting the use of innovative mobile health technology as an approach to remotely deliver and monitor evidence-based exercise programs to older people will also be presented.
Professor Susan Murphy from Harvard University gave two presentations:
Assessing Time-Varying Causal Interactions and Treatment Effects with Applications to Mobile Health
Mobile devices along with wearable sensors facilitate our ability to deliver supportive treatments anytime and anywhere. Indeed mobile interventions are being developed and employed across a variety of health fields, including to support HIV medication adherence, encourage physical activity and healthier eating as well as to support recovery in addictions. A critical question in the optimisation of mobile health interventions is: “When and in which contexts, is it most useful to deliver treatments to the user?” This question concerns time-varying dynamic moderation by the context (location, stress, time of day, mood, ambient noise, etc.) of the effectiveness of the treatments on user behavior. In this talk we discuss the micro-randomised trial design and associated data analyses for use in assessing moderation. We illustrate this approach with the micro-randomised trial of HeartSteps, a physical activity mobile intervention.
Optimising Mobile Health Interventions
Mobile devices along with wearable sensors allow us to deliver supportive treatments, anytime and anywhere. Mobile interventions are transforming treatments and preventative health management, including support for HIV medication adherence, assisting recovery in addictions and encouraging physical activity and healthy eating. The question remains “When and in which contexts, is it most useful to deliver treatments to the user?" Using data, we can determine if key factors such as location, stress, time of day, mood, ambient noise and so on, impact when and where these treatments are most useful.
This talk concerned a new clinical trial design: the micro-randomized trial and associated data analytics for use in addressing this question. The talk usec multiple mobile health studies including the study, HeartSteps - a physical activity mobile intervention, to illustrate the ideas.
Marco Palanca, PhD, Research Fellow in Biomechanics from the University of Bologna presented on:
Femoral impact energy absorption in elderly women during sideways fall
"The femoral neck is the most vulnerable site to fracture in elderly patients and this situation is more alarming in case of osteopenia or osteoporosis with direct consequences in terms of public health cost and patient life quality. A laboratory setup able to reproduce this scenario and evaluate its effects is fundamental to better understand the dynamic and behavior of this phenomena and so improve the evaluation of the risk of fracture.
Ten femurs were tested with an inertia-driven system (drop-tower) using anthropometric-based loading parameters, full-field and high-speed digital image correlation (DIC) were used to evaluate the strain during the tests. The impact force, the energy and the duration of impact were evaluated for each femur. The strain maps and the failure region were superimposed to the synchrotron microCT of the femurs to associate the surface strain maps to the trabecular structure.
The data collection allows studying the load transfer and fracture mechanism within the human femur while falling on a side.”
Professor Mark Taylor presented on Computational modelling of primary and revision joint replacement: Challenges and Opportunities.
Hip and knee replacements are one the most successful elective surgeries, with failures rates of 5% or lower after 10 years. Although successful, there is still room for improvement, for example to meet the demands of younger, more active patients. Given the success of total joint replacement, this presents challenges in trying to evaluate new designs, to ensure that they are at least as good as, or better than existing devices.
Computational modelling has been used for over 40 years to assess the performance of primary joint replacement and the current state of the art will be described, and the challenges and approaches for modelling revision joint replacement will be discussed.
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MedTech Mindset - the 'How' and 'Why' of successful MedTech Entrepreneurship
The Medical Device Partnering Program and QUT's BridgeTech Program invited medtech start-ups, companies, researchers, manufacturers and clinicians to attend the MedTech Entrepreneurship event - 'MedTech Mindset - the ‘How’ and ‘Why’ of successful MedTech Entrepreneurship'
The MedTech sector is primed for significant growth for Australia, so it is important that Programs are in place to support the growing industry. Guests heard why;
Dr Noel Chambers from the National Foundation for Medical Research and Innovation presented on how the NFMRI help benefit mankind through the prevention or eradication of diseases. The Foundation offers research grants and seeks to partner with biomedical researchers to identify, evaluate and support innovative and high quality research projects with identified impact objectives.
Dr Chambers presented on the funding available from the NFMRI and how to successfully engage with industry, venture capital and big pharma.
Peter Cripton PhD from the University of British Columbia presented on:
Injury Biomechanics – preventing injuries in the blink of an eye
Injury biomechanics is the field associated with the development and evaluation of safety equipment such as seat belts, airbags, ski bindings and helmets. The design of these devices requires a knowledge of the tolerance (or breaking point) of various tissues and organs of the body such as the brain, skull, facial bones, spinal cord, femoral bone etc. The tissue’s tolerance must be synthesized with the expected loads during a crash, fall or other injurious event in order to conceptualize devices or approaches to prevent the injury from happening.
In this presentation Dr Cripton reviewed the methods and models used in this field and discussed the work in the prevention of spinal column, spinal cord, brain and femur fractures.
Susann Keohane, IBM Global Research Leader for the Ageing Initiative gave a presentation on: Artificial intelligence (AI) is forging a new partnership between humanity and technology.
With AI technology, the trove of data and cognitive powers, we have the capability to meet the needs and quality of life expectations of hundreds of millions of older adults. From healthy aging to chronic diseases, Susann presented the ways that innovative thinking using cognitive AI technology is blazing the trail to deliver new types of products and services to support the world’s aging population.
Dr Kathryn Stok from the University of Melbourne gave a presentation on: "Advances in imaging joint health: a preclinical perspective".
Kathryn's research work merges solid engineering approaches with biological advancement; exploring global health challenges from both a basic science and a technological perspective.
Dr Robert Acres, Industry Support & Outreach Scientist from Australian Synchrotron gave a presentation to MDRI members on: The Australian Synchrotron for Biotech and Medical Devices”.
Dr Acres gave an overview of the facility and showed some examples and case studies of how their capabilities have been applied in the health and biotech sector. He also spoke about the different ways to access the synchrotron and highlight their industry engagement program.
Prof Kai-Nan An, Professor of Biomedical Engineering from the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, USA gave two presentations on Thursday 27 and Friday 28 July 2017. Prof An is known to have created the modern understanding of biomechanics of the upper limb.
Prof An presented on 'The Evolution of Biomechanical Assessment of Upper Limb Disorders' and ‘How to take concepts to research, then to product development’.
Visiting researcher Dr Gianluca Tozzi gave a presentation on his research. Dr Tozzi is at Flinders for two months to help develop our expertise in Digital Volume Correlation (DVC) and to create international collaborations with the newly formed Zeiss Global Centre at the University of Portsmouth.
Professor Gregory L Alexander from the Sinclair School of Nursing, University of Missouri presented on "Designing smart assistive technolgoies for early illness detection in detection in independent living settings".
Open Bio Lab event
The MDRI opened the biomedical engineering and biomechanics labs at the Flinders @ Tonsley campus and invited current undergraduate students to come and tour the labs and talk with postgraduate students and staff about their research.
Following the lab tours there was an opportunity to learn about some of the research projects underway and meet some of our postgraduate students.
Professor Peter J Laz from the Center for Orthopaedic Biomechanics, University of Denver presented on Extending Subject Specific Biomechanical Models to Populations.
Noel Chambers from the National Foundation for Medical Research and Innovation gave a presentation on Strategies for Success: National Foundation for Medical Research and Innovation Funds.
Australian Semiconductor Techology Company (ASTC)
ASTC is an Adelaide-based global embedded electronics technology company that possesses a unique set of technology assets and skills, all focused on improving the economics and quality of any embedded electronic system development project.
A presentation was given on the company's products and capabilities.
Dr David Ackland and Prof Peter Lee from the University of Melbourne gave presentations on their research during a visit to Tonsley.
- Facing hope with 3D printing: applications in maxillofacial surgery (David Ackland)
- Mechanobiology of Post Traumatic Osteoarthritis (Peter Lee)
The MDPP held a networking event to hear from past MDPP clients on their experiences and learnings on engaging with a University and how this has influenced the progression of their medical device or assistive technology. The event included the offical unveiling of the MTPConnect hub at Flinders University and provided an opportunity to hear from Sue MacLeman (CEO, MTPConnect) on what is MTPConnect and how its draft "Sector Competitiveness Plan" will boost the competitiveness, productivity and innovative capacity of Australia's Medical Technologies and Pharmaceuticals sector.
'Establishing a Sustainable Telehealth Business Model in Australia'.
MDPP clients attended an event which included a presentation by Frost & Sullivan. The presentation was followed by a panel session to specifically discuss 'Ageing and Technology'. The event bought together stakeholders from industry, research, clinical and government, and also provided a unique opportunity to network with delegates from a Finnish Health Tech Business Delegation visiting Adelaide (looking for opportunities/partnerships, and for some, potentially locations to establish regional headquarters).
A/Prof Pammi Raghavendra from Disability and Community Inclusion from the School of Health Sciences gave a presentation to share findings from a recently completed research project where young people with disabilities living in rural areas of South Australia were supported to learn to use social media to enhance their social networks.
Prof Tom Chau from the Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital and the Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Toronto was in Adelaide as a guest speaker at the 2016 Australasian Academy of CP and Developmental Medicine.
'Avenues and considerations for entering global markets'. MDPP clients heard some of the lessons learnt, success/perils and experiences from local medical device companies as well as some experts who helped explain some of the considerations and avenues for exporting health technology products overseas.
Dr Noritaka Kawashima from the Research Institute of National Rehabiliation Centre for Persons of Disabilities, Japan gave a presentation on the current projects that his team are working on.