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Digital & Innovation

AstraZeneca partners to recognise digital health startups

Health Industry Hub | November 15, 2021 |
[Total: 1    Average: 5/5]

Digital & Innovation: In line with the organisation’s strategic priorities for partnering with Australian startups to foster innovation, AstraZeneca’s A.Catalyst Network ANZ sponsored the Innovate Health’s 2021 PichFest.

This is a dedicated opportunity for innovators to give a 5 minute pitch to a multidisciplinary judging panel of clinicians, investors, business leaders and mentors before taking questions from the panel and audience. For startups this is a unique opportunity to pitch to a potential first customer, investor, clinician/frontline provider, and future commercialisation partner.

Liz Chatwin, Country President of AstraZeneca ANZ opened the PitchFest. The interdisciplinary panel of judges included Bronwyn Le Grice, Founder & CEO, AND Health, Dr Stefan Harrer, Chief Innovation Officer, Digital Health CRC, Kumaran Mani, Business Development, Digital Health and Healthcare Innovation Hub Lead at AstraZeneca, Kyall Walker, Head of Venturing, Bupa and Rachel Yang, Investment Manager, Giant Leap Fund.

VaxApp, an immunisation management platform that enables providers to vaccinate more people in less time, was awarded first place at the PitchFest followed by Consultmed, an integrated and secure patient referral platform connecting GPs to specialists, as the runner up.

Luke Renehan, Founder and CEO, VaxApp told Health Industry Hub “Delivering routine healthcare services alongside the pandemic response has been a huge challenge for the health system. It has created a clear need for clinicians to leverage technology to deliver more health services, in less time, with less cost. Technology that improves patient outcomes, accessibility and service experience is key to improving health services.”

Dr Vikram Palit, a paediatrician and Founder of Consultmed commented “The key trends in digital healthcare in Australia are the use of mobile health apps and wearables, virtual health (e.g. on demand services, telehealth) and healthcare organisations using data to better to inform decision making and improve services.”

When asked, in a bottlenecked and crowded marketplace how do innovators ensure that their offering makes its way into clinical practice, Renehan said “Niche. Go deep on solving real problems for clinicians and improving their workflow. Do not try to be everything to everyone. It gives you a clear target market to commercialise your innovation, solve their actual problems (not just perceived problems) and you will stand out from the crowd.”

Dr Palit added “Clinician and user engagement is key. Co-designing with the users from the start (clinicians, patients) so they can champion the product for you once it is complete is really helpful. Engaging stakeholders early, including potential users and/or senior decision-makers will make the process of entering clinical practice much easier.”

In accepting the award, Renehan told Health Industry Hub “It was incredible to be on stage alongside some world class Australian Digital Health start ups. Australia has a bright future ahead in digital health. Thank you to Informa and AstraZeneca for making the event possible. It is such an incredible opportunity for all of the digital health start-ups to be a part of. The exposure has opened a lot of doors for VaxApp already.”

Dr Palit commented “We are really excited to be recognised at the Pitchfest competition and to receive such positive feedback from senior healthcare leaders in Australia about our product and team. From the start, our mission has been to improve healthcare service delivery in Australia by improving efficiency in the public hospital system, removing paper-based processes and delivering better outcomes for patients. Consultmed is here to finally, #axethefax.”

Health Industry Hub is a proud supporter of the Innovate Health conference.


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