MedTech iQ launch signals perfect conditions to translate research and scale sector
6 March 2023
Auckland Bioengineering Institute start-ups spun out from the University of Auckland gathered last month to demonstrate a coming of age for New Zealand’s growing medtech industry.
The Auckland Bioengineering Institute (ABI) spinouts - Alimetry, JUNOFEM, Kitea Health, and The Insides Company, and OPUM Technologies from the Faculty of Engineering - were among the young New Zealand-made companies on show at the MedTech-iQ Aotearoa’s unveiling in Wellington. MedTech-iQ Aotearoa is the latest evolutionary step of the Te Tītoki Mataora initiative, the MedTech Research Translator programme co-led by Auckland Bioengineering Institute (ABI) to develop new technologies that could transform healthcare.
MedTech-iQ Aotearoa’s three key goals include putting New Zealand on the international map for medical device and digital health innovation, fostering start-ups with business models based on high tech innovation in engineering or major scientific advances, and creating an accessible and patient-centric medtech ecosystem.
Planned virtual hubs and physical medtech precincts in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, and Dunedin will bring deep tech medical device and digital health research, clinical practice, and business into closer proximity with each other. The greater concentration of activity in this area will increase flow and interaction among medtech researchers, startups, hospital-based clinicians and business to accelerate and scale the next generation of digital health and device developments.
Translation of research to medical devices can....increase exports, help develop an equitable healthcare system and help grow a new and diverse workforce
ABI’s Distinguished Professor Peter Hunter and Dr Diana Siew are co-chairs of the Consortium for Medical Devices and Technology partnership (CMDT), the driving force behind the MedTech-iQ Aotearoa enterprise.
Peter Hunter says Medtech-iQ Aotearoa draws together partnerships, capabilities, and infrastructure across the four centres into one prominent platform to showcase the entire sector to the world. It is a move that he believes will 'up our game' in translating research from universities to clinics, to hospital bedsides and homes.
“The New Zealand medtech sector has more than doubled in size in ten years. The goal of our spinout companies is to access the US$815billion global MedTech market. The Insides Company, Alimetry and JunoFem are demonstrating what can be achieved – and quickly.
“Translation of research to medical devices can have a three-fold benefit for New Zealand. It can increase New Zealand’s exports, help develop an equitable healthcare system and help grow a new and diverse workforce,” he says.
“For New Zealand, this means new prospects in education, research, healthcare, business, investment, and international partnerships.”
Diana Siew, Strategic Relationships Manager at ABI says New Zealand’s medtech ecosystem is connected, collaborative and focussed and has the right conditions for specialised activities such as first-in-human clinical trials.
“We need to bring all of that together, to focus effort, remove duplication, and deliver better health outcomes.”
Media Adviser, ABI