NSW opens grants round for innovative medical technologies

The NSW government has opened stage two of its grants program for new medical technologies under its NSW Medical Devices Fund.

The first stage of the fund last year saw $10.3 million awarded to five medical device technologies, with a further $7.7 million available for round two.

NSW Health Minister Jillian Skinner said the second round could help support individuals, public and private hospitals, medical research institutes, universities, other public sector research organisations or the medical devices industry.

Last year's beneficiaries including HEARworks, the commercial arm of the The HEARing CRC, which has worked with the National Acoustics Laboratories to develop HEARLab, a portable, multifunctional instrument to conduct electrophysiology for the assessment of hearing.

The device is driven by software modules running on a standard laptop computer, and at present has two modules: one for aided cortical assessment and one for auditory brainstem response testing.

It is now developing a third HEARLab module, the automated cortical assessment test. This promises to be the world’s first fully automated and totally objective test of hearing thresholds, and will be used to test the hearing of babies and older children with multiple disabilities as well as the testing of elderly people who cannot respond behaviourally, typically because of stroke or dementia.

MobiLIFE, a joint venture between medical device executives and the University of Newcastle (UoN), is nearing the commercialisation stage of its first project, which is aimed at significantly improving the choice and quality of treatment options available for home care.

The mobiLIFE home care project is based on the mobiDRIP, a portable IV pump developed by researchers at UoN that has the accuracy of an electronic pump but the low cost of a disposable pump.

It has been ergonomically optimised and can be worn discreetly by a mobile patient while aiding recovery by intravenously delivering continual dosages of antibiotics, pain relief, chemotherapy or nutrition. It is aimed at allow patients to be discharged from hospital more quickly.

Saluda Medical is a Sydney-based start-up company developing an implantable device for the treatment of chronic neuropathic pain. The company was spun out of National ICT Australia (NICTA) in 2013 to commercialise a range of neurostimulation technology developed there over four years.

Using neural recording technology, the company is focusing on developing a closed-loop feedback spinal cord stimulation device.

Saluda Medical is building an implantable device and conducting clinical trials with a view to commencing sales in 2016.

Elastagen is developing an “elastatherapy” technology using the elastin protein to naturally repair the skin. It has been developed over 20 years by Anthony Weiss and his Elastin Laboratory at the University of Sydney.

Endoluminal Sciences is developing a novel sealant-based medical device that uses a combination of mechanical engineering and polymer science to seal leakages from minimally invasive heart valve implants.

Applicants for the second round of grants are encouraged to complete an online self-assessment prior to submitting a preliminary application.

Applications close on March 4. An application kit and guidelines are available from NSW Health.

Posted in Australian eHealth

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