MedTech Bites February 2019 – edited by Jeanette Donnelly
Welcome back to MedTech Bites in 2019. This is probably the right time to give our readers heads up on our yearly calendar.
The 2019 NZ Healthtech Week will be on 1- 5 July https://healthtechweek.nz/ in Auckland. This is a week where the medtech community comes together for a series of events. A highlight of Healthtech Week is the Innovation & Investment Showcase, a platform for early-stage companies to practice their pitch in front of investors and medtech stakeholders. They also compete for the 2019 Healthtech Award for Best Start Up. We have had an awesome lineup of winners since this was initiated – Melon Health (2015), Veriphi (2016), Objective Acuity (2017) and Spot Check (2018). Companies need to be “NZ born” and must be looking at capital raising in the short term but with little exposure to NZ investors in the last 12-18 months to qualify for the showcase. Please contact us if there is a company out there interested in being part of this year’s event.
In my recent conversations with seasoned and new CEOs of medtech companies and investment specialists, there is acknowledgement that it is tough growing start-ups. MedTech companies have extra challenges with clinical trials and regulatory requirements. There are also other hurdles to consider. Here are some items from my discussions that I would recommend including in a “company growing toolkit” – a good robust business case and capital raising plan right from the beginning; prioritise time, effort and money so capability and resources are not over overstretched; seize opportunities and close them; and consider all possible sources of funding. Sprinkle on top of this the tenacity to weather storms and be careful with expenditure.
I have also noted that early stage companies find it hard to connect to the expertise and networks to help their ventures. The MedTech CoRE hosts MedTech Conversations, an informal lunch hour with entrepreneurs, clinicians, company CEOs, and medtech and business experts to help networking and upskilling of the community. This is on every third Thursday of the month at the Auckland Bioengineering Institute. Arrangements are in place this year to telecast this into Victoria University and the University of Canterbury. We start the 2019 MedTech Conversations with perspectives from medtech investor, Cure Kids Ventures on 21 March.
Despite challenges, NZ medtech continues to grow. The 2018 events timeline of the sector below captures some of the major events in the industry and the research field. What is good to see are NZ innovations getting implemented locally, ensuring that New Zealanders also get the benefit of these new technologies.
Finally, aside from MedTech Bites, here are some good papers that I picked up recently which I thought would be good to share. Also, note that the Ministry of Health is now seeking feedback on the draft Therapeutic Products Bill which will replace the Medicines Act 1981. It will also establish a new regulatory scheme for therapeutic products i.e. medicines (including cell and tissue products) and medical devices. Consultation ends 18 April 2019 for those wanting to provide a submission.
How to design home healthcare devices that people will use, Nancy Crotti, Medical Design and Outsourcing, 21 Feb 2019 https://www.medicaldesignandoutsourcing.com/how-to-design-home-healthcare-devices-that-people-will-use/?spMailingID=1440&puid=212349
AAAS: Machine learning ‘causing science crisis’, Pallab Ghosh, BBC News, 16 Feb 2019 https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-47267081
NZ Therapeutic Products Bill draft https://www.health.govt.nz/publication/therapeutic-products-regulatory-scheme-consultation
Dr Diana Siew
CMDT Co-Chair &
Associate Director MedTech CoRE