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Health tech that will transform NZ’s healthcare

New Zealand’s 2019 HealthTech Week was a celebration of how technology has, and will, continue to transform the healthcare.

In New Zealand, high-value research is not only produced from the Universities, but also from genius ideas of everyday people, developing to address global health problems.

This Kiwi innovation is providing New Zealanders with first access to ground-breaking medical technology, while creating high-value local jobs.

As reported, six emerging health tech start-ups showcased their innovations as part of the Callaghan Innovation HealthTech Week activities.

The common aim for all of these technologies is to help medical professionals do their jobs better, reducing bottle necks so that they can spend more one-on-one time with patients.

The six emerging health tech start-ups

  1. The first innovation is about reducing female incontinence.

One in three women suffers from stress urinary incontinence. The innovation aims to help more women overcome this by improving the effectiveness of pelvic floor exercises.

The pelvic floor muscle exercises resolve 80% of issues for SUI sufferers. With the FemFit smart sensor device the benefits of these exercises can be extended to 94% of sufferers.

The device uses a patented configuration of sensors to measure profiles along the vagina, where users get real-time visual feedback on their smart device about their pelvic floor contractions.

  1. The second innovation is about life-saving real-time data analysis.

The innovation brings together the wealth of data created each second by what can be up to 8 different monitoring devices in ICU, for instance, to help clinicians make better and quicker decisions.

It can alert staff to issues that are happening to patient earlier, before typical visible signs.

  1. The third innovation is about digitally connecting elderly to loved ones as well as healthcare.

The innovation is a field-tested device that helps connect the elderly to people in the outside world in the simplest way possible, which is by using the TV and remote that they already use every day.

It is also a platform for delivering a wide range services targeted at this demographic, such as medication management, shopping or ride services straight into their homes.

At the core of the platform is the desire to improve meaningful connections for the elderly, reducing the growing digital divide.

  1. The fourth innovation is an AI-driven app for mental health.

Described as a ‘therapist in your pocket’, the innovation has made cognitive behavioural therapy digital to make it accessible to more people who need it.

Using clinically proven methods and powered by artificial intelligence, it identifies subconscious beliefs that are the roots of stress, anxiety and depression.

It will then suggest actions each day to manage these beliefs.

  1. The fifth innovation is about autonomously diagnosing cardiology issues.

The innovation uses artificial intelligence to autonomously analyse echocardiogram images, alongside the cardiologist, to improve the diagnosis.

This addresses the challenge that south Auckland patients experienced wherein they were waiting for up to 11 months for a potentially life-saving scan.

  1. The sixth innovation is the wearable muscle rehabilitation.

It is a new rehabilitation tool born out of research with elite sportspeople. It delivers Localized Vibration Therapy to muscles, ligaments and joints in a practical, wearable form.

It is the result of many years of R&D by wearable technology experts on performance enhancement in sports.

The vibrations are at specific pulse rates to increase circulation, boost muscle power, relax muscles or ligaments, and reduce pain.

The Agency

Callaghan Innovation is New Zealand’s Innovation Agency. It offers innovation, R&D and commercialisation support, connections and co-funding for ambitious New Zealand innovators.


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