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MedTech’s Got Talent finalists progress to next stage of program

Monday, 9 December 2013 | By Gavin Lower

A robotic arm for people in wheelchairs, a secondary dressing to keep bandages dry and a new design for an auto-injector to save lives were among the winners of the recent Medtech’s Got Talent pitching competition.


Each of the five category winners won a $20,000 voucher to help them as they progress to the next stage of the program which will see them pitch to investors.


“The ambition, dedication and professionalism demonstrated by all semi-finalists was inspiring to see,” Laura Faulconer, chief operating officer of the Small Technologies Cluster, which organised the program, said in a statement.


Danielle Bartolini won the most commercialisable category for a spray-on polymer called En-light that can be applied over bandages to make them waterproof.


She told StartupSmart the idea for the product came from seeing her grandmother have trouble keeping bandages over an ulcer on her lower leg clean and dry.


“It was very difficult to manage a good level of personal hygiene,” she says.


Bartolini, who has completed an honours degree in physiology, says the win means she and her engineer father Frank, can work on developing a prototype and testing the product.


Marita Cheng, of 2Mar Robotics, won the greatest opportunity for global impact category for a robotic arm that helps people in wheelchairs.


Cheng, who was last year’s Young Australian of the Year, was also included in StartupSmart’s 2013 list of entrepreneurs aged 25 and under to watch.


Alen Keirnan won the most effective communication category for his team’s new design for an auto-injector to treat anaphylaxis – a life threatening allergic reaction – that prevents accidental injections.


The most innovative technology category went to Thomas Oxley and his team for their minimally invasive brain machine interface for bionic limbs. Oxley said in his pitch that “by extracting signal from the area of brain that controls limb movement, the device will enable quadriplegic people to control a computer cursor, walk with an exoskeleton, or control a robotic limb”.


The most creative business model award went to Paul Savage and his plan for minimally invasive cardiovascular procedures without using x-rays. His business model involved complementing major companies’ products “to make it as easy for them as possible to accept our technology”, he says.


The category winners can use their $20,000 to support areas such as prototype development and consultants while being mentored to become ready for seed investment, create a viable business case and receive clinical insights.