Call for Industry Sponsors to Apply for REDI Fellowship Funding

The REDI program is providing grants of up to $250,000 to industry to secure one of up to 40 industry Fellowships in the medical technology, biotechnology and pharmaceutical (MTP) sector.

This unique workforce initiative is giving industry the opportunity to select a researcher, academic, clinician or technology transfer professional to collaborate on distinct projects involving discovery, translation and commercialisation.

REDI is calling for Australian industry organisations, including multinationals and ASX-listed companies, to apply for a Fellowship, with funding available for up to 40 places.

“Creating links between industry and research is critical for the growth and success of the MTP sector. Our new REDI Fellowships program provides companies with the financial support to bring academics and clinicians in-house for up to twelve months to work on priority medical research projects,” said MTPConnect Managing Director and CEO Dr Dan Grant.

“Our Fellowship program will require that the researcher or clinician return to their home institution for a period at least equal to the term of the fellowship.

“This will help address the issue of ‘brain drain’ of researcher talent into companies and ensure we embed high-level commercial experience in the research sector,” Dr Grant said.

The Fellowship application process is industry-led, so an eligible industry sponsor (company/organisation) needs to submit an application which identifies a Fellow and matches it with a specific research and development project.

Eligible Fellows are medical technology, biotechnology and pharmaceutical sector researchers, academics, clinicians and professionals (technology transfer organisation professionals, entrepreneurs, business development/commercialisation staff, administrators and executives) from academic/public research organisations/hospitals/technology transfer organisations.

Eligible Sponsors are industry organisations defined as a research-intensive organisation such as biotechnology, pharmaceutical, medical device and digital health companies, specialised best practice organisations such as a Venture Capital (VC) firm, regulatory affairs consultancy, medical affairs consultancy, etc. For clarity, universities, medical research institutes and hospitals are not eligible Sponsors for this program.

Sponsors can select three types of Fellowships to apply for:

  • One-year full time
  • 6 – 12 months full time
  • 6 – 12 months where the fellow spends 50% of time working with the sponsor.

Subject to COVID-19 restrictions, domestic and international Fellowships will be considered.

Applications open on 15 December 2020 and will remain open until either the funds are fully committed or until October 2022, whichever is first.

To find out more, MTPConnect is holding an Information Session on 17 December 2020 from 11am-12pm AEDT – register now and check our website for further information to have your questions ready.

TTRA for Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease Announces Research Plans and Partners

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]The $47 million TTRA initiative, supported by the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF), is providing a new integrated research program to improve the prevention, management and treatment of diabetes and cardiovascular disease (D&CVD) in Australia. Research efforts will focus on the most pressing areas of unmet clinical and research needs in D&CVD, which are leading causes of death and disability in Australia.

The TTRA program is designed to support and incentivise translation as a natural course of activity for those applying and receiving funding.

MTPConnect is pleased to announce partnerships with ANDHealth, Medical Device Partnering Program (MDPP) and UniQuest to provide advice and mentoring for funding recipients.

MTPConnect Managing Director & CEO, Dr Dan Grant, has welcomed the TTRA partners, citing their credentials as preeminent organisations specialising in translation and commercialisation of digital health, medical technology, medical devices, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals.

“We are delighted to announce our partnerships with ANDHealth, MDPP and UniQuest for the TTRA as we embark on a mission to improve the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and management of diabetes and cardiovascular disease in Australia,” Dr Grant said.

“Our experience leading a number of Medical Research Future Fund programs has proven the value of building in a component for guidance and support for research applicants,” he said.

UniQuest is Australia’s leading technology transfer company, whose innovation portfolio includes Australia’s first blockbuster vaccine Gardasil®. UniQuest’s Executive Director of Commercialisation, Dr Mark Ashton says bringing commercialisation experience to early stage research will transform ideas to impact.

”We are looking forward to drawing on the industry expertise of our team at the Queensland Emory Drug Discovery Initiative (QEDDI) and our 35 years’ experience in commercialisation to support applicants in the translation of their research, with the view to improving the outlook for patients with diabetes and cardiovascular disease around the world,” Dr Ashton said.

MDPP Executive Director, Professor Karen Reynolds leads the ideas incubator to support the development of novel medical devices and assistive technologies.

“MDPP is honoured to once again partner with MTPConnect and support the development of novel preventive, diagnostic and therapeutic approaches and products to improve outcomes for diabetes and cardiovascular disease. With the rapid changes within the community, health and business environments, the TTRA will provide a strategic and coordinated effort to translate cutting-edge research to knowledge for two disease states that affect millions of Australians each year,” Professor Karen Reynolds said.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]


The annual conference brings together industry leaders, innovators, academics, policy-makers, researchers and clinicians to share their insights, experiences and achievements in new and cutting-edge MedTech that’s helping to improve the lives of everyday Australians.

This year’s conference was help virtually, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and included 17 different sessions and multiple streaming options focused on particular topics that attendees were able to choose from.

MTAA’s CEO, Ian Burgess, said that MedTech conference was continuing to lead by example during the pandemic, by showing just how the MedTech industry had adapted to the challenges posed by the virus, not just with a reformatted virtual conference, but also with a once in a 100-year industry effort, with government, to coordinate Australia’s response to the global pandemic.

“MTAA took this opportunity to transform how our conference was conducted, tailoring every session to make it easily accessible to participants, including live recording for attendees to stream back later,” Mr Burgess said.

In an address to conference-goers, Minister for Health, Greg Hunt, who opened the conference acknowledged the “profound role of the medical device and technology sector in helping Australia through COVID in a way very few other countries have been able to achieve.”

Also speaking at the conference was Minister for Industry, Science and Technology, Karen Andrews, who said “the MTAA led the effort to ensure we had the essential medical equipment to meet a worst case scenario” during the pandemic.

This year’s conference featured a whose-who of industry leaders and experts, including:

  • Dr Sarah Aitken, Vascular & Endovascular Surgeon, Concord Repatriation General Hospital and Clinical Academic, University of Sydney
  • Mr Andrew Frye, Senior Vice President & President, APAC, Baxter Healthcare, Chairman of APACMed
  • Prof. John Skerritt, Deputy Secretary, Health Products Regulation Group, Therapeutic Goods Administration

If you missed the conference, don’t worry, MTAA says on-demand streaming of sessions is available anytime, anywhere, click here.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]


Medtronic recently announced statistically significant 12-month results from a large, multi-centre randomised controlled trial (RCT) that demonstrated the importance of DTM Spinal Cord Stimulation (SCS) in providing backpain relief, compared with conventional SCS therapy, using the Medtronic Intellis platform.

At 12 months, 84% of patients with chronic back pain treated with DTM SCS reported at least 50% pain relief, compared to 51% of patients treated with conventional SCS(p=0.0005).

There was also a difference in the proportion of patients who reported profound back pain relief (>80% reduction in VAS score) favouring DTM SCS (69%) compared with conventional SCS (35.1%). The study met its primary endpoint at three months, and in pre-specified secondary analysis showed the importance of DTM SCS compared to conventional SCS and has sustained these results at 12 months.

Pain relief was measured by the Visual Analog Scale (VAS), a widely used and accepted measure for pain intensity that records patient-reported pain levels on a scale of 0-10. Fifty-percent pain relief, as measured by VAS, is a recognised industry standard to define therapy success. The majority of DTMS SCS patients in the study exceeded the threshold, with seven out of ten experiencing profound back pain relief at 12 months.

Patients treated with DTM SCS also reported an average VAS score reduction of 75% in back pain, compared with 50% treated with conventional SCS. Average VAS scores for patients treated with DTM SCS at 12 months were 1.74 for back pain and 1.45 for leg pain.1 The term remitter has previously been used to classify patients with a pain score of 2.5 or less. 1 As a group, patients in the DTM SCS group clearly fell below this level with a mean VAS score of 1.74 for back pain and 1.4 for leg pain.

Richard Sullivan at Precision Brain, Spine and Pain and the Director at Large for the International Neuromodulation Society was among the first Australian physicians to gain experience with this programming paradigm.

“The 12 month data from Medtronic’s DTM SCS study puts this therapy ahead of other treatments in managing post-surgery back pain,” said Dr Richard Sullivan. “As such spinal cord stimulation should now become the standard therapy in this condition once spinal stability is confirmed. My personal experience in using DTM SCS therapy for patients in this situation is consistent with these outstanding study results.”

“DTM SCS is based on a novel understanding of how neurons and glial cells contribute to chronic pain,” said Charlie Covert, vice president and general manager of the Pain Therapies business, part of the Restorative Therapies Group at Medtronic. “The 12 month data reported demonstrate the value of Medtronic’s continued focus on pursuing science-based approaches to improving human health and underscore our ability to integrate existing technologies with novel therapies like DTM SCS to improve the outcomes of people suffering from chronic pain.”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Nominations Open for 2020 Kerrin Rennie Award

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]MTAA and the #MedTech community would like to recognise that technology at the upcoming Australian MedTech Industry Awards.

If you know of an innovative product launched in Australia within the last two years used in the diagnosis, prevention, treatment or management of disease and disability, we encourage you to nominate that technology for the 2020 Kerrie Rennie Award.

Other award categories are available on the MTAA website.[/vc_column_text][vc_zigzag][vc_btn title=”SUBMIT NOMINATION” color=”turquoise” align=”center” link=”|||”][/vc_column][/vc_row]


Importantly, conclusions from the study data enabled the development of the PRODIGY Risk Score, an easy-to-use risk prediction tool to identify patients at high risk of respiratory depression who would benefit from continuous monitoring with capnography and pulse oximetry.

The study, which analyzed 1,335 patients across 16 sites in the United States, Europe and Asia, found that respiratory depression, as defined by changes in pulse oximetry and capnography monitoring parameters, occurred in 46% of medical and surgical patients evaluated who were receiving IV opioids for pain. This incidence rate is significantly higher than previously reported in clinical literature.1 The complete study results are published online in Anesthesia and Analgesia1, the official journal of the International Anesthesia Research Society (IARS).

“PRODIGY data confirms that respiratory depression in patients receiving parenteral opioids occur frequently and are potentially unknown to hospital healthcare providers,” said Ashish K. Khanna, M.D., primary study investigator and an associate professor of Anesthesiology, section head for Research and intensivist at the Wake Forest School of Medicine. “Together with risk assessment using the PRODIGY Risk Score, the use of capnography and oximetry for continuous monitoring of patients identified as high risk for respiratory depression may increase safety when parenteral opioid analgesia cannot be avoided.”

Currently, there are no universally accepted guidelines to direct effective and safe assessment and monitoring practices for patients receiving in-hospital opioid analgesia. In addition to providing insight into the rate of respiratory depression, a key objective of PRODIGY was to develop and validate an accurate and easy-to-use risk assessment scoring tool. The PRODIGY Risk Score uses risk factors including: age > 60 years, male gender, opioid naïvety, sleep disorders and chronic heart disease for respiratory depression events risk prediction.

“The PRODIGY Risk Score has acceptable accuracy for risk stratification using several robust methods of internal validation, addressing significant gaps in preventing this common and potentially deadly condition,” said Frank Chan, vice president and general manager of the Patient Monitoring business, which is part of the Minimally Invasive Therapies Group at Medtronic. “Patients with respiratory depression were more likely to experience an adverse event that prolonged hospitalization and more likely to require rescue action, including rapid response team activation.”

The PRODIGY study is the largest known study using continuous capnography and pulse oximetry data on surgical and medical patients collected by Medtronic Microstream and

Nellcor monitoring technology. The study design used an innovative mechanism of data collection whereby bedside providers were blinded to continuous monitoring systems and all alarms were also silenced. All patients experiencing respiratory depression were reviewed and confirmed by an independent clinical event committee of physicians with expertise in perioperative respiratory medicine.


About Respiratory Compromise

Respiratory compromise is a potentially life-threatening, progressive condition negatively impacting a person’s ability to breathe adequately to maintain oxygenation and carbon dioxide removal. Patients with respiratory depression may experience shallow, slow or no breathing after opioid administration which undetected can lead to cardiopulmonary arrest and death.3 This condition is rapidly becoming the third-most costly hospital inpatient expense in the U.S., and dramatically increases the likelihood of adverse patient outcomes and cost of patient care.4 Not only is respiratory compromise common and dangerous, it has been very difficult to predict.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]


[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]From this week, three new measures will be introduced to help all states and territories learn from what has occurred in Victoria and new information from around the world.

Firstly, a new partnership has been established between the Infection Control Expert Group (ICEG) and the National COVID-19 Evidence Taskforce led by the Living Guidelines Consortium.

With so much evidence emerging so quickly, this partnership will bring together Australia’s leading infection control practitioners, many of whom are frontline clinicians, with other senior healthcare workers, to review the latest evidence on infection prevention and control during COVID-19.

The partnership will contribute to national infection control guidance by providing consensus guidelines on specific infection control issues that have emerged during COVID-19.

Secondly, the AHPPC has endorsed an expansion of national surveillance of healthcare worker infection to ensure we have a better understanding of COVID-19 among healthcare workers at the state and territory level.

This will provide more information on the type of healthcare workers who are becoming infected and enable state and territory governments to target their investigations and interventions based on national-level data.

Thirdly, the Australian Government has funded a new network of epidemiologists – or “disease detectives”. These ‘COVID-NET’ epidemiologists will be available on request by state and territory public health units to assist investigating healthcare worker outbreaks. They will also gather and analyse data on healthcare worker infection at a national level.

The Government says it is committed to assisting the states and territories to understand where workplace controls designed to protect healthcare workers have can further strengthened. It is important healthcare facilities to continue to review their controls and strengthen these to ensure workers are better protected.

The Australian Government is continuing to support hospitals in their efforts to protect their workers from COVID-19. This includes the provision of vital personal protective equipment, drawn from the National Medical Stockpile.

Since March, over 73 million masks have been dispatched from the National Medical Stockpile to support healthcare workers, aged care workers, States and Territories and to support the disability sector.

Australia’s healthcare workers are doing an outstanding job of bravely caring for the health and wellbeing of Australians who have either contracted – or are suspected to have contracted – COVID-19.

They are at the frontline of our fight against COVID-19 and deserve the greatest possible protection from contracting the virus themselves.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]


[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Setup by the MTAA, the Australian MedTech Industry Awards are the industry’s premier awards event, recognising outstanding individuals and organisations across Australia.

For this year’s awards, MTAA said they are establishing a new award to be called the Women in MedTech Award for Emerging Women in Leadership.

MTAA has championed the push to better engage and encourage women into the medical technologies professions through the establishment of its Women in MedTech initiative.

Leading the debate and promoting the benefits of more women in the workplace MTAA and its members companies continue its proactive support of gender diversity, investing in women in MedTech to unlock their full potential.

The award categories are:


The Kerrin Rennie Award for Excellence in Medical Technology – Improving Quality of Life was established to recognise and profile the innovative and extraordinary contribution of medical technology to improving health outcomes of Australian patients.

The Award was inaugurated in 2007 and is endowed by the Rennie family in memory of Kerrin, a long serving and highly respected member of the Australian medical technology community.


This award recognises an individual who has contributed in an exceptional way to the medical technology industry in Australia. This may be evidenced through their contribution to industry development, improvement in patient outcomes or excellence in leadership or innovation.


MTAA introduced the Women in MedTech Awards in 2017. The Awards are presented to both an individual and a company who have been leaders in advancing or achieving a significant result in the WiMT mission or goals within their company or the industry.


MTAA is  introducing the Women in MedTech Award for Emerging Women in Leadership this year. This Award celebrates inspiring emerging female leader in the medical technology industry. This is exclusively for MTAA members only.

Nominations close 22 October 2020, and winners announced on 17 November 2020.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_btn title=”CLICK TO NOMINATE” color=”primary” size=”lg” align=”center” link=”|||”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Aussie company accelerates global ventilator knowledge to help address global demand

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]These Jigs reduce the time it takes manufacturers to learn how to assemble, operate and maintain the ventilator specifications provided through the blueprints – an important consideration given the global ventilator demand and the complexity of the technology.

According to CEO and co-founder of JigSpace, Zac Duff: “What we saw with the public sharing of the ventilator design specifications was that for rapid ventilator manufacturing at scale, manufacturers needed a consistent 3D knowledge sharing solution. Our goal was to transfer knowledge as quickly as possible to help doctors and patients dealing with COVID-19. Since developing the technology, we have seen companies like Tesla and Mayo Clinic use our platform.”

The 3D Jigs are viewed in augmented reality via an iPhone or iPad and allow manufacturing or healthcare partners to visually guide themselves through assembling specific components or operations in-situ with their relevant factory, lab or work environments.

“We understand the urgent need, across the globe, for ventilators as a life-saving device in the management of COVID-19 patients,” said Liz Carnabuci, vice president, Medtronic Australasia. “No single company can meet the global ventilator demand alone. We are pleased to work with JigSpace to increase global ventilator manufacturing capabilities.”

About 7,000 manufacturers who downloaded Medtronic’s PB560 design plans are now using or going to use various AR training guides in Jig Workshop, with part of this success down to an easily accessible app, and not requiring additional hardware, unlike other expensive technologies. This has led to extensive usage in developing countries, as well as traditional manufacturing centres in OECD countries.

Says Mr Duff: “We are seeing a maturation of how AR technology is applied due to COVID-19. Typical knowledge transfer processes have proved to be brittle in this new environment. JigSpace represents the future of how durable manufacturers collaborate, adapt and scale up complex supply chains.”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

RACGP helping ‘missing’ CALD patients access healthcare during COVID-19 pandemic

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]It comes following GP concerns about CALD patients avoiding medical care due to fear of the COVID-19 virus, while also bearing the brunt of the pandemic, including increased mental health symptoms, isolation and loneliness.

The RACGP’s Expert Advice Matters campaign is encouraging CALD patients to keep looking after their heath during the COVID-19 pandemic and consult their GP for any health concerns.

A website for patients has been translated into the most commonly spoken languages other than English, including Arabic, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Hindi and Vietnamese. The websites include practical information for patients on how they can safely access care from a GP, including telehealth and telephone consultations featuring free interpreters. You can view the websites here:

GPs are helping to spread the message by sharing videos of themselves speaking in different languages, urging patients not to delay routine healthcare and explaining how they can safely consult with their GP. You can find the videos on YouTube here:

RACGP spokesperson Dr Lara Roeske said more needed to be done to reach CALD patients missing out on healthcare.

“Before the COVID-19 pandemic, CALD communities in Australia already faced health inequalities and barriers to accessing healthcare including language and health literacy issues.”

Evidence suggests migrants, particularly those newly arrived, use health services less. The National Health Survey found that of those arriving in Australia between 2009 and 2015, 74%had visited a GP in the last 12 months, compared to the Australian-born population total of 86 per cent.

Dr Roeske said the pandemic had magnified the problems.

“The pandemic has only made matters worse – many patients are avoiding seeing their GP because they’re afraid of the virus and don’t know about or feel comfortable using telehealth.

“With all the rapidly changing health information and changes to the way patients can access care, it’s not surprising that some don’t know how they can safely access healthcare and are putting off important appointments. We need to fix this now.

“I’m very concerned that patients delaying care could face worse problems down the track. Particularly given some CALD communities have higher rates of chronic disease and need regular routine health checks to stay well.

“This is why it’s so important that we get the message to CALD communities that you need to keep taking care of your health during the pandemic, and there are safe ways to get the expert care you need.

“We need to do better to communicate to CALD patients, and provide information that’s translated and culturally appropriate. The extension of the RACGP’s Expert Advice Matter’s campaign to CALD communities aims to do just that.

“My advice for patients is this: if you’ve delayed an appointment or have a new health concern, don’t wait any longer – your GP is here to help, book an appointment today.”

7 Tips for Safer Healthcare

  •  don’t delay healthcare, call your GP for any concerns
  • you can consult your GP on the phone or via video technology. Telehealth appointments are bulk billed for concession card holders, under 16s and vulnerable
  • if you need an interpreter, call the Australian Government’s FREE Translation and Interpreting Service (TIS) Ph 131450.
  • you can get a prescription from your GP on the phone or video and collect the medicine from a pharmacy
  • it’s safe to visit your GP in person if you need to – clinics have made changes to protect you from COVID-19 including physical distancing and regular
  • patients in Victoria must wear a face mask or covering when visiting their GP. Patients living in other areas with community transmission are also advised to wear a mask when visiting the GP
  • if you have COVID-19 symptoms (cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, runny nose, fever or chills or loss of smell or taste) get tested right away and self-isolate until you get the