We Want Your Input: MTP Workforce Skills Survey

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]“The life sciences sector in Australia is a thriving growth area and one that has made and continues to make an enormous and significant contribution to our pandemic response,” said Ian Burgess, MTAA CEO.

“It is also a sector that brings together a unique mix of skillsets. I encourage your organisation to contribute to this important survey to ensure that we can plan more effectively for the future growth of our industry,” Mr Burgess said.

We are inviting managers with hiring responsibilities or an HR professional to complete this 10-15 minute online survey by 1 July 2020. The results will help us to address any gaps and drive greater sector growth across Australia. If you are not a hiring manager or an HR professional, we ask that you please forward this invitation to eligible individuals within your organisation. Responses will remain anonymous and confidential.

We recognise that due to the COVID-19 crisis, organisations are unlikely to be operating in the usual manner at this time. So, we’re asking everyone to please answer the questions assuming ‘business as usual’ – that is, based on experiences before the COVID-19 situation may have resulted in organisational or hiring changes.

After we gather this data, our project team will release the findings later in 2020, so watch this space. You only need to complete the survey once.


We hope you can take the time to complete the survey and help to grow the MTP sector for the future.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Icon Group Partners with Varian to Advance Cancer Care in the Southern Hemisphere

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Icon Cancer Centre is part of Icon Group, Australia’s largest dedicated cancer care provider with a growing reach into Asia. Icon Group have been long-term global partners of Varian and have continued to support Varian in the evolution of radiation therapy technology.

Kenneth Tan, president, Varian Asia Pacific said: “We are proud of our long-standing strategic partnership with Icon. As consistent early adopters of technology, they are at the forefront of bringing the latest treatment options to cancer patients in the Southern Hemisphere. Radiation therapy has evolved immensely over the past decade. By harnessing the power of AI and working with partners such as Icon, we are taking another step forward in achieving our vision of living in a world without fear of cancer.”

Adaptive therapy provides the ability to personalize the patient’s treatment based on their anatomy and position at the time of treatment. The goal is to better target the tumor, reduce dose to healthy tissue, and potentially improve overall outcomes.

Prostate cancer patient, John Buchanan was the first patient in the southern hemisphere to be treated with adaptive Ethos therapy and is grateful to be able to access the latest in technology.

“The first six treatments have gone smoothly, and I haven’t experienced any side effects. From my point of view, receiving treatment that directly targets my prostate while avoiding damage to the bladder and bowel is fantastic,” said Mr Buchanan.

The streamlined workflow of Ethos therapy is enabled by its AI-driven planning and contouring capabilities. Physicians define their clinical intent from pre-defined templates and the initial treatment plan is generated based on the physician’s pre-defined clinical objectives. The treatment is adapted in response to changes in the patient’s anatomy and the tumor’s shape and position, at the time of treatment. The ability of Ethos to enable on-couch adaptive treatment puts the patient at the center of care.

Icon Radiation Oncologist, Dr Amy Teh says early results have proved positive. “Early Ethos therapy experience from Icon is showing promising results,” said Dr Teh. “In a prostate patient, where the target volume is highly dependent on bladder and rectal positioning, we have used the AI-driven online adaptive workflow on the Ethos platform to effectively and efficiently adapt to the new position of the bladder and rectum each day. This has allowed superior coverage of the true target. This technology marks another step forward in the advancement of radiation therapy – taking personalized medicine to another level – allowing us to ensure more dose to the tumor target, and less dose to surrounding healthy organs.”

Ethos therapy offers the use of multimodality images (MR, PET, CT) registered with daily iterative CBCT images at the console. By providing an up-to-date view of the patient’s anatomy in multiple imaging modality views, Ethos therapy provides clinicians the confidence to make more informed adaptive treatment decisions. The solution is built on Varian’s latest treatment delivery technology and provides fast imaging and treatment delivery without compromising quality.

Icon are members of the Varian Adaptive Intelligence Consortium contributing to the collaborative development of clinical and technical aspects of radiation, including Ethos therapy.

Icon Group CEO, Mark Middleton is proud of Icon’s longstanding relationship with Varian and how together they are revolutionising cancer care. “We have always been early adopters of Varian’s technology and share an unwavering commitment to the continual advancement of cancer care. Our early use of Ethos therapy has shown clear benefits to the patient and we look forward to continuing to develop this technology alongside Varian to keep improving outcomes for cancer patients.”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]


[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]The notus Emergency Invasive Ventilator Program is a Grey Innovation led initiative supported by the Victorian Government and Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre (AMGC). With time to market critical, and under advice from its medical advisory team, the program will utilise a certified mechanical ventilator design from a leading medical device company under licence for production in Victoria.

MTAA has been asked by the Federal Government to lead the industry effort to coordinate the supply of essential medical equipment, and as part of that, have played a leading role in bringing industry players together to ensure our healthcare system is equipped with adequate ventilators, through identifying current stock, new sources of supply, and opportunities to increase domestic manufacturing.

“We are proud of the work that the medtech industry is doing to ensure continuity and capacity in our healthcare system throughout the COVID-19 crisis and beyond,” said Ian Burgess, MTAA CEO.

Grey Innovation’s executive chairman, Jefferson Harcourt is proud the company will play a role in helping Australia fight the COVID-19 humanitarian crisis. “Victoria has the highest concentration of engineering and manufacturing companies in Australia, and as such, we are well placed to work together to do something about ensuring there isn’t a shortfall of ICU equipment here in Victoria and the rest of the country,” Jefferson said. “We thank the Australian Government along with the Victorian Government and AMGC for their support of the vision and rapid response to get the program underway and are overwhelmed by the willingness of our industry colleagues to respond in this critical hour of need.”

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews said Grey Innovation and their cohort of industry partners are stepping up to meet the challenge of this unprecedented pandemic. “This is another great example of Australian industry and the private sector working with our Government to ensure critical supply of medical equipment during the outbreak of this virus,” Minister Andrews said. “This deal demonstrates the power of bringing Aussie manufacturers and clinicians together and is also a reflection of the highly advanced manufacturing capability that exists in our country. “It also shows the incredible collaborative spirit that’s been on display as we respond to this unprecedented pandemic. Companies which are normally in competition are working together for the greater good.” Grey Innovation is grateful to its medical and clinical advisory team for their guidance. They are; Prof. Rinaldo Bellomo Professor of Intensive Care Medicine, University of Melbourne; Honorary Professor Faculty of Medicine, Monash University; Centre Integrated Critical Care, University of Melbourne, Prof. David Story Professor & Foundation Chair of Anaesthesia, University of Melbourne; Senior Clinical Anaesthetist, Austin Health and Prof. Bruce Thompson, Dean, School of Health Sciences, Swinburne University of Technology; President, Thoracic Society of Australia & New Zealand

“Ventilators are the next step from supplying oxygen via respirator to the patient who is having difficulty breathing; they are essentially life-support devices that take over the breathing for patients,” explained Professor Bruce Thompson.

“The ventilator design is lightweight and portable and has been selected for its ability to be easily transferred to us for the actual production, and its ease of use for our medical teams. Grey Innovation has done an incredible job in bringing everyone together to make it happen; government, local businesses, clinicians. it’s amazing what can be achieved in the wake of a global crisis such as this.”

Partner information will be provided once the consortium is finalised.

The Grey Innovation led notus Emergency Invasive Ventilator Program, supported by the Victorian Government and Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre will start supply of ventilators in June with 2000 to be produced by the end of July.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Private health is still not worth it for many Australians

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]As Federal and State Governments open up elective surgeries, consumer advocate CHOICE is warning Australians they may still not get value out of their private health insurance.

“For many Australians it will be a relief to have their elective surgeries back on track,” says Dean Price, Health Campaigner at CHOICE.

“But private health insurers are still set to reap huge savings from the elective surgeries still being deferred and the extras many are unable to claim. These savings shouldn’t be going to private health profits, they should be swiftly back in the pockets of Australians as we deal with the economic and social cost of COVID-19.”

CHOICE advises (depending on personal circumstances) that Australians should consider:

1)  Dropping extras cover

“This year you’ll be unable to claim for many of your extras. Consider whether you’ll get value for your extras this year,” says Price.

2)  Asking for hardship

“If COVID-19 has put you and your loved ones in financial hardship, you can ask your private health insurer to waive premiums or suspend your policy,” says Price.

3)  Dropping or downgrading your hospital cover

“You don’t need private health cover to be treated for COVID-19 and the usual benefits of private health might not even be available to you right now, so you may consider dropping it completely for more pressing financial pressures you have,” says Price.

CHOICE is calling for a review of the private health system.

“This pandemic has highlighted many of the problems and inequities in the private health insurance and hospital systems. Surgeries have been cancelled and other services limited, health funds are charging us for services we can’t use. It will be some time until our health

system is back to normal, but the health funds continue to charge many of us as if everything is normal,” says Price.

“People need premium relief. With 80% of people with private health insurance rating it as their number one cost of living concern before this global health and economic crisis, people will be again questioning the value of this product. People will continue to drop out of the health insurance market unless the government reviews the system and then takes strong action to ensure fair healthcare,” says Price.

“The problems of cost and value are not new to this pandemic, even if they are different. The Australian Government needs to commission a thorough, independent and public review of the private health insurance system,” says Price.

Australians can join the campaign for a better private health insurance and a review at: https://action.choice.com.au/page/59237/petition/1[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Ventilator Training Alliance App

The alliance is an industry-wide effort to provide healthcare professionals one central location for training across many ventilator models. You can learn more about the VTA in the press release from Medtronic and Allego, the technology platform building and hosting the app. To date Dräger, GE Healthcare, Getinge, Hamilton Medical, Nihon Kohden, and Philips have joined Medtronic to form this alliance.

With many new and unfamiliar ventilator models appearing in care settings following open sourcing and the shortage of respiratory therapists resulting in new users, quick access to information on operating the devices is a current pain point for many healthcare workers. This results in a high demand for additional training for nurses and other frontline medical professionals.

The VTA app connects respiratory therapists, nurses, and other medical professionals with ventilator training resources from alliance member companies, including instructional how-to videos, manuals, troubleshooting guides, and other ventilator-operation expertise critical to treating patients suffering from COVID-19-related respiratory distress.

The industry has come together in an unprecedented way to support frontline healthcare professionals. Download the app from the Apple App Store or Google Play store. There is no cost to use the VTA app.

Diversity and Inclusion @ Terumo Australia

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]In 2018, Terumo Australia launched a strategy on Diversity and Inclusion to ensure that everyone in the organisation recognises that all people bring different qualities, skills, knowledge, experiences, perspectives and attitudes to the workplace.

Through our proactive efforts and initiatives to promote Diversity and Inclusion throughout the business, we are now proud to have been recognised by Diversity Council Australia (DCA) for being an Inclusive Employer 2019-2020 and have been encouraged to utilise the above logo as part of our employer branding.

Our workforce was measured against the DCA – Member Leading Practice Benchmark and a National Index Benchmark (derived from a nationally representative survey of 3,000 Australian workers).

To be successful an organisation needed to exceed the National Index Benchmark on at least five out six of the following measures:

  1. Awareness;
  2. Engagement;
  3. Inclusive Organisational Climate;
  4. Inclusive Leadership;
  5. Inclusive Team; and/or
  6. Exclusion

Terumo Australia truly embodies its commitment to diversity and inclusion by welcoming a culturally diverse workforce with our associates representing over 20 ethnic backgrounds.

This enables us to expand knowledge and diversity of thought throughout the business, which in turn provides Terumo Australia with employees who bring forth new and better ways of doing this; and harness the benefits of worldly views and experiences to improve the quality of our services.

We are also proud to share that our gender balance in management roles is nearly 50:50 representation of males and females, in our workforce where 73% of associates are female!

Over the last 2 years, Terumo Australia has rolled-out a number of initiatives to blend diversity and inclusion in every day operations of our business including:

  • Linking employees’ performance and development plans with company values that support respect, integrity, responsibility, teamwork and professionalism;
  • Adhering to the Code of Conduct and policies around diversity, anti-discrimination and bullying;
  • Introducing family friendly policies, such as flexible workplace practices and childcare assistance, which assist associates with maintaining their work/life balance and responsibilities while developing or maintaining a career;
  • Ensuring fair and consistent approaches are in place around recruitment and development, including
    • using inclusive language in our position descriptions
    • training for everyone to raise awareness around unconscious biases
    • training hiring managers to be mindful of biases and discrimination during recruitment
    • ensuring any agencies, we work with are aware of our Diversity Policy, and encourage a diverse mix of candidates
    • continue to expand our reach to a wider diverse market, with a focus on opportunities for people with disabilities
  • Offering support systems and programs available through our Employee Assistance Program;
  • Providing education sessions across the business through Lunch and Learns, webinars and e-learning modules; and
  • Keeping up to date with diversity and inclusion initiatives around us through corporate memberships with external organisations such as Diversity Council Australia.

We continue to monitor our progress against the strategy set out in 2018 to ensure we maintain and deliver on our commitment to diversity and inclusion, to celebrate our differences, and to create a collaborative culture that drives innovation, customer service excellence and facilitates positive associate and customer experiences.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]


[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Introduced in 2010, the PB 560 is sold in 35 countries around the world. This ventilator’s ability to be used in a range of care settings, as well as its technology and design, make it a solid ventilation solution for manufacturers, inventors, start-ups, and academic institutions seeking to quickly ramp up ventilator design and production. PB 560 product and service manuals, design requirement documents, manufacturing documents, and schematics are now available at Medtronic.com/openventilator. The PB 560 design specifications are available today, software code and other information will follow shortly.

The PB 560 ventilator is a compact, lightweight, and portable ventilator that provides airway support for both adults and children. It can be used in clinical settings and at home and provides mobile respiratory support.

“Medtronic recognizes the acute need for ventilators as life-saving devices in the management of COVID-19 infections. We know this global crisis needs a global response. Over the past few weeks, we have ramped up production of our Puritan Bennett™ 980 ventilators. But we also know we can do more, and we are,” said Bob White, executive vice president and president of the Minimally Invasive Therapies Group at Medtronic. “By openly sharing the PB 560 design information, we hope to increase global production of ventilator solutions for the fight against COVID-19.”

Ventilators play a critical role in the management of patients with severe respiratory illness, such as COVID-19, who require assistance because they cannot breathe effectively. By placing a patient on a ventilator, the patient’s lungs are permitted to rest and recover while the ventilator performs the functions of supplying oxygen and simulating the actions of breathing. Without ventilation support, some patients with severe respiratory disease might not survive.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

3DMEDiTech available for local device, part and component collaborations

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Early reports from Europe and North America indicate that 3D Printing is uniquely capable of rapid local deployment to assist in preventing these shortages.  However, when doing so, ensuring that the highest levels of clinical, engineering, regulatory and supply certainty are met is essential.

Based in Melbourne, 3DMEDiTech (www.3dmeditech.com) operates one of the only – and certainly the largest – ISO13485 certified medical 3DPrinting manufacturing facilities in Australia.

This facility has significant manufacturing capacity in a cleanroom environment and is completely geared to produce mass personalised medical devices.

3DMediTech and its constituent businesses units (SmileStyler and Serkel) stand ready to assist medical device companies to locally manufacture the devices and components our health system may urgently require as part of the national and global response to the pandemic.

3DMEDiTech CEO, Grant Enders said, “We think these collaborations will work best where medical device companies concerned about their supply chain work with us in advance to secure a solution which ensures seamless clinical efficacy and regulatory certainty.”

3DMEDiTech’s fleet of installed 3DPrinters includes:

  • SLS (Selective Laser Sintering) equipment capable of printing medical grade plastic devices / parts.
  • State-of-the-art PolyJet 3D Printing equipment platforms capable printing models and parts in a wide range of digital material configurations.
  • High volume DLP (Moving-Light) acrylic photopolymer 3D Printing capacity which can be applied to many applications, like critical spare parts.

3DMediTech operates with a medical device-grade controlled cleanroom manufacturing facility.  Their team of engineers are 3D Printing design and manufacturing veterans, and also have significant experience with Metal 3D Printing of medical devices.

The company’s clinical and research partners include Melbourne University and St Vincent’s Health Australia.  they are foundation industry partners of the Australian Research Council Training Centre for Medical Implant Technologies “CMIT.”

3dMEDiTech co-founder Paul Docherty said, “3DMEDiTech’s core business is manufacturing Personalised Medical Devices where we have developed and own the IP and are the device sponsor.  We do not normally seek contract manufacture of medical devices.  This offer of collaboration is very much about our shareholders, board, management and employees wanting to actively contribute to the Australian MedTech sector’s ability to save lives during this crisis.”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

MedTech Industry Reels from Covid-19

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]The greatest impact comes through the cancellation of non-urgent elective surgery from 26 March. Companies were already reporting cancellation of elective surgery during March with specialist colleges such as the Australian Orthopaedic Association notifying that surgery would need to be scaled back.

However, the Prime Minister’s announcement that non-urgent elective surgeries would be cancelled from 26 March, with exemptions later provided until 1 April, means a dramatic overnight loss of revenue for many companies whose revenue is generated from the devices used in this type of surgery.

Category 3 surgeries include the following procedures in which prostheses and devices are heavily used:

  • Total hip replacement
  • Total knee replacement
  • Shoulder reconstruction
  • Cataract extraction (+/- intra-ocular lens insertion)
  • Breast reconstruction (for reasons other than cosmetic)

While some more urgent Category 2 surgeries will be allowed, many prostheses or devices will be in the large majority that are now on hold.

Supply and freight costs have increased across the board, in some cases as much as 500%, as companies work to bring crucial medical supplies into Australia, with these impacts further exacerbated by the drop in the Australian dollar.

MTAA and its members are committed to the war effort, however, our industry is facing unprecedented challenges, both economically and in meeting the needs of the local supply chain.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]