Other tech

There’s a big focus on helping kids in the five medtech startups backed by ANDHealth’s new commercialisation program

- December 20, 2021 2 MIN READ
Bronwyn Le Grice
ANDHealth CEO Bronwyn Le Grice
ANDHealth has revealed the five startups chosen to be a part in its Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) funded ANDHealth+ program.

Australia’s only not-for-profit digital health commercialisation organisation is sharing a pool of $3.75 million in funding between the five ventures via the ANDHealth Digital Health Accelerator Fund. The five-month program also includes more than $500,000 worth of expert professional services for the five companies involved.

The inaugural cohort announcement follows ANDHealth+ receiving $19.75 million from the Australian Government’s MRFF Early-Stage Translation and Commercialisation Initiative in August.

The funding will be used to run four cohorts of ANDHealth+ over four years.

ANDHealth CEO Bronwyn Le Grice said that based on the performance of companies in smaller ANDHealth+ Pilot Program, the startups involved over the next four years could create 1000 jobs, help more than over 500,000 patients, raise over $130 million and generate $80 million in new revenues over the next eight years.

“ANDHealth+ is the only digital health commercialisation acceleration program in Australia with proven impact and outcomes,” she said.

“These five companies have successfully navigated an exhaustive process designed to identify the teams and technology with the greatest chance of commercial growth and positive impact for patients in Australia and around the world.”

The program cohort is:

  • Cardihab – Digital Cardiac Rehabilitation providing care to patients at a time and place that works for them.
  • Gheorg – The friendly robot helping children with anxiety; an AI enhanced first responder for children with mental health issues and expert guide for parents.
  • Perx Health – A motivation and engagement platform changing the way people and companies create habits for managing medical conditions.
  • Sound Scouts – Free online hearing test app for kids. Fun, clinically proven technology enabling hearing to be checked efficiently and reliably.
  • VaxApp – An immunisation management platform that enables healthcare providers to deliver and monitor vaccination and rapid antigen testing programs.

Over 120 companies expressed interest in the program, with 58 completing the comprehensive application process.

Gheorg is the little virtual robot helping children aged 7-12 years to manage anxiety and build resilience. It’s an AI-enhanced first responder for children with mental health issues and expert guide for parents. Around 1 million Australian children have diagnosable anxiety.

Founder and CEO Louise Metcalf said applying for the program helped them helped clarify where they were at and their needs as a science-based organisation.

“ANDHealth is an incredible ace for us, it gives us a way to fulfil our mission to build the kind of mental health tech that health professionals will feel comfortable referring to, and that will be a world first,” she said.

“The whole process so far has been incredibly beneficial for us.”

The other children-focused venture is Sound Scouts, an online hearing screening service designed to make hearing checks readily available for children and families. The app incorporates the science of a hearing test in a mobile game and works to detect hearing issues that can impact a child’s ability to learn and socialise.  Sound Scouts is expanding its offering to include a clinical diagnostic tool for Auditory Processing Disorder.