Australian National University (ANU) has
welcomed new federal government funding for a landmark project to develop
micro-wearable technology to help drive the future of personalised medicine and
Minister the Hon Greg Hunt MP has announced the funding from the Australian Government's
Horizons program, administered by MTPConnect, which
aims to help commercialise and develop technological discoveries and stimulate
collaboration between the research, industry and technology sectors.
Microwearables i.e. simple, wearable devices, have the
opportunity to be a cornerstone of precision medicine by offering personalised
diagnostics across a range of diseases. These devices are minimally-invasive,
pain-free sensors applied to the skin to access key biomarkers and biosignals –
for both episodic and continuous monitoring. In doing so, microwearables aim to leapfrog traditional
diagnostics that are based on lab-based assays of blood samples and
histopathology with the costs, risks and time-delays.
WearOptimo will be developed as a fit-for-purpose enterprise
to rapidly compete at scale – meeting the unique opportunity at the nexus of
three growing markets: IoT for medicine; personalised medicine; and wearable
devices for healthcare.
Led by Professor Mark Kendall and in partnership with the
Australian National University (ANU), this project will take the next critical
step in working to advance microwearables into an enterprise that is
commercial, with technical proof-of-concept, and is investor-ready.
WearOptimo project, led by ANU Entrepreneurial Fellow Professor Mark Kendall,
will receive A$890,000 from the BioMedTech Horizons Project to further develop
the technology for simple, wearable devices which can help monitor and manage a
range of diseases. ANU will match the funding to help develop the WearOptimo
Vice-Chancellor Professor Brian Schmidt, inequality in healthcare is one of the
major challenges of our time and personalised medical technologies can help
ensure that healthcare can be provided equitably and universally
Kendall is one of the world's leading medical-technology innovators, and his
work is at the centre of finding new ways to use technology to help address
some of the major healthcare challenges facing the world," Professor
welcome the government support for the WearOptimo project, and look forward to
the project's ongoing success."
The BioMedTech Horizons program is being
delivered as a part of the Australian Government's A$20 billion Medical
Research Future Fund, which aims to transform health and medical research to
improve lives, build the economy and contribute to health system sustainability
through targeted strategic investment.