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Meet the four start-ups solving some of the biggest challenges facing our health system

This week teams from Perth Biodesign’s latest cohort presented their solutions looking to transform care for patients across endometriosis, adolescent mental health, surgery waitlists, and suicide prevention.

At Perth Council House, the latest crop of 17 innovators, hailing from clinical, technology, and business backgrounds, presented to a full house of leaders, entrepreneurs, and investors, from across the health and technology ecosystem.

They’ve just emerged from the 4-month Digital Health program – one of several Perth Biodesign programs aimed at building the next generation of healthcare innovators in WA. Since its inception, alumni of the program have raised over $15m across 26 new medical technologies.

Biodesign Australia Chair, Kevin Pfleger, says the programs are critical in driving biomedical and health innovation in the State.

“WA’s life sciences ecosystem continues to go from strength to strength, and Perth Biodesign provides pathways for local innovators to make impact, globally”.

The difficult task of judging last night was undertaken by Professor Fiona Wood, known for her creation of Spray on Skin for burns victims; Dr Marcus Tan, co-founder and CEO of Perth scale-up HealthEngine; Intan Oldakowska, Director of Perth Biodesign and MedTech entrepreneur; and Mohinder Jaimangal, CEO of Curve Tomorrow, a global leader in health technology.

Perth Biodesign for Digital Health Winning Team Matilda

Ultimately digital platform, Matilda, took out first prize for their innovative solution that aims to transform the care of people with endometriosis.

Endometriosis is a chronic and debilitating condition where tissue similar to the lining of the uterus (womb) grows in other parts of the body.

830,000 Australians have endometriosis, representing a similar rate to other chronic diseases such as asthma and diabetes. Yet, existing care pathways mean the average treatment time is seven years, during which the health, work, and personal lives of these people suffer.

Matilda is a digital platform that offers accessible, affordable and evidence-based holistic care for people living with confirmed or suspected endometriosis.

Co-founder and women’s health physio, Joanna Morris, said she was excited about the opportunities ahead.

“As a clinician, I spend everyday seeing first hand the deep impact endometriosis has on peoples lives”.

“We are on a mission to change the narrative for the 190 million people globally that this is reality for today. I’m so excited to have access to the best health innovators in the region through Perth Biodesign to amplify that impact”.

The 2022 cohort also included Bunji, a digital companion aimed to prevent suicide post-hospital discharge; Tria Health, with a platform supporting parents of teens with mental health challenges; and WaitLess, a solution solving the problem of the huge public surgery wait lists.

Perth Biodesign Co-Director, Oliver Bazzani, says the cohort is working at the frontier of solving some of the greatest challenges facing healthcare within Australia, and globally.

“This program brings together the most ambitious brains in the State to solve some of the biggest challenges we face in Health” Oliver said.

“We are already seeing the huge impact this has on the lives of patients, as well as driving investment, jobs and growth for Western Australia”.

Comments from the Hon Stephen Dawson MLC, Minister for Innovation and ICT; Medical Research:

“Congratulations to all participants on completing Perth Biodesign for Digital Health.”

“Western Australia has a growing health and medical life sciences industry that is on the cusp of many new and exciting opportunities.”

“We are recognised as having a world-class research base and entrepreneurial talent in health and medical life sciences.”

“Your dedication to delivering innovative healthcare solutions is applauded.”

To learn more about the teams and mentors, click here.

1st Row (L-R) Councillor Dr Viktor Ko, Oliver Bazzani, Richard Macliver

2nd Row (L-R) Bunji, Waitless, Tria Health

3rd Row (L-R) Professor Amit Chakma, Minister Stephen Dawson, Professor Kevin Pfleger


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