Helping shape the future of gastric health
Medical technology company Alimetry is making waves in the healthcare industry with its innovative technology for the diagnosis of gastric dysfunction diseases.
The company was co-founded in 2019 by Dr Greg O’Grady, a colorectal surgeon who saw the need for better diagnostic tools for patients with gastric dysfunction diseases. Alimetry’s co-founder, Dr Armen Gharibans, an engineer by trade, joined forces with O’Grady to develop a new device that could pick up and process signals from outside the stomach, avoiding the need for invasive surgery.
Often described as an electrocardiogram for the stomach, the device provides highly detailed information about the stomach’s activity, which allows for more accurate diagnoses and targeted treatments. This is much better than current diagnostic techniques, which often take years and can produce inconclusive results.
Alimetry cites its strong collaboration with Callaghan Innovation as a key factor in its success. Both O’Grady and Hanie Yee, Alimetry’s Chief Operations Officer, believe the company would not be where it is today without the support of Callaghan Innovation.
“We’ve had great science, but there’s a big gap between great science and actually making it work in the real world and being able to enter the market. And I think Callaghan Innovation is integral to that,” says Yee.
Access to Career and Getting Started Grants in the early days helped Alimetry build its team; grant recipients have gone on to become integral team members including taking on executive and senior leadership roles. Alimetry was also one of the first companies to participate in the HealthTech Activator’s market validation journey.
According to Yee, the market validation work helped the company understand who its customer was and the challenges that lay ahead.
We've had great science, but there's a big gap between great science and actually making it work in the real world and being able to enter the market. And I think Callaghan Innovation is integral to that."
Now two-and-a-bit years down the track the team are still working on some of the outputs from this work because, as Yee says, “commercialisation is a journey, it’s not a destination you arrive at”.
For Yee, the secret to Alimetry’s success comes down to its people. “Our people are at the heart of what makes Alimetry the company it is.” For anyone getting started in the medtech industry, she stresses the importance of having the right people around the table.
Alimetry’s device is currently being marketed in Aotearoa New Zealand, the United States, and the United Kingdom. The company is also running trials in Canada and Europe, and hopes to expand into Asia. “We want to be the first, best test for every patient that is seeking gastric health,” Yee says. “Being able to know we’re making meaningful change in the lives of these patients, who’ve spent decades of their lives looking for answers, is what gives everyone the energy they need to keep going.”
Yee emphasises the importance of organisations like Callaghan Innovation in the commercialisation journey, noting that it can be daunting and convoluted. “Not all, but some may decide it’s too hard and they give up. In these instances, we suffer because that tech is never going to see the light of day.”
Yee encourages anyone starting a project like this to tap into resources like those provided by Callaghan Innovation to help them along the way and see them to success.
At a glance
- Founded in 2019
- Founded by Greg O’Grady (CEO) and Armen Gharibans
- Based in Auckland
- Developed a device to enable better diagnosis for patients with gastric dysfunction diseases
- Currently marketed in New Zealand, the United States, and the United Kingdom, with trials underway in Canada and Europe
- Visit website
Callaghan Innovation impact
- Career, Getting Started Grants
- HealthTech Activator support