This article was published on 16 June 2015
The best of medical technology companies New Zealand and the world have to offer gather in Auckland this week to share the latest developments, research and trends in the sector.
Callaghan Innovation’s National Medtech Sector Manager, Diana Siew, says the conference has grown dramatically as the industry itself has flourished.
“Three years ago Medical Technology Association NZ (MTANZ) started out with two separate conferences, one for the industry and one for healthcare providers and clinicians. Today, combining with NZHealthIT and the Consortium for Medical Device Technologies (CMDT), we have five days of events that bring together representatives from the industry, investors and speakers from around New Zealand and the world.”
Diana says that about 10 years ago, there were only around 30-40 companies operating in the medical technology space. New Zealand is now home to more than 140 device and health IT companies.
“Today, the medtech space is rich and diverse, with large well-known companies like Orion Healthcare and Fisher and Paykel Healthcare as well as newcomers, like Pictor, SHI Global and ARANZ Medical, which hopefully will one day soon become household names in their own right.”
The conference kicks off with the MedTech Centre of Research Excellence Day, aimed at researchers, clinicians and industry, bringing together those involved in research and development (R&D) in the space to share ideas and to work together. Day Two and Three is the centrepiece of Healthtech Week, - the New Zealand Healthcare Congress - which brings together a broad range of stakeholders to contribute to the conversation around what needs to be done to deliver world-class healthcare for New Zealand in the future.
Day Four is the Innovation and Investment Forum, which puts technology developers in touch with potential investment partners. Following feedback from last year’s Forum, this year the focus will very much be on Asia and doing business in India, China, Taiwan and throughout the region.
The last day of the conference is dedicated to an Entrepreneur’s bootcamp to upskill start-ups and entrepreneurs across the country, addressing crucial business issues such as regulatory affairs, intellectual property and health economics to create strong value propositions. CEOs from ARANZ Medical and Simplhealth will share their experiences at the Bootcamp, an invaluable way for start-ups to learn from their peers.
Callaghan Innovation in conjunction with MTANZ, NZ HealthIT, ATEED and CMDT have also introduced the Healthtech Awards for Best Translational Research Project and Best Start-up Opportunity alongside the MedTech Centre of Research Excellence conference and the Innovation and Investment Forum. The prize is practical and aimed at helping entrepreneurs with market research, benchmarking, marketing and business skills.
This year’s Healthtech Week has strong participation from the sector and most of the events are already over-subscribed. Diana hopes this is a sign of the times.
“We have some tremendous companies working in the medtech space in New Zealand and with demand for health services increasing dramatically internationally, this is a golden opportunity for New Zealand Inc to step out from the shadows. The problems we have in New Zealand – an ageing population and an increase in obesity and associated health problems – are repeated around the world, which means tools and services introduced in the New Zealand market will also find a home in other countries around the world.”