The world of implantable medical devices is a fascinating and evolving market that has traditionally been full of passive devices (such as hip joints) and active stimulatory devices (such as pacemakers). Kitea Health, recipients of the Ārohia Innovation Trailblazer Grant, are leading the advancement of this area with their implantable pressure sensor devices that allow proactive management of chronic disease. The micro devices provide real time, accurate monitoring information to clinicians, so they can provide treatment early.
Who are Kitea Health?
Kitea Health is a medical technology company building the next generation of micro-implantable devices for managing chronic health conditions. Spun out of the renowned Auckland Bioengineering Institute in 2022, the technology is backed by 20 years of scientific research into wireless power, implantable devices, bioelectronics and sensors. Their technology enables remote monitoring of pressure through the world’s most accurate and smallest implantable digital pressure sensor.
Kitea Health’s benefits to the innovation ecosystem
Kitea Health sees remote physiological sensing from within the human body as the next frontier for medical technology, and they want to share expertise with other groups in the medical and deep tech space. They have developed their own microprocessor for their implanted sensor. The development of Application Specific Integrated Circuits (ASICS) is a powerful tool for low-value, high-volume technologies like consumer electronics, but this skill set is absent in NZ in the high-value, low-volume medical device sector. They have built a team with broad expertise and are actively sharing this with industry. Kitea also has a unique skill set and patent set that is highly applicable to build new NZ companies around the uses of wireless power.
What the panel had to say about Kitea Health:
The true potential of Kitea Health surfaced during the presentation, where they showcased their benefits to the innovation ecosystem. Their sharing of knowledge is particularly strong, as is their IP position, understanding of the regulatory requirements and depth of knowledge within the team.
Kitea Health are a trailblazing company who have a clear, deep understanding of a problem and how their solution will impact the quality of human life, potentially on a global scale.
How Kitea Health will be investing their grant
Kitea Health’s main focus for the next two years is to prepare for the first human trials of a novel class of medical devices; implantable brain pressure sensors with a focus on monitoring hydrocephalus. The Ārohia Full Grant funding will be used to set up relevant infrastructure, conduct studies on user needs, complete detailed design, expand their advisory team, safeguard their IP and develop their pilot run.
Being recognised as an Innovation Trailblazer is far bigger than just an accolade for Kitea Health. This grant is another key stepping stone in furthering Kitea's goal of transforming healthcare for people living with a chronic health condition. This is about improving the lives of people around the world and sharing our expertise and knowledge with local deep tech companies on a similar journey.
Dr Simon Malpas, Kitea Health CEO