A blueprint of Australia’s emerging digital health industry

20th July 2020

ANDHealth, a member of the new Melbourne Alliance ecosystem and Australia’s only specialised digital health accelerator, has issued a new report that finds Australia’s emerging digital health industry is in a strong position to tap into growing global demand for digital health solutions.

The report, Digital Health: The sleeping giant of Australia’s health technology industry, is the largest ever analysis of Australia’s digital health industry, presenting data on more than 300 companies with high potential for growth.

Australia’s long-held policy of supporting innovation, its significant investment in digital health capabilities and infrastructure, and its relatively successful management of the COVID-19 pandemic all set the stage for a world-leading digital health industry.

ANDHealth was established in 2017 to provide specific support to companies innovating in digital health, with a specific focus on technologies designed to have a positive impact on patients and transform clinical outcomes (digital medicine and digital therapeutics). Since then, ANDHealth has engaged with more than 300 companies, demonstrating huge growth potential in the digital health sector. These companies work across a diverse set of clinical indications, technologies and end user settings:

  • 37% are developing technologies aimed for home use (remote patient monitoring), and a further 27% are seeking to deliver technology in a GP or allied health setting;
  • 29% are focused on self-management and patient behaviour change (harnessing the shift to empowered healthcare consumers);
  • 25% are developing data analytics and systems, 22% are developing mHealth technologies; and
  • 25% are focused on diabetes and chronic conditions, with a further 17% focused on mental health.

The data presented in this report paints a picture of a vibrant, diverse digital health sector that is growing in size and confidence. However, the industry is hampered by some key challenges, particularly those related to capital – Australia lacks investors specialised in digital health.

In many ways these companies remain almost invisible within Australia. They don’t meet criteria for grant programs and they don’t fall within the prevailing e-health, informatics and health IT view of digital health within Australia. Many Australian digital health companies achieve commercial outcomes overseas before they get traction at home.

The purpose of this report is to shine a light on these companies, their diversity in technology, in clinical focus and in business model, and the potential of this sector to drive Australia’s economy and healthcare system into the future.

Digital health is a true sleeping giant within the Australian economy. Given the right investment, it could provide the economy with a much-needed boost in a post-COVID world, and achieve a triple aim of economic growth, advanced manufacturing and health system resilience.

Learn more about connecting with the digital health ecosystem in Melbourne: Susan Feitoza – susan.feitoza@rmit.edu.au

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