Pictured: from left, Dr Emerson Keenan, A/Prof Fiona Brownfoot and Prof Marimuthu Palaniswami, co-founders of Kali Healthcare
ANDHealth’s 2022 Masterclass: ACCELERATE program was just what Kali Healthcare needed to fast-track development of its digital pregnancy monitoring platform. The program offered access to expert guidance, key knowledge, indispensable investor support and more.
MTPConnect’s Researcher Exchange and Development within Industry (REDI) initiative has partnered with ANDHealth as Australia’s leading provider of commercialisation and investment readiness programs for digital health technology companies. ANDHealth is working to create a growth sector that delivers highly skilled jobs, economic opportunity and better health outcomes for all Australians.
One of its programs is the Masterclass: ACCELERATE – a six-day event that brings proven industry expertise to digital health companies to address common pitfalls and knowledge gaps. As the only intensive accelerator program designed specifically for companies seeking to commercialise evidence-based digital health products, it is globally unique and brings digital health companies together with international industry leaders in a private, participant-only forum.
The 2022 Masterclass was presented virtually with 43 attendees from 15 digital health companies and 11 industry participants. Led by 70 industry experts, 39 sessions relating to digital health commercialisation were covered in total, featuring more than 50 small group learning and one-on-one sessions, including mentoring and personalised pitch feedback from experienced institutional and angel investors.
Leveraging networking and investment opportunities
One of the participants in the 2022 Masterclass was Kali Healthcare – a multidisciplinary team of obstetricians and engineers working to transform pregnancy monitoring. The Melbourne-based company has developed a wearable device and sensor patch that accurately picks up a baby’s heart rate, thereby providing real-time monitoring data to clinicians both within and outside of the hospital setting.
Kali Healthcare applied to join the 2022 ANDHealth Masterclass to gain feedback on its commercial strategy from a range of digital health experts. It also hoped to raise capital in the six months following the program and wanted to use this opportunity to validate its business case and market entry strategy before approaching investors.
Prior to the program, the team had found it difficult to gain access to experts with knowledge across the entire digital health industry, explained Dr Emerson Keenan, co-founder of Kali Healthcare.
“The amazing thing about Masterclass is that it enabled us to hear back-to-back presentations from world-class experts to round out our knowledge, and then gave us the time to directly ask them questions about our specific problems,” said Dr Keenan.
“The sessions we found incredibly valuable were hearing from experts from the hospital sales and health insurance background, as well as risk management topics specific to digital health. This gave us immediate insight into areas where we could perform additional work to strengthen our commercial strategy and refine our business model.”
Since completing Masterclass, Kali Healthcare has significantly expanded its network of key opinion leaders and is working towards clinical studies for new applications of its technology. It has also conducted additional customer interviews to better understand the range of sales channels through which clinicians discover and purchase new technologies.
“The program presented us with an excellent opportunity to network with other Australian digital health companies and we now regularly meet with other Masterclass participants to share ideas and sector-specific opportunities with one another,” Dr Keenan added. “Furthermore, the Masterclass introduced us to key service providers and experts in the digital health community, with whom we have continued relationships.”
Critically, the skills learned, and networks gained through ANDHealth’s Masterclass assisted Kali Healthcare with its capital-raising journey, with The University of Melbourne agreeing in March 2023 to provide $500,000 pre-seed investment into the company.
Growing a world-class digital health sector
Kali Healthcare is one of many digital health companies that have benefited from ANDHealth’s expertise. As a ‘commercialisation engine room’, ANDHealth has had a direct positive impact on the capability and commercial understanding of Australian digital health companies helping to grow a world-class digital health sector. The impressive progress made to date by the 2022 Masterclass cohort is testament to this.
Knowing before the program took place that 79 per cent of attendees intended to grow their team within the next six months, ANDHealth specifically included tailored industry knowledge in its program content to support entrepreneurs seeking to expand their business.
As a result, in the six months following the program, participating companies have created 34 new jobs, with 57 per cent of participants experiencing growth and 79 per cent intending to further expand their teams.
Over the same period, Masterclass participants supported 9,685 patients with their technologies, raised funding up to $3.4 million and launched 16 new research projects, pilots or clinical trials.
According to Dr Keenan, the ANDHealth Masterclass is a must-do for any company seeking to commercialise a digital health product.
“Simply put, the six days invested in this program is some of the most valuable time you will spend developing your digital health commercialisation strategy,” he said.
“The guidance from the ANDHealth team and their access to an extended network of experts is ensuring that we are at the forefront of transforming the way healthcare is delivered to provide better outcomes for both patients and providers. You will learn more not only about your burning questions, but about the questions you hadn’t even considered.”
“The depth and breadth of insights are simply unique in this space and the ANDHealth team delivers them with true care for the companies they bring onboard. I cannot recommend this program highly enough.”