COVID-19 has been the unplanned earthquake that shook up healthtech across the world, and arguably it has one of the biggest impacts in Australia.
And although earthquakes can be devastating, this one has simply brought more technologies to the fore in healthcare.
The “type” of healthtech that has won the most has been telehealth or telemedicine. But if you break down healthtech services into a different type, from an angle such as the body part of system they deal with, then respiratory care has been thrust into the limelight.
Although here at Doctology we focus primarily on what we call DH&IT (Digital Health & Health Information Technology), here are five respiratory-related healthtech companies (that are mainly Medical Devices by definition) that are seizing this moment:
4DMedical (formerly 4Dx)
Traditional lung imaging is a technological feat in itself, but 4DMedical have taken it to the next level. Based of out of Melbourne they are developing a platform called XV Technology, which produces four-dimensional lung imaging from a single x-ray image. COVID has given them further incentive to succeed, and a recent US FDA clearance and plans to float on the ASX in Australia mean they will be closely watched in the latter half of 2020.
Brisbane-born ResApp Health has seen a hectic few months since the outbreak of the pandemic. Its key products are ResAppDx-EU and SleepCheck, “assisting doctors and empowering patients to diagnose and manage respiratory disease”. The former product is being used specifically in government COVID clinics, and Telehealth services have taken a keen interest too, with both Coviu and Phenix Health signing agreements to incorporate its technology into their own platform.
An outlier in this collection of companies, Nadu is not yet “in market” and is seeking funding for a market entry at some stage in 2021. Their product intention is certainly innovative, essentially it is a capsule / pill to deliver drugs to deal with the effects of influenza, hayfever, chronic sinusitis, cystic fibrosis and of course, COVID-19. All of this will be IoT tracked and provide reporting to doctors and other healthcare professionals as needed.
Using a combination of devices and apps, Respiri’s technology measures airway obstruction, by recording sounds in the airway to detect CABS (continuous adventitious breath sounds), acting like a stethoscope, as their own website states. Yet to commercially launch, the next six months will be pivotal (in spite of COVID), as it hopes to do so in Europe next year and in Australia later in 2020.
Although now headquartered in San Diego, USA, ResMed was founded in Australia. Much like some of the organisations above, COVID-19 likely accelerated a series of product updates and partnership announcements. A juggernaut in the US market with a market capitalisation of US$23b, demand for their masks and devices for sleep apnoea and respiratory conditions will no doubt surge further.
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