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A ground-breaking patient isolation technology developed on the Sunshine Coast and helping to save lives across the world has been named one of TIME magazine's Best Inventions of 2022.

A mobile single patient isolation room that can be installed in five minutes, Rediroom addresses a global shortage of healthcare isolation spaces, equipping hospitals to rapidly respond to outbreaks of infectious diseases.

The TIME Magazine Award has capped off a sensational year for Rediroom which also won the Red Dot Design Award: Best of the Best 2022 on the back of a swag of awards in 2021.

The unique technology conceived by Sunshine Coast nurse Anna Ballantyne and business partners Justin Ballantyne and James Burkwood, provides greater isolation capacity and flexibility in medical facilities.

Together they formed Care Strategic to design and manufacture products that improve patient care, and partnered with UK based GAMA Healthcare to bring Rediroom to life.

Care Strategic is one of a growing number of innovators in healthcare and digital health technology on the Sunshine Coast. With a booming medical and healthcare industry fuelled by the $5 billion Sunshine Coast Health Precinct and significant investment in health infrastructure, the region is an attractive choice for health-tech organisations.

Innovative health technology

Image: A nurse moving a Rediroom mobile single patient isolation room

Vision and good design meet global need

As a nurse at Buderim Private Hospital and Clinical Advisor at Care Strategic, Anna knew that for a product to be effective in a hospital setting it needed to be easy to use, fit for purpose, and cost-effective.

“Where it came from was the frustration of an emergency nurse in a regional hospital. At most regional hospitals there are a fixed amount of single rooms and a great demand for them,” Anna said in a recent interview.

Rediroom creates a fully enclosed isolation space which is a critical need for hospital emergency departments or multi-bed wards where high risk patients need to be protected from pathogens spread through contact and droplets (it also decreases airborne spread risk).

The room boasts a host of smart design features, including hands free entry and exit, a built-in PPE station and a HEPA-filtration that removes 99.5% of infectious droplets from filtered air.

Beyond infection control, Rediroom offers privacy to patients during end of life care, reduces the glare of fluorescent lights, and creates a more comfortable environment for patients which is critical for recovery.

Production and the pandemic

Research and development for Rediroom started in 2010 but in 2020, the pandemic pushed the production timeline forward. Prototypes that were being trialled in the UK and Australia, were deployed to help meet the demand for isolation rooms.

There are now 300 Redirooms in the UK and a Rediroom is deployed every 40 minutes.

“My favourite moment out of all of this was the research they did around introducing the Rediroom into the NHS (UK National Health Service) and finding that when they put the Rediroom in, they dropped the inter-hospital transfer from 75% to zero,” Anna said upon accepting UnitingCare’s Full Circle Award which recognises outstanding staff achievements

“That’s everything we imagined that this would do, everything we believed it would do and to actually see it affect people and save lives, it was fantastic.”

Image: An erected Rediroom mobile single patient isolation room

Growing international success

Rediroom has gained international attention and recognition with Care Strategic and GAMA Healthcare winning gold in the 2022 International Forum (iF) Design Awards, the Medical Design Excellence Awards and the Eldercare Innovation Awards – Singapore in 2022.

It also took out the prestigious Good Design Award Gold accolade in the Engineering Design category and Best In Class at the 2021 Good Design Awards.

Rediroom is already a global success and is helping hospitals save lives in England, Singapore and Australia. Israel, Romania and the USA will launch in the coming months.

Sunshine Coast is the ideal place for HealthTech innovators

For Care Strategic, the Sunshine Coast is the perfect location to ideate and create innovative solutions for the local and international health care markets.

“The region is an area of growth.” Anna shares, “Vitality Village and SunRamp are great fostering grounds for health care businesses. We have the largest tertiary hospital in the southern hemisphere so we have the infrastructure to support health innovators.”

The team is already working on the next product that will help save lives and create better outcomes for patients and medical staff.

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