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Two years after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, a group of innovators behind four of Australia’s most promising healthtech startups converged at the SunRamp HealthTech Accelerator program on the Sunshine Coast.

The health sector has faced some challenges during the pandemic, which has resulted in rapid evolution within the industry.

Within this highly competitive global market, the Sunshine Coast based SunRamp HeathTech Accelerator program has been designed to empower healthtech startups with the skills, industry insights and business contacts to scale up for rapid growth.

The Sunshine Coast is known as a hot spot for innovators and entrepreneurs. It’s also home to a world-class healthcare precinct which makes it the ideal location to foster healthtech startups.

Healthtech frontier

Image: SunRamp team - Ron Hill, Tanya Arnold, Colin Graham.

Precinct one of Australia’s largest

The health and wellbeing industry is booming on the Sunshine Coast, propelled by the $5 billion Sunshine Coast Health Precinct, which is Australia’s largest health infrastructure project currently being developed.

Sunshine Coast Health Precinct:

    • Sunshine Coast University Hospital
    • Sunshine Coast University Private Hospital
    • Sunshine Coast Health Institute
    • Vitality Village
    • Birtinya Town Centre
    • Sunshine Coast Mind and Neuroscience Thompson Institute

SunRamp Program Manager Colin Graham notes the huge growth in the Sunshine Coast’s health assets over the past six years and says “there are real opportunities to grow more world class healthtech businesses in this region.”

The Health Hub is a 17-hectare greenfield health and medical precinct, which provides a strategic opportunity for medical and allied health services to be located in close proximity to the two main hospitals.

Accelerating with the healthtech industry

Not only can healthtech improve the delivery of care to patients, it can also gather and analyse health care data to develop and commercialise medicinal products.

According to an estimate from IBM the amount of health care data doubles every 73 days and this growth is accelerating. As health data grows so does the opportunity for healthtech businesses.

The industry is expanding at breakneck speed with digital health companies raising an estimated US$57 billion globally in 2021, a number that is expected to reach over A$900 billion by 2026.

Inspiring innovation for better care

The opportunity to collaborate with experts who have the acumen to navigate the complexities of healthcare culture is an incredible advantage. There are administrative, regulatory and legal concerns to manage that could hinder healthtech companies that are not prepared.

A recent Medical Software Industry Association survey found that 74 per cent of healthtech firms feel “unsupported by government” and 59 per cent of companies say the government “stifles innovation.”

That’s not the case at the SunRamp HeathTech Accelerator program, which is jointly supported by Sunshine Coast Council and the Queensland Government’s Advance Queensland.

SunRamp startups to watch

The latest group of established startups to begin the 13-week program include PsychHelp, Medmin, Massage and Wellbeing, and Cognion.

Participants are selected based on the merit of their product or service.

In addition to the education, training and ongoing support delivered locally, SunRamp participants have the potential to access the Global Landing Program in Denver, Colorado.

A key aspect of the program is to gain meaningful connections to collaborators, investors and partners that could support the venture.

PhysiGo, a wearable tech startup that took part in the first SunRamp cohort, has seen a great opportunity through the SunRamp networks and is in negotiations with an international sporting brand.

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