Commercialising A.I. to unlock the mystery of multiple sclerosis

The Australian Government is investing $20 million to commercialise digital health research, taking it from the lab and putting it in the hands of patients and their health team, like using artificial intelligence to unlock the secrets of neurological disorders like multiple sclerosis and dementia.

The Hon Mark Butler MP
Minister for Health and Aged Care

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The Albanese Government is investing $20 million to commercialise digital health research, taking it from the lab and putting it in the hands of patients and their health team, like using artificial intelligence to unlock the secrets of neurological disorders like multiple sclerosis and dementia.
Working with one of the world’s largest imaging providers, the Sydney Neuroimaging Analysis Centre (SNAC) is using artificial intelligence to better monitor brain disease.
iQ-Solutions is SNAC’s flagship product which provides precise analysis of the brain through MRI imaging. It will give doctors a real-time view of any changes that can then be managed more readily.
It is challenging to turn a scientific discovery into a medical product that’s ready for clinical use. This is the case for many digital health technologies – like iQ-Solutions – which have the potential to transform the health system.
SNAC is one of six companies with promising digital solutions that will share in $3.75 million in funding from the Albanese Government as part of a program run by ANDHealth+.
ANDHealth+ works with small to medium companies through the early-stage development of technologies with commercial potential.
To realise the potential of Australia’s world-class digital health research, ANDHealth+ received $19.75 million through the Medical Research Future Fund’s (MRFF) Medical Research Commercialisation initiative.
Each company is awarded a share of $3.75 million in equity-free funding, alongside hands-on support by a network of experts to help them to scale their businesses.
The MRFF investment has now supported 21 companies to turn their research into real treatments and products for Australians.
Quotes attributable to Minister Butler:
“The potential of Australian researchers and our digital health technology sector is unlimited.
“Investment is important, but so too is expert guidance to navigate the pathway from discovery to delivery for Australian patients.
“Through ANDHealth+ the Government is accelerating our brightest ideas to help reach our vision for fast and safe adoption of digital health technologies.”
Quotes attributable to ANDHealth CEO and Managing Director, Bronwyn Le Grice:
“These investments will support Australia’s highest-potential digital health innovators to navigate the complex and evolving landscape of digital health commercialisation, providing hands-on support and access to leading experts from around the globe.
“Access to capital and digital health experience remain critical barriers to commercialisation and growth for digital health innovators in Australia. Whilst we have an increasing number of success stories growing internationally, this Australian Government funding is vital because companies at home still require support to navigate the valley of death and subsequent post-regulatory-approval viability gap. 
“The Sydney Neuroimaging Analysis Centre’s new AI-powered product will be a step change towards precision monitoring and therapeutic interventions that will deliver better health outcomes, especially in conditions which are difficult to monitor and assess such as multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer’s disease.
“The IQ-Solutions product builds on a significant body of work and existing clinical capability in the Sydney Neuroimaging Analysis Centre, carving out a new commercial opportunity for the Centre, whilst delivering significant commercial returns and health outcomes for patients. This is a fantastic demonstration of the commercialisation potential of Australia’s health and medical research in the digital and connected health space.”
Quotes attributable to Sydney Neuroimaging Analysis Centre Co-Founder, Consulting Research Director and Consulting Neurologist, Prof. Michael Barnett:
“Sydney Neuroimaging Analysis Centre (SNAC) is focused on the development of AI-based medical imaging tools that support radiologists and clinicians to improve outcomes for patients with chronic neurological diseases.
“With support from the MRFF and the ANDHealth team, we aim to commercialise and scale our solutions to help monitor, and facilitate timely clinical interventions for, patients with brain disease both in Australia and further afield.
“Our flagship tool, iQ-Solutions, supports radiologists to improve the detection and quantitation of new brain inflammation in patients with multiple sclerosis, which may prompt clinicians to recommend a change in therapy to prevent future disability.
"Ultimately, the ANDHealth+ program will help SNAC bridge the gap between technical/clinical excellence and commercial success. We thank the Minister and ANDHealth for providing SNAC with this unique opportunity.”

MRFF Medical Research Commercialisation Initiative grant recipients (Early
Stage Translation and Commercialisation Support (ESTAC) grant opportunity)

Cape Bionics Digital scanning technology and accompanying software which allows clinicians
to scan patients to create personalised, medical-grade compression garments
tailored to their unique needs for a variety of performance and therapeutic uses,
and which are currently used by NASA.

Healthily Technology bringing conversational Voice AI to its interoperable clinical
outreach and patient education platform, greatly increasing patient engagement
and understanding through customisation and interactivity.

Navier Medical ‘Mosaic’, an AI-driven medical imaging software using routine CT scans to
unlock personalised treatment options for patients with cardiovascular disease,
streamlining risk stratification and enabling earlier detection through a new
disease marker that is a significant predictor of heart attack.

Osara Health A digital engagement platform for those impacted by cancer that is delivered in
conjunction with health coaching and a smartphone application, with clinical
evidence demonstrating improved health outcomes.

Sydney Neuroimaging Analysis Centre (SNAC)
Brain imaging analysis platform that utilises AI to precisely conduct quantitative
analysis of brain structures for monitoring and managing neurological diseases
including multiple sclerosis and dementia.

Touchstone Life Care
A Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform blending user-friendly interfaces with
robust security and cloud-based integration, to help clients complete a digital
advanced care plan, which is made available to all decision-makers at the point
of need and helps to improve end of life care.

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