Through this landmark innovation, ANU will advance Australia’s role in developing wearable, smart technology that will dramatically improve world access to healthcare.
At the heart of ANU investment in personalised healthcare is WearOptimo - the university's first partner innovation company.
WearOptimo joins ANU as part of the Innovation Institutes scheme. The scheme, announced as part of the ANU Strategic Plan (2018-2021), provides a significant yet flexible platform for entrepreneurial academics to accelerate the innovations they have developed in the lab and commercialise them for broad, societal benefit.
"As the national University, we have an obligation to lead the way in developing solutions to the nation's problems. We're at a crossroads in research where we need to think outside the box for expanding our capabilities and partnering with business to realise the opportunities for our research solutions."
ANU Vice Chancellor, Professor Brian Schmidt
WearOptimo Pty Ltd was founded by ANU Vice-Chancellor's Entrepreneurial Fellow Professor Mark Kendall. With a strong passion for ensuring accessibility of healthcare to individuals, Prof Kendall is determined to make sure his research in nanotechnology and microwearables can be enjoyed by all.
Professor Kendall's innovation sits at the crossroads of three rapidly developing markets - the Internet of Things (IoT), personalised medicine, and wearable electronics. Through microwearable body sensors, individuals can monitor important biosignals to improve early detection of health conditions, for example, in the diagnosis or monitoring of patients who experience heart attacks.
What are microwearables?
As the name suggests, microwearables are miniature devices designed to be worn by the user. The microwearable sensing systems being developed by Professor Kendall would be worn on the skin of the user (eg. on the arm like a watch), allowing the technology to monitor and report on specific bodily signals measured within the skin. It has the potential to identify and alert the user to a number of medical conditions, well before traditional symptoms present, for more rapid diagnostics and treatment.
An additional benefit of this technology is that it is non-invasive, meaning that it is not necessary for the user to undergo surgery or a medical procedure in order to start using the device.