A new, minimally invasive procedure that allows for comprehensive liver assessments through endoscopic procedures has won the James & Wells Medical Technology Association of New Zealand (MTANZ) Innovation Award 2022.
It was one of two major awards at HealthTech Week, a partnership between MTANZ, the Consortium for Medical Device Technologies and Callaghan Innovation, in collaboration with Medicines NZ, DHA, HiNZ and Aotearoa Brain Project.
Obex Medical first sold the EchoTip Insight™ Portosystemic Pressure Gradien8 device to Waikato Hospital last year.
Developed by US-based Cook Medical, the EchoTip allows endoscopists to perform direct measurement of the portal and hepatic venous pressures in the liver under endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) guidance.
Obex Medical says portal hypertension is caused by liver disease, obstruction, or structural changes.
One of those diseases, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, is the most common liver disease in Western nations and the incidence is expected to rise with the increasing obesity.
The MTANZ innovation award is open to both imported and locally developed medical devices. The winner must show evidence of significant contribution to improving patient outcomes by enhancing quality of life, along with technical and clinical excellence.
The second 2022 award, the James and Wells MTANZ Manufacturing and Export Award, was won by New Zealand medtech start up HeartLab, for its Pulse cardiac imaging system.
Pulse is the first of its kind, combining an end-to-end cardiac PACS system with a comprehensive analysis toolkit.
HeartLab describes Pulse as a state-of-the-art replacement for the outdated legacy systems that clinics are currently using. With AI-powered analysis features integrated into Pulse, tasks that were tiresome and subject to variability are now either automated, ordered, or obsolete, giving time back to busy medical professionals.
As a cloud-native software, Pulse allows users to easily share studies and report on patients remotely, enabling collaboration and fast-tracking patient care through simple easy-to-use features. It is challenging international competitors such as GE and Phillips.
Pulse is currently used by multiple clinics in New Zealand and HeartLab is currently entering the United Sates and Australian markets.