The $15bn National Reconstruction Fund has today prioritised ‘digital health’ as a key pillar of its new Medical Science Co-Investment Plan.

Welcoming the landmark announcement today, Bronwyn Le Grice, the CEO of Australia’s leading digital health accelerator ANDHealth, said that digital health was a rapidly growing industry, with its technologies having the potential to truly transform both our economy and the way Australians engage with and receive healthcare technologies, products and services in the future.

“Given the enormous potential digital and connected medical technologies offer for Australian patients, we are pleased that the Australian Government has prioritised digital health through this landmark investment program,” she said.

“Digital Health is a sector which brings together our world class health and medical research with our formidable, emerging strengths in IT, quantum, AI, sensors and manufacturing to create novel products which address some of the globe’s most pressing health challenges.”

“We know that, for our digital and connected health companies, access to capital and access to investors with specific experience in the digital health sector remain the two most significant barriers to commercialisation and export for our innovators. Recognition of the sector’s potential in the National Reconstruction Fund’s Co-Investment Plan is a huge step forward and will result in more, highly scalable local companies serving patients around the world from right here in Australia,” she said.

The prioritisation of digital health follows the launch of an Independent Economic Impact Assessment of Digital Health in February by global consulting firm L.E.K., which found that for every $1 invested into the Australian digital health industry via the ANDHealth+ program, $19.70 in capital is raised and $4.2 in gross economic value is delivered.

Significantly, digital health startups participating in the ANDHealth’s flagship digital health program raised on average $1.1 million in capital after just six months – approximately double the $0.6 million in capital raised by other digital health SMEs – demonstrating the impact of highly specialised programs which support the commercialisation of technologies and the scaling-up of our most promising startups.

“The evidence shows that new digital health technologies, backed by experts in life sciences and commercialisation, have the potential to generate highly skilled and specialised, deep technology jobs and deliver significant economic growth,” said Ms Le Grice.

“These investments have the power to fundamentally re-shape the way we do innovation in Australia, providing fresh funding and support to SMEs that tell us every day they are struggling to find capital to scale and commercialise their innovations.”

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