VeinTech awarded $500,000 of FHRIF Innovation Seed Funding

and CTO named as a finalist in Premier’s Science Awards

Australian medical device company VeinTech is honoured to announce it has secured $500,000 to develop its innovative handheld vein imaging system for clinical studies and progress towards commercialisation. A portable, AI-driven vein imaging device, the VeinWave will help clinicians target the right vein, first time every time when performing cannulations. The product is expected to lower training requirements, reduce cost due to failed attempts, and improve experience for both patients and clinicians.

Mr Nikhilesh Bappoo, Chief Technology Officer and Director of VeinTech welcomed the recognition by the McGowan Government of outstanding Western Australian medical science and innovation. “We are so fortunate to receive this support, to speed up our path to market but also to show what the MedTech industry in Western Australia can provide – not just in better health outcomes, but also diversification of the economy, training and job creation in a high-value industry”.

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Perth Biodesign for Medtech 2019 Winners, VeinTech: Dr Katherine Arenson, Nikhilesh Bappoo and Nicholas Buckley

The FHRIF Innovation Seed Fund is one of many new initiatives under the stewardship of Hon Stephen Dawson MLC, Minister for Innovation and Medical Research. “This vital investment supports local innovators but will also help drive health and medical innovation to improve the health and wellbeing of the Western Australian community” comments Minister Dawson.

This funding will help progress the technology towards first clinical studies at East Metropolitan Health Service and aid in the refinement of the product’s performance and usability in practice. Dr Katherine Arenson, VeinTech’s Chief Medical Officer and Director, says that “this continued support has helped us progress through from identifying a hugely unmet need through Perth Biodesign in 2019 to now a standalone company, preparing for clinical studies”.

Inserting a peripheral intravenous catheter (PIVC) – or cannula – is one of the most common procedures performed in hospitals, with approximately 7.7 million Australians undergoing the procedure each year. Yet, the Australian Commission for Safety and Quality in Health Care reports that first insertion attempts fail in up to 40% of adults, and in up to 65% of children.

“Having worked in practically every single Western Australian hospital over the past 20 years, it’s always baffled me why we are still just stabbing around in the dark most of the time. It’s not just the pain that is the problem, each missed cannulation attempt delays time-critical treatment and costs the Australian healthcare system hundreds of millions yearly.” says Dr Arenson.

Mr Nicholas Buckley, Chief Executive Officer and Director, is also thrilled by the downstream benefits of this funding support. “This funding from the FHRIF will complement our ongoing financing round and help us grow from three founders to a team of over twenty-two employees, advisors and university interns, not including those at over fifteen of our partner organisations”. VeinTech welcomes other Australian investors and businesses to join its commercialisation journey through current and future financing rounds or collaborative partnerships.

The 2021 WA Innovator of the Year “Great for the State” prize winners are on a mission to make such “simple” procedures simple by developing and democratizing innovative technologies, in both cost and ease of use.

Finalist for ExxonMobil Student Scientist of the Year

VeinTech’s Nikhilesh Bappoo has also recently been named as a finalist for the ExxonMobil Student Scientist of the Year in the WA Premier’s Science Awards. This is awarded to an outstanding postgraduate student who has demonstrated a commitment to science at an early stage and shows great promise in reaching the highest levels of excellence.

Nikhilesh is a passionate biomedical engineer with a vision to develop and ethically commercialise novel solutions to unmet clinical needs, hence improving the delivery of healthcare. Nik specialises in blood flow simulations, from ‘engineering the placenta’ to predict abnormalities during pregnancy, to predicting aneurysm growth and rupture. Nik's entrepreneurial mindset has led to the formation of VeinTech, a WA medical device company, aiming to reduce the high rate of failure of cannulation. He also manages product development and regulatory affairs for VitalTrace, another WA company developing a novel biosensor to improve childbirth outcomes for mothers and babies. 

To learn more about VeinTech, visit their website here.