Facilitating the best patient care for Queenslanders and the world is the driving force for Sunshine Coast MedTech company, Net-Health.
Their innovative software platform enables carers to make the best use of the digital world, helping the medical industry manage lifestyle diseases and reduce the number of people being hospitalised.
Since receiving an Ignite Ideas Fund grant in 2019, this regional, female-founded business has continued to scale.
They have successfully expanded to new international markets, employed additional local staff and reached exponential growth of more than 30 percent in the number of paid customers.
We caught up with Net-Health CEO and Founder, Vidya Nallamad to find out how the Ignite Ideas Fund has helped cultivate her innovative business.
Since speaking with you in 2020, what new milestones and/or achievements has your business reached?
The vision for our remote monitoring platform, Net-HealthData, is to provide a software platform that will help manage chronic conditions, especially diabetes.
As a starting point, we want to be able to provide a software platform to help pregnant women with diabetes not only here in Queensland, but across the globe.
Proper care for an unborn child and a mother-to-be with gestational diabetes is paramount in providing a healthy beginning for both mother and child. We have continued to focus our attention on providing this remote care for pregnant women with gestational diabetes.
Our vision and passion for providing the best patient care in this circumstance has not only been a driving force in Net-HealthData but helped us reach a significant milestone, expanding our platform into a new international market, Kenya.
Jacaranda Maternity hospital in Nairobi has collaborated with us to begin the pilot study with a view to offer this remote-care after the six month pilot study is complete. To date, we have recruited more than 30 women into the pilot.
As part of this expansion, we also collaborated with Roche Diabetes Care in South Africa to reach out to other African hospitals. Soon, we will expand our remote monitoring platform for pregnant women with gestational diabetes (to begin with) into two additional hospitals in the South African region.
What growth has your business experienced?
Net-HealthData has expanded its clinical trial into seven new hospitals, driving exponential growth of more than 30 percent in the number of paid customers.
We have collaborated with three different hospitals and health services in Queensland to provide the remote monitoring care for pregnant women with gestational diabetes.
We have also expanded as a pilot providing remote monitoring at Bendigo Health as part of their Health Home Monitoring project for people in the community with chronic conditions.
Since receiving our Ignite Ideas Fund grant, we have engaged four additional experienced personnel who are helping build the company – Marc Budge, Branko Celler, Michael Woods and Dr. Tam Nguyen.
Each of these members bring a wealth of knowledge and experience that will help develop Net-HealthData and make it the leading platform for management of chronic conditions, not just locally but also in international markets.
How did the COVID-19 pandemic impact Net-Health Data and how did you overcome these challenges?
The COVID-19 pandemic is one of the greatest challenges Net-Health Data has faced. It changed the pace at which we had hoped to scale our company.
As our primary target market is hospitals, it was especially hard to progress forward when priorities for their procurement departments, understandably changed. Unfortunately, this meant IT projects like Net-HealthData were bumped down the line.
While this posed great challenges for us, we managed to pivot and broaden our target market to include and focus on private obstetricians.
This enabled us to explore a new market while keeping the cash flow steady. So, while we faced challenges, pivoting in the face of the pandemic has in fact helped us expand our offering. We now have an additional market sector and customer base with private obstetricians using the platform to help manage their patients with gestational diabetes.
What role has Advance Queensland and the Ignite Ideas Fund played in helping your business to scale?
Advance Queensland and The Office of Chief Entrepreneur have played a crucial role in connecting us with business networks and contacts. This support has provided a couple of invaluable introductions to some of the key decision-makers in Queensland Health, opening channels that would have ordinarily been exceedingly difficult for a regional start-up like Net-Health to reach.
The Ignite Ideas funding has also been extremely helpful for the growth of Net-Health Data. It has provided us the boost needed to create a stable software platform, explore various market segments, and focus on the market that was best suited to expand. This has led to an increased customer-base and created local job opportunities for four additional staff.
Why are grants such as the Ignite Ideas Fund important for regional innovators/businesses?
Grants like the Ignite Ideas Fund are particularly useful for start-ups who are, not just early stage, but who have initial market traction and want to expand and scale. Being a regional start-up, grants like these can be especially vital as it can help to inject that initial small amount of funding needed, without having to go into an investment round and dilute company equity.
What are your business goals over the next 12-24 months?
In the next 12 -24 months, we will establish Net-HealthData in both domestic and international markets. Net-HealthData is expanding into various other states of Australia, making it an Australian brand in the remote management of diabetes. It will also expand into South Africa and United Kingdom.
Learn more about the Ignite Ideas Fund including eligibility and how to apply by visiting the webpage.