Gold Coast doctors set their sights on opening Asia-Pacific hub for MedTech development and surgical training

Dr Hal Rice and Dr Laetitia de Villiers (pictured) provide cutting-edge stroke and neurovascular treatments for patients on the Gold Coast, as well as serious cases across the state.

They were recently successful in securing $200,000 in funding through Advance Queensland’s Regional Futures – Collaborative Projects program, which is all about solving regional innovation challenges.

Dr Rice and Dr de Villiers’ aim is to continue to grow the Gold Coast Health and Knowledge Precinct’s (GCHKP) MedTech capabilities and open the Image-guided Surgery Training and Technologies Centre.

The centre will attract specialist doctors from across the Asia-Pacific to train in the latest procedures to treat stroke, brain aneurysms, cardiac conditions, peripheral nerve and spinal conditions, as well as orthopaedics. It will also undertake pioneering research and development (R&D) for new medical devices and technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI), robotics and novel 3D printed anatomical models.

But the program is not only about solving regional challenges, it’s also about collaborating with industry partners to achieve results.

“We’re partnering with global medical leader, Philips, who will provide the centre with their Azurion biplane system, a leading platform for minimally-invasive interventional procedures,” said Dr Rice.

“We’re also partnering with leading global MedTech companies including Stryker, Medtronic and Microvention, as well as Griffith University researchers who create pioneering 3D printed brain aneurysm models, and Gold Coast Private Hospital, who have recently introduced a state-of-the-art theatre for the latest interventional procedures.”

The centre is currently a pilot centre, using 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games legacy infrastructure, but through expanding existing strong relationships, attracting new companies to the GCHKP and delivering industry-led training and research programs, it will lead to a larger, permanent facility within the GCHKP by 2025.

“The pilot centre is currently under construction and will be fully operational by January 2023,” said Dr de Villiers.

“By developing collaborations with our industry and receiving this Advance Queensland funding, it’s supporting our vision of the Gold Coast being a leading location for health care innovation.”

Find out more about our Regional Futures – Collaborative Projects program.

Last updated 20 Feb, 2023
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