Friday, June 24th, 2011
Clinical trial results are driving the purchase of NeoRehab Pty Ltd’s virtual rehabilitation clinic to treat patients in regional Australia.

NeoRehab is one of UniQuest’s university research-based start-up companies, established to commercialise the eHAB® telehealth system for allied health professionals.

Blue Care, Queensland Health, The University of Queensland, and the Hear and Say Centre are among the healthcare organisations which have recently purchased prototypes of NeoRehab’s eHAB® system, following extensive clinical and production testing of the system.

For Cairns-based Jack Gardiner, 12, the technology has meant fewer trips to Brisbane for audiology services, saving time and money for his family and minimising stress for him.

Jack was born deaf, and wears cochlear implants which require regular MAPping (or reprogramming) to insure they are hearing optimally. He was the first Cairns child to benefit from the Hear and Say Centre’s trial of the eHAB® videoconferencing system to MAP his cochlear implant remotely.

Hear and Say Clinical Director, Emma Rushbrooke, said the results using eHAB® showed no significant differences between MAPs obtained in traditional face-to-face environments, and long term, the organisation planned to integrate the technology into their existing outreach programs.

NeoRehab Chief Technical Officer and University of Queensland Telerehabilitation Research Unit co-director, Dr Trevor Russell, said the eHAB® system would be used to make hundreds, if not thousands, of calls to diagnose and treat Australian patients in 2011.

“There was a clear need for a solution such as eHAB, and this became even more evident when the industry started approaching us, despite the fact we hadn’t started marketing the product,” said Dr Russell.

“After we published our clinical trial results, healthcare providers became genuinely excited because finally there’s a clinically proven technology they can use to deliver quality, and in some cases better, care via the Internet for physiotherapy, audiology, speech therapy, and occupational therapy,” he said.

“In Australia, it can be frustratingly difficult to treat regional, remote and even house-bound urban patients with conventional face-to-face consultations because the distances are just too large and we don’t have enough clinicians. That’s why I set out to create a solution.”

eHAB® is the product of more than 11 years’ research and development by Dr Russell and Professor Deborah Theodoros, who are regarded as world leaders in telerehabilitation research.

The pair worked closely with UniQuest, The University of Queensland’s leading commercialisation company, to patent the eHAB® technology and license it into NeoRehab Pty Ltd.

NeoRehab Director, Clint Ramsay, said the company was seeking investment to refine eHAB® for large-scale production and enter international markets.

“NeoRehab has been extremely successful in securing grants to take it through initial product development and clinical trials,” said Mr Ramsay.

“We’re now looking to launch the product and begin hitting international markets,” he said.

“The eHAB® system and its advanced software tools are proven in the field. It’s really just a matter of upgrading the current hardware to make it smaller, more portable and cheaper for customers. We also want to begin actively marketing the system, and secure regulatory approval for key markets such as the US.”

NeoRehab was awarded a 2011 ‘What’s Your Big Idea Queensland’ grant in April. It is also one of 50 innovations and ventures UniQuest will be promoting at this year’s BIO Convention in Washington DC, the largest annual industry meeting of its kind in the world.

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UniQuest Pty Limited

Established by The University of Queensland in 1984, UniQuest is widely recognised as one of Australia’s largest and most successful university commercialisation groups, benchmarking in the top tier of technology transfer worldwide. From an intellectual property portfolio of 1,500+ patents it has created over 60 companies, and since 2000 UniQuest and its start-ups have raised more than $400 million to take university technologies to market. Annual sales of products using UQ technology and licensed by UniQuest are running at $3 billion. UniQuest now commercialises innovations developed at The University of Queensland and its commercialisation partner institutions: the University of Wollongong, University of Technology Sydney, James Cook University, University of Tasmania, Mater Medical Research Institute, and Queensland Health. UniQuest also provides access to an expansive and exclusive network of independent academics to tailor a consulting or project R&D solution to meet the diverse needs of industry and government, facilitating some 500 consulting, expert opinion, testing, and contract research services each year.

UniQuest is also a leading Australasian provider of international development assistance recognised for excellence in technical leadership, management and research. Working with agencies such as AusAID, NZAID, the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank, UniQuest has developed and implemented more than 400 projects in 46 countries throughout the Pacific, South-East Asia, the Indian sub-continent and Africa.

Leanne Wyvill
P: +61 7 3365 4037
M: +61 0 409767199


UniQuest, allied health, telehealth, regional services, clinical trials, medical devices, audiology, physiotherapy, university research, occupational therapy, speech pathology, aged care



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