Beyond Capital, a New Zealand based investment partner of the Consortium for Medical Device Technologies (CMDT) hosted a group of CMDT members on a study tour to Hangzhou in November this year.
China’s healthcare needs is similar to that of the west but its emphasis on health priorities appears to be slightly different.
From the study tour there appears to be a strong interest in prevention care especially in relation to keeping well. Rehabilitation from sports injuries, orthopedic surgery and accidents is also an area of growing interest. The opportunity for New Zealand could be in collaborations around proven rehabilitation programmes and digital rehabilitation technology. The study trip also showed how western medicine concepts coincide side by side with Chinese cultural beliefs, marrying ideas from the West and East. This is an area that can be explored further to bring about unique innovation in rehabilitation practices.
Another area of growing interest in China is serious gaming for use in rehabilitation and education. This builds on China’s capability in digital technology especially in computer games development and the utilization of the latest augmented reality and artificial reality technology. New Zealand research and start-ups in the health sector has much experience in these areas to offer potential Chinese collaborators.
A key observation that this visit really brought home was the need for New Zealand research and start-ups to have easier access to clinical, business and investment partnerships in export markets of interest. Local knowledge is so helpful to navigate the intricacies of these networks and provide direction. The relationship with Beyond Capital certainly helped the CMDT team obtain a greater insight into the Chinese health innovation and healthcare system than we could have achieved otherwise.
The New Zealand CMDT team comprised of members from the Auckland University of Technology, University of Auckland, Massey University and NZTE.
The CMDT is New Zealand’s medtech research-industry network. www.cmdt.org.nz
Dr Diana Siew
Co-chair CMDT and Strategic Partnerships Lead,
Auckland Bioengineering Institute