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Boosting Life-Saving Tech For Critically Ill Babies

01 August 2023

Critically ill newborn babies and children will soon have access to better care through a groundbreaking medical device being developed by a local startup, thanks to support from the Andrews Labor Government.

Minister for Industry and Innovation Ben Carroll today announced a $700,000 Breakthrough Victoria investment in startup Navi Medical Technologies to further develop its Neonav ECG Tip Location System and secure regulatory approvals to get it to market – increasing the number of jobs at its Melbourne base to up to 30.

The Neonav ECG Tip Location System guides clinicians to correctly insert central venous catheters into the veins of critically ill babies and children to deliver treatments such as heart rate monitoring and blood transfusions.

Currently, almost half of these procedures result in life-threatening complications in newborn babies due to insertion error or the catheter migrating. The technology developed by Navi is non-invasive and goes onto the end of an existing catheter, showing in real-time whether its placement is correct.

The technology can also be used to check if a catheter has migrated and is posing a life-threatening risk to the paediatric patient – like fluid building up around the heart, an irregular heartbeat or blood clot.

Medical technology – medtech – is one of the fastest growing sectors in Victoria, which is home to 650 medtech related companies and employs around 6,000 people.

This investment into Navi builds on the Labor Government’s continuing support for the health technology industry, including the $20 million Australian Medtech Manufacturing Centre that provided Navi and other medtech companies with funding last year to increase their manufacturing capabilities and develop new products in Victoria.

The Victorian Budget 2023/24 invested $15 million through the Made in Victoria – Industry R&D Infrastructure Fund to incentivise local business to increase their R&D capability that will create discoveries and drive innovation.

Quote attributable to Minister for Industry and Innovation Ben Carroll

“We invest in innovation to maximise the economic benefits for Victoria and to ensure better care for our youngest patients.”

Quote attributable to Minister for Health Mary-Anne Thomas

“Victoria is one of the world’s great cities for medical research and by backing our best and brightest ideas we can improve patient care here in Victoria and throughout the world.”

Quote attributable to Breakthrough Victoria Chair John Brumby

“All too often we see innovative technology like this going offshore for development – one of our goals is to invest in early-stage companies like Navi Medical Technologies to help them navigate the valley of death and see this sort of life changing technology commercialised in Victoria.”

Quote attributable to Navi Technologies CEO and co-founder Alex Newton

“This innovation represents an important step forward in improving the care of paediatric patients, made possible by the support from investors like Breakthrough Victoria and the dedication of our exceptional team.”

Reviewed 01 August 2023

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