Sydney startup Visionflex is delivering healthcare to some of the remotest places on the planet – from the Australian outback to Antarctica – with a breakthrough telehealth device that allows doctors to examine patients anywhere in the world.
VisionFlex CEO Mike Harman says he first started work on his idea following feedback from nurses in rural and remote areas across Australia.
“It all started a decade ago when we were providing cameras to NSW Health for use in remote communities for ear examinations in indigenous communities,” he said.
“Outback nurses told us they would like to better connect with doctors and specialists for advice on a range of things – like blood pressure ECG, dermatology, dental and general examinations.”
This led Visionflex to develop the ProEX Telehealth Hub which takes health diagnosis to a new level.
Comprehensive patient examinations
Harmen says traditional video conferencing technology allows face to face conversations between patients and medical professionals.
However, this does not always allow for a proper remote diagnosis to be made.
“Now we have a new breakthrough device that can be operated remotely by nurses for comprehensive examinations of patients by doctors using advanced video conferencing technology and a range of probes and diagnostic devices.”
A prototype of the company’s ProEX has been developed with the assistance of a $25,000 Minimum Viable Product grant from the NSW Government-backed Jobs for NSW.
“VisionFlex is a great example of how Jobs for NSW is enabling local startups to succeed and ultimately benefit the wider community,” said NSW Minister for Jobs Stuart Ayres said.
Harmen says the grant has been a great assistance in helping the team to develop the device.
“We will manufacture the device in Sydney which will provide jobs for people in NSW in the making, marketing, sales and distribution of the product,” he said.
Travel costs slashed
Harmen says the new ProEX will benefit many groups including remote Aboriginal communities, workers in mining camps or oil rigs, aged care facilities, prisons and detention centres.
“As well as health benefits for remote patients, there are huge potential cost savings by reducing the need to travel,” he says.
“We’re working with NSW Health and the Royal Flying Doctor Service to help doctors make daily decisions on urgent patient treatment.”
ProEx units are now available in Dubbo, Forbes and Orange in Central NSW and later this year units will also be installed in Wanaaring near Bourke and at Wilcannia in far west NSW. Six units have also been delivered to Antarctica.