Cardihab CEO Helen Souris recently spoke to Yolanda Redrup, an award-winning senior journalist from The Australian Financial Review to discuss the impact of the Australian investment landscape on digital health startups. They discussed how things need to change in order to strengthen the Australian ecosystem and capital support to compete with other markets.
According to ANDHealth CEO Bronwyn Le Grice, where the US has significant investment funding pools dedicated to accelerating emerging digital organisations and supporting digital growth, Australia’s funding landscape focuses more toward mature organisations with little support for start-ups at the beginning of the journey. This can lead to organisations moving their ideas and talent offshore to bigger markets that can offer support.
Helen says there is a gap in understanding by local investors that often limits investment, forcing digital health and technology entrepreneurs to look beyond their backyard for scale support.
“There’s lots of seed funding, and seemingly a lot of money for $20 million rounds, but when you’re a start-up that needs to scale up and need to have two to three years of runway to execute to deliver results, that’s where it’s hard.”
She says urgent discussions need to be had around building sustainable investment models that can support and maintain the growth of the Australian digital health ecosystem and nurture innovation to ensure the future viability of Australia’s role in the sector. There is also strong support for government-led policy changes and reimbursement that enable evidence-based digital health innovation to transform our health system.