Local investment gaps and the need for dedicated funding for digital startups

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.


Read the full article

To learn more about Cardihab or to book a demo or meeting with the Business Development team click here.

TTRA funding boost helps Cardihab improve lives of Australians with heart failure

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Australians with heart failure are set to benefit from innovative technology designed to help them take charge of their condition and reduce their risk of hospitalisation.

In partnership with the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute, Cardihab has received $740,153 in matched funding from the Australian Government’s Targeted Translation Research Accelerator (TTRA), to codesign a new technology-enabled program to improve the clinical management of people living with heart failure.

Cardihab Chief Executive Officer, Helen Souris, is proud to collaborate on this important solution that aims to help improve health outcomes and quality of life for people living with heart failure.

Heart failure is a condition where the heart isn’t pumping blood to the body as well as it should, meaning muscles and organs don’t receive the oxygen and nutrients as they need. This causes symptoms such as tiredness, dizziness, fluid build-up and shortness of breath, which may result in hospitalisation.

Approximately 511,000 Australians are currently living with heart failure and more than 73,000 new cases are diagnosed each year. Cardiomyopathies – or heart muscle diseases – cause approximately half of all heart failure cases, with the remainder due to conditions where the heart is starved of oxygen due to reduced blood supply (ischaemic heart disease).

Following a first hospital admission for heart failure, 75% of people are readmitted within 12 months and 33% die during that period. This is often the result of not adhering to medication or care plans and failing to recognise symptoms that indicate deterioration. Poor health literacy, being elderly, frail, or from a culturally diverse background, all increase this likelihood.

With funding from the TTRA program and the support of partners, Cardihab will develop a digitally enabled HF management program - the SmartHF™ program - to improve the clinical management of people with heart failure in the community.  It will provide tailored and individualised support for people living with heart failure and will be designed to address current barriers to effective healthcare delivery.

The project, Getting to the Heart of It: Improving Heart Failure Outcomes with the SmartHF program, will draw on the expertise of collaborating partners including our lead partner the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute, and Violet Vines Marshman Centre for Rural Health Research/La Trobe University, Western Health, Tasmanian Health Service and Northern Health in the codesign of Smart-HF.  

Baker Institute cardiologist and cardiovascular researcher, Professor Tom Marwick, sees heart failure patients regularly in his clinics.

He says this innovative program aims to help address the extremely high rates of hospital readmissions and to reduce the likelihood of complications developing which contribute to significant healthcare costs and have an enormous impact on a person’s quality of life. 

An expert in digital health technology, Professor Brian Oldenburg from La Trobe University and the Baker Institute says digital technology has the ability to improve healthcare significantly and to make it more accessible and flexible, and it has been pivotal in enhancing care and outcomes for patients with diabetes and other chronic diseases.

Similar to Cardihab’s existing TGA-registered SmartCR™ solution for digital cardiac rehabilitation, this program will be delivered using digital technologies such as mobile apps and a secure clinician portal. This virtual delivery using digital technology has been demonstrated to address the geographical divide by providing accessible support to people in regional and rural communities, who may otherwise not have access to heart failure services.


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2  Chen et al. Snapshot of heart failure in Australia. 2017. Melbourne, Australia: Mary MacKillop Institute for Health Research.

3 Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Heart failure and cardiomyopathy hospitalisations (principal diagnosis), by age and sex, 2018-19. 2021.

4 Robertson et al. The health services burden of heart failure: an analysis using linked population health data-sets. BMC health services research 2012; 12: 1-11.

What is the secret sauce to improving Cardiac Rehabilitation participation and outcomes?

“Give people what they want, or what they need, and they’re more likely to adhere to the program and get the results they need.” — Cardihab CEO Helen Souris

Cardihab CEO Helen Souris recently spoke to Talking Health Tech about all things Cardiac Rehabilitation (CR) and the significant impact it could have on reducing the burden of Cardiovascular Disease on the healthcare system—if only people could get access to a program that would work for their lifestyle.

Cardiovascular Disease costs Australia around a billion dollars every month¹, with over 1.1 million hospitalisations being the main contributor to this cost. Many of these readmissions would be avoidable and would save the country millions² if patients had access to high-quality, evidence-based cardiac rehabilitation which is recognised to improve outcomes.³

Programs such as the digital cardiac rehabilitation program developed and provided by Cardihab allow those patients who—for a broad range of reasons cannot participate in face-to-face programs—the flexibility to participate in a clinically validated and clinician-run program that is individualised to their needs and available on demand at a time and place that suits them is the key.

Currently up to 80%³ of patients who should be participating in CR do not due to reasons including a lack of referral, waitlist bottleneck, distance, travel restrictions, time constraints, social and cultural barriers - the list goes on. These and many other barriers could be overcome with a high-quality digital solution, still delivered by a clinician but available on demand at a time and place that suits them.

While there is recognition that digital is not going to be the solution for all, it's a modality that many patients want and need. Helen highlights that more work needs to be done to ensure it is ingrained and embedded into the way that healthcare is delivered, not perceived as an extra or beyond what usual care is considered to be. Through this shift in delivery mindset statistics can be influenced significantly, and numbers like 80% non-participation rates could be changed.

So the secret sauce to improving CR participation and outcomes we believe is providing options of modalities that fit with the needs of the patient, and this is something Cardihab is working to help deliver.

To learn more about Cardihab or to book a demo or meeting with the Business Development team click here.


  1. Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute. No second chances: controlling risk in cardiovascular disease. Melbourne, Australia: Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute; 2018. https://baker.edu.au/-/media/documents/impact/baker-institute_no-second-chances.pdf
  2. Heart Foundation, Data and Evaluation Unit. Unpublished report 2015 via Australian Cardiovascular Health and Rehabilitation Association
  3. Home-Based Cardiac Rehabilitation: A Scientific Statement From the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation, the American Heart Association, and the American College of Cardiology Randal J. Thomas, Alexis L. Beatty, Theresa M. Beckie, LaPrincess C. Brewer, Todd M. Brown, Daniel E. Forman, Barry A. Franklin, Steven J. Keteyian, Dalane W. Kitzman, Judith G. Regensteiner, Bonnie K. Sanderson and Mary A. Whooley

A partnership making a difference to the lives of those with Atrial Fibrillation

We are proud to announce our partnership with the Atrial Fibrillation Institute and Queensland Cardiovascular Group aimed a improving health outcomes for patients with Atrial Fibrillation.   

A heart condition which affects approximately 500,000 Australians, Atrial Fibrillation (AF) causes an irregular and often abnormally fast heart rate.  AF greatly increases the risk of stroke, so early diagnosis and treatment is crucial in changing health outcomes.

The partnership aims to deliver a technology based solution for this complex heart condition which will provide a much needed care pathway for patients while also supporting the clinicians and physicians treating them.

We look forward to working with the innovative team at the Atrial Fibrillation Institute to build solutions that address the needs of  those living with AF.

LiSTNR podcast series ‘Beyond the Medicine Cabinet’ talks Cardiac Rehabilitation

Listnr podcast ‘Beyond the Medicine Cabinet’ host Zoë Callister-Hakewill recently spoke with  a Cardiac Rehabilitation Clinician and a patient based in Tasmania who are being helped by Cardihab’s digital cardiac rehabilitation solution. 


Clinic Nurse Consultant Cardiac Health and Rehab of Launceston General Hospital John Aitken explains that despite Cardiovascular Disease being Australia's biggest killer, the rates of attendance of Cardiac Rehabilitation in Australia are very low at around 20%.

Paul, a Cardiovascular Disease patient was referred by John to Cardihab's digital cardiac rehabilitation program after his second cardiac event, after a 200 day waitlist for a traditional program was considered too long.

Throughout the podcast Paul discusses the benefits of being able to do the program from home and the flexibility of managing program requirements around work/family commitments, as well as having the ability to use the app to intuitively keep track of medications, vital stats, and access educational content and resources as and when required, as being the key benefits to the digital program.  

Cardihab CEO Helen Souris speaks about the rapidly changing healthcare landscape and the impact of program's like Cardihab's Cardiac Rehabilitation program.

She highlights that while the modern approach to treating events and procedures associated with Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) means a patient can be in and out of hospital within days, the recovery pathways are decades outdated and in need of reform. 

Ms Souris says the goal of Cardihab's digital cardiac rehabilitation program is to provide choice. "If someone really wants to participate in face-to-face rehab then give them that opportunity as they're going to get the most out of that, but for people still working or with family commitments give them the option to do a digital program and complete it from home in a way that fits into their life and is more likely to get outcomes." 

The vision is that digital cardiac rehabilitation will liberate the system from the current waitlist bottleneck, and give people access to the care they need when and where they need it.

It’s time to liberate the system with technology

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Our approach to CVD prevention must change or we will keep getting the same results.

Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) is currently the most prevalent and costly burden to the healthcare system in Australia.   Data demonstrates that participation in Cardiovascular Rehabilitation programs significantly improves patient outcomes in second stage CVD and reduces the risk of readmission or mortality.  We now have access to sophisticated, quality, Digital Cardiovascular Rehabilitation (DCR) and support technology that would undoubtedly streamline traditional, labour-intensive processes and significantly improve outcomes, but uptake remains slow. Why?

Read more on Wild Health 

Australasian CXO Healthcare Cloud Summit

Cloud Summit 3

We recently attended the Cloud Healthcare Summit which had a lens on the value and need for the health industry and its governing bodies to prioritise resources, focus and financial support towards digital platforms and cloud based technology.

The Summit was an opportunity for thought leaders from across digital technology and healthcare sectors to come together to discuss the recent successes of acceleration into digital innovation, along with the challenges and obstacles that the industry continues to face despite demands for change.

Alongside representatives from all areas of primary and secondary healthcare and supporting industries, we were pleased to be part of robust discussions supporting the need for further development and systemic reform around expanding digital healthcare.

Cardihab CEO Helen Souris was invited to speak about how the application of a cloud based, digital platform such as Cardihab is changing the game of Cardiac Rehabilitation.

We now have real world evidence to support the initial trials that show Cardihab’s digital cardiac rehabilitation solution can match or exceed outcomes of traditional face-to-face cardiac rehab.  This is an important outcome for patients that want and need more options, particularly those facing barriers to participation such as time or location. Digital platforms provide options that improve participation and adherence which are vital to improved outcomes.

However, there are many more funding, resourcing and industry based challenges that digital platforms face which need to be addressed in order to deliver the improved, secure, agile and available anywhere, anytime care that the community demands and the industry needs.

Cardihab CEO Helen Souris presents: 'If we keep doing what we've always done we'll keep getting the same results'






Contact Cardihab for more information via info@cardihab.com.

Men’s Health Week – An important reminder of the impact of CVD on Australian men

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Did you know that Cardiovascular disease (CVD) remains Australia's biggest killer, particularly in men with 6.5% of Australian men suffering from the disease?

 This week is Men's Health Week (13 - 19 June) so it's a timely reminder for men to undergo any health checks and work towards a healthy, active lifestyle which is the best defense against heart disease.

Tips to help reduce the risk of CVD include:

  • Smoking cessation and avoidance. Smoking damages the blood vessels to your heart, brain and other parts of your body.  Quitting smoking will have significantly positive and rapid impact on health of your heart.
  • Reducing alcohol intake. Heavy drinking or binge drinking can increase your chances of developing heart disease.
  • Adopting a heart-healthy diet which is low in unhealthy fats, salt and added sugar, and rich in wholegrains, fibre, vitamins, antioxidants and healthy fats.  Aim to increase fruit and vegetable intake to 5 servings a day (around 2 and a half cups).
  • Staying active will not only reduce your risk, but increase energy, and reduce stress levels. Moderate-intensity physical activity (such as brisk walking) for 30 to 60 minutes most days of the week is the optimal goal.  Keeping active also helps to control risk factors such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and being overweight.


For those who have already experienced a devastating event such as a heart attack the chance of a recurrence is 5 - 7x greater than normal.  Evidence shows that participation in Cardiac Rehabilitation (CR) can have a huge impact on the chance of a recurrence, however up to 80% of those who should participate in CR do not.  If you or someone you know has been through a cardiac event, please reach out to your health professional for a referral into a Cardiovascular Rehabilitation program.

Cardihab can help facilitate Cardiac Rehabilitation programs anywhere, anytime using our SmartCR technology.  This means patients can focus on what's important and take control of their rehabilitation in ways that work for them.


Visit the Find a Provider page to see some of our current providers and contact them for referral and eligibility information.

Contact Cardihab for more information via info@cardihab.com.


CVD impact on Australian men

This Men's Health Week we recognise the impact of CVD on men in Australia



  1. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (2021) Heart, stroke and vascular disease—Australian facts, AIHW, Australian Government
  2. Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute. No second chances: controlling risk in cardiovascular disease. Melbourne, Australia: Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute; 2018.
  3. Heart Foundation. Key Stats Cardiovascular Disease.  
  4. Heart Foundation.  Are you at risk of Heart Disease.

Cardihab joins Mater and Advance Queensland Innovation Partnership

Mater Event_image

Cardihab joins Mater and Advance Queensland's Innovation Partnership event, highlighting its focus to connect and support innovative new technologies in healthcare.

Cardihab were invited to be part of the Advance Queensland and Mater Innovation Partnership Event this week.  As part of Mater's focus to become a leader in health and innovation, and to deliver new services that positively impact the health of its communities, Mater Private Hospital Townsville now provides Cardihab to its regional and remote based patients to help facilitate improved access to Cardiac Rehabilitation, and to help more patients recover from their cardiac events.

Regional and remote based patients often face huge obstacles in getting to a traditional cardiac rehabilitation centre which can be hours away from their home. Cardihab helps overcome these obstacles by making virtual programs of cardiac rehabilitation available anywhere, at any time.

The Mater and Advance Queensland initiative to connect and support innovative healthcare technologies, means that digital platforms such Cardihab have a strong commitment that our evidence based, high-quality, clinician-supported cardiac rehabilitation solution can be deployed as needed to those who might otherwise go without.

We look forward to our future collaborations with Mater and its partners, and making cardiac rehabilitation more accessible to the community of Townsville

Contact Cardihab for more information via info@cardihab.com.

Visit the Find a Provider page to see some of our current providers and contact them for referral and eligibility information.

Medibank’s Heart Health at Home Program Results Reported in Herald Sun today

Medibank’s Heart Health at Home Program Results Reported in Herald Sun today

Medibank’s Heart Health at Home Program Results Reported in Herald Sun today

We are excited to share that today the Herald Sun has reported on the Baker Institute’s independent evaluation of the Medibank Heart Health at Home program, which is of course, powered by Cardihab.

The article “Ringing up the Rehab” which appears on page 3, highlights some of the outstanding results of this program:

  • The study of 160 participants found their risk of hospital readmission for a heart-related issue during the 60 days post-op was reduced by 53 per cent, compared to those who didn’t undergo rehabilitation.
  • Nine-in-10 participants completed the program.
  • Patient’s diet and blood pressure improved, and exercise time more than doubled to 300 minutes a week.
  • The number of patients reporting anxiety or depression dropped from 27 per cent before the program to 18 per cent.
  • Equal representation of rural participants, reducing inequity.

Heart Health at Home participant, Briony Mattheeusen, is featured as a case study in the article. At only 39 years of age, Briony has undergone three heart surgeries in 5 years and describes herself as “gobsmacked” by the program’s success and the improvement in her recovery compared to her first two surgeries, when she didn’t undergo rehabilitation.

Briony is quoted as saying:

“After my second surgery I was demoralised, depressed, my mindset was shot. (The program) was a complete godsend, it was a breath of fresh air.”

“Here I am now, no medication, no doctor, no readmission,”

“I feel like I’ve got a new life again.”

Making a difference to the lives of patients such as Briony, as well as the outstanding results demonstrated by the Heart Health at Home program, are testament of the impact that Cardihab can make for cardiac patients.

Contact Cardihab for more information via info@cardihab.com.

Visit the Find a Provider page to see some of our current providers and contact them for referral and eligibility information.