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HMIC Cluster Forum Report

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Mudbath was proud to host the latest Health & Medtech Industry Cluster (HMIC) forum in their Newcastle HQ last week.

HMIC represents and coordinates the Hunter Central Coast’s diverse and growing health & medtech cluster of companies and organisations, acting as a catalyst for achieving real, commercial outcomes and economic growth. As a technology product agency based in the Hunter, Mudbath is excited to be part of the transformation taking place in the region’s healthcare industry.

The forum was facilitated by Kate O’Mara, (Director of HMIC, LinkedIn) who has led the development of the Hunter Regional Leaders Network Forum. The event was an opportunity for Wes Fagan our Chief Design Officer, to present insights from Mudbath’s Market Scan initiative into digital health care. Attendees were also treated to presentations from John Lancken (Head of D+I Newcastle, LinkedIn)  and Mudbath’s CEO Josh Doolan, before opening the floor to questions.

The presentations and Q&A were followed by a networking session where attendees could share insights and plant the seeds for new strategic partnerships

D+I & Mudbath Significant Contributors to the Health & Medtech Industries

The Hunter Central Coast region is being recognized as a significant contributor to the competitive medtech capabilities of NSW and the nation. HMIC is fostering the growth of medtech and advanced manufacturing businesses by promoting collaboration between industry, government, research, and education. HMIC aims to improve access to global supply chains and increase participation in both national and international markets.

John Lancken, head of Design & Industry (D+I) Newcastle, a product design and development consultancy studio, presented an update on the products his team have helped their clients bring to market in the medtech space. This included the award-winning and world-first AdvanCell Isotopes ²¹²Pb Generator, which fulfils the need for a reliable and scalable supply of the isotope in cancer treatment clinics. John argued that Australia’s bioengineering intellectual capital should be used to leverage governments to fund more opportunities and improve people’s lives. 

Mudbath and Design + Industry (D+I) formed a collaborative partnership in 2022, to connect immersive digital experiences with world-class product design. The partnership stemmed from a dynamic technology environment that is demanding an increased need for physical product designs to be powered by embedded electronics to support features enabled via digital connectivity, particularly in the medtech space.

Mudbath CEO Josh Doolan, spoke about projects the company has worked on in medication management, pharma and health insurance and took questions from the audience about how factors such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and legislation impact innovation in medtech.

Machine Learning Opportunities in Healthcare

Wes Fagan’s presentation on Mudbath’s Market Scan report highlighted the current challenges and opportunities in the healthcare industry, with a key focus on how investment in AI is proving to be a game changer. AI technologies like machine learning, deep learning, and computer vision are revolutionising various aspects of the industry, from drug discovery to predictive analysis, personalised medicine and telemedicine. These advancements are helping to address some of the biggest challenges facing the healthcare industry today, including reducing costs, improving outcomes, and providing better patient experiences. 

Australia has a world-class health system, but it isn’t without its challenges, particularly in the area of serving an ageing population with growing health needs. This has been further highlighted by COVID-19 and created a sense of urgency for digitisation. The current one-size-fits-all approach is fragmented, with analog record-keeping creating a huge administrative burden and poorer patient experiences. We are seeing leaders in healthcare reassess their digital needs, with a focus on new technologies to expand access to care and improve patient experiences.

Digital Health Market Snapshot

Australia’s digital health market is worth $2.5B and is set to grow by 20% by 2030. Investment in tech is a key priority for Australian healthcare leaders, with over 80% planning to increase investment in digital solutions over the next five years. It was reported that most Australians are willing to share their health data and use virtual healthcare services. 


Ongoing challenges include the need to foster public trust in machine learning and data privacy measures, as well as reforms to the State and Federal Government healthcare funding models.  People are more likely to buy into digitised health services if they feel their data is safe. As such, companies with a focus on the safety and trust of people across digital healthcare experiences will most likely play a much more important role in the upcoming years of the industry. For a deeper dive into the Market Scan findings, check out this post recently published by Mudbath on LinkedIn. 

There was a real sense of united vision among the attendees of the HMIC forum. The presenters and engaged audience agreed that healthcare is evolving rapidly.  We need to embrace the opportunities that come with this evolution as AI and digital innovation will be key areas of Government and private investment in the next 5-10 years.