Portfolio 3: Medical technology – home and community

Portfolio 3 looks to create and implement integrated technology-based solutions for patient-centric, personalised, home or community treatment of chronic disease.

The use of advanced technologies to address key measurement, management, and monitoring issues will be key to enabling devolution of safe, effective care to the patient at home or in the community, to more optimally use clinical resources and to improve patient outcomes.  A key element is in creating novel technologies that work in synergistic systems to maximise ease and compliance to management, rather than the most advanced technologies possible.

While New Zealand’s medtech sector is strong many companies are small, with considerable scope for capacity development to link researchers, clinicians, health organisations and businesses.

At the same time, healthcare costs are driven by ageing populations multiplied by the exponential growth of chronic diseases such as Type 2 diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, and cardiovascular disease.

Each of these diseases consumes 0.5 - 1.0% of New Zealand’s GDP, with Type 2 diabetes one of the leading chronic diseases in numbers affected, and social and economic costs and impact.


Portfolio 3 Spearhead project: Type 2 diabetes

This project offers New Zealand the opportunity to create next generation care systems that integrate sophisticated, point-of-care, medical sensors and delivery systems with mobile communications, personalised physiological modelling, and novel medical informatics and monitoring.

In addition, medical care systems able to provide better care and reduce costs,  would find ready markets in the  global multi-billion dollar device market.
The key technology research areas are:

  • Measurement – advanced point-of-care and non-contact/needle-free sensing and drug delivery, including stretch science technologies to develop low-cost point of care insulin sensors
  • Management – patient-specific modelling to provide better drug or treatment dosing that allows patients to provide expert, patient-centric care
  • Monitoring – advanced informatics and ICT linking measurement and management to automated monitoring algorithms, and eventually to clinical oversight, to improve productivity and to direct clinical resources to those most in need when they need it.


The team

  • Portfolio 3 leader – Distinguished Professor Geoff Chase
    • University of Canterbury, Dept of Mechanical Engineering – bioengineering systems, control and modelling.
  • Dr Volker Nock
    • University of Canterbury and MacDiarmid Institute - advanced sensing.
  • Dr Andrew Taberner
    • University of Auckland - needle-free sensing and delivery.
  • Dr Chris Pretty
    • University of Canterbury - model-based management and decision support.
  • Dr Bryan Ruddy
    • University of Auckland - needle-free sensing and delivery.
  • Dr Soroush Safaei
    • University of Auckland - advanced modelling and analysis.
  • Professor Peter Hunter
    • University of Auckland - advanced modelling and analysis.

In addition the team will use:

  • additional sensing expertise from the Dodd-Walls Photonics Institute (University of Otago)
  • informatics and health information and communications technology (ICT) from the National Institute for Health Innovation (NIHI)
  • design research from Victoria University
  • modelling expertise from the Auckland Bioengineering Institute, among others.

Clinical input will come from relationships with the:

  • Canterbury District Health Board
  • Lipids and Diabetes Research Group (University of Otago, Edgar National Diabetes Centre - University of Otago)
  • Auckland District Health Board
  • University of Auckland Medical School.