In summary

  • MedTechVic recently hosted the Assistive Technology Co-Design Workshop in partnership with NORTH Link
  • The workshop highlighted the need for collaboration between healthcare workers and manufacturers in the production of assistive technology
  • NORTH Link’s Assistive Technology Cluster aims to produce learning resources to facilitate the co-design of assistive technology

Swinburne University of Technology’s Medical Technology Victoria (MedTechVic) is working with local industry and community groups to improve the design and manufacturing of fit-for-purpose assistive technology. 

A recent MedTechVic workshop hosted in collaboration with regional advocacy group NORTH Link brought together designers, manufacturers, occupational therapists and other professionals to consider all aspects of assistive technology production, from needs identification to product delivery and everything in between.

MedTechVic Director, Professor Rachael McDonald, said bringing together professionals from across industry to collaborate and develop locally manufactured co-created assistive technology is fundamental to MedTechVic’s mission.

“Through our partnership, we were able to identify ways in which design and manufacturing of assistive technology can be improved at a local level, which will, in turn, improve the lives of end users,” Professor McDonald said.

Hosted in MedTechVic’s LivingAT facility, the Assistive Technology Co-Design Workshop was one of a series co-facilitated by Wavelength Learning as part of NORTH Link’s Assistive Technology Cluster project

NORTH Link is a business network and regional economic development advocacy group representing Melbourne’s northern region.

(Left to right) General Manger, Operations NORTH Link Stephen Joyce, Professor Rachael McDonald, and Partnership Development Manager NORTH Link Shannon Ryan. 

“Running our Assistive Technology Co-Design Workshop with Swinburne's MedTechVic has enabled NORTH Link's Assistive Technology Cluster to directly reach a wide range of people with a shared interest in enabling manufacturing of assistive technology locally,” says NORTH Link General Manger of Operations, Stephen Joyce.

“Importantly, our partnership with MedTechVic has allowed us to tap into Swinburne's extraordinary creativity and entrepreneurship in the assistive technology space bringing a critical blend of knowledge, expertise and experience into fine focus.” 

Co-designing assistive technologies 

Through the workshop’s activities, attendees were able to identify how manufacturers, healthcare providers and assistive technology designers can effectively work together to develop fit-for-purpose, Australian made assistive technology and services. 

“MedTechVic has been incredibly generous with their knowledge and time, making it one of our most successful co-design workshops. We look forward to sharing the knowledge we gain with them as we deepen our research and capability in supporting assistive technology manufacturing in Victoria,” says NORTH Link Partnership Development Manager, Shannon Ryan.

In partnership with MedTechVic, Brite, Kangan Institute and DPV Health, the Assistive Technology Cluster aims to bring together health providers and manufacturers to build strong working relationships. Growing communication between these two sectors is critical to building a sovereign manufacturing capability for assistive technology in Australia. 

The outputs, insights and knowledge from these workshops will be used to build resources that can teach and enable businesses across these two sectors to work more closely together. 

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