The Victoria-Israel Telehealth Expert System (VITEX) is one of four projects to receive funding from the Victorian Government’s Victoria-Israel Science research and development fund (VISTECH) this year.

Mr Brumby today announced $1 million for Israeli and Victorian companies to help them bridge the gap between research and the commercialised products.

He said Israeli company, Tadiran Lifecare, had developed the MD Keeper wrist device that can monitor patients’ physical information, like blood pressure and heart rate, without the need for patients to go into the doctors’ surgery.

The company has teamed with the Victorian company, Siemens to undertake clinical trials and further R&D to ensure that this wireless technology will be taken to the next stage.

Mr Brumby today joined former Richmond footballer and diabetic, Dale Weightman to demonstrate the MD Keeper prototype.

Mr Weightman was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes aged 23 and while playing Australian Rules Football at an elite level.

“This miniature monitor worn on the wrist will be connected through a 3G cellular network to the hospital, where the real-time data can be observed and overseen by medical professionals,” Mr Brumby said.

“Just like Dick Tracy did with his wristwatch phone, VITEX will have the capacity for the medical staff and patients to talk directly to each other through the device.

“Because it uses wireless technology, the patient can be anywhere – out shopping, in the home, even in remote regions- and still be in touch with medical staff.

“With an ageing population in Australia and up to 25 per cent of Israeli seniors living alone, the benefits of a remote health monitoring system are enormous, including reduced hospital costs, greater independence and flexibility for people using it, and more efficient health care delivery.”

Mr Brumby joined with Israeli Ambassador, Naftali Tamir in December to launch the US$6 million Victoria-Israel Science and Technology Research and Development Fund – the first time Israel had formed with any Australian state or partners.

“Researchers will be able to leverage complementary capabilities in stem cells, synchrotron science and water treatment technologies and gain access to early development capital for joint projects through VISTECH,” he said.

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