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Publication Date: 
October 2018

Transcript

[Music plays and text appears below the Prize for New Innovators logo: Mr Geoff Rogers, Prize for New Innovators]

[Image changes to show Geoff Rogers with a colleague inspecting a small medical guidewire device he’s holding in his hand and the camera zooms in on his face]

Geoff Rogers:

My name’s, Geoff Rogers, and I’m an engineer and entrepreneur.

[Image changes to show Geoff seated and talking to the camera]

I’m really passionate about taking science and technology, and using that to solve major health problems.

[Image changes to show Geoff Rogers and a colleague walking along in conversation and then image changes to show Geoff Rogers talking to the camera]

One such major health problem is cardiovascular disease. This disease, in Australia alone is responsible for five deaths every hour.

[Image changes to show Geoff Rogers and a colleague viewing X-ray images on a computer monitor]

And the major reason is because clinicians can’t get access to the problem site,

[Image changes back to show Geoff Rogers seated and talking to the camera]

the technology they currently use is a tiny wire, called a guide wire.

[Image changes to show a medical team in a theatre room inserting a guide wire into a male patient]

They pass that in the groin and they pass it all the way up through the body and navigate using a fixed bend in the tip.

[Image changes back to show Geoff Rogers seated and talking to the camera]

The limitation is that in approximately 20% of cases the cardiologists can’t deliver therapy to patients via that means.

[Image changes back to show the medical team in the theatre room working on the male patient]

The 20% of patients that can’t be treated are typically referred for open heart surgery,

[Image changes back to show Geoff Rogers seated and talking to the camera]

or managed via therapeutic drugs.

[Image changes to show Geoff Rogers standing next to an animation that’s playing of his new device]

What we’ve done is make that tip robotically steerable inside the patient, using a joystick controller.

[Image changes to show Geoff Rogers and colleagues standing together and working on a laptop]

It was four years of intensive lab work just to come up with something that broadly worked, and it was another five years to get to pre-clinical trials.

[Image changes back to show a profile view of Geoff Rogers seated and talking to the camera]

These guide wires are about a third of a millimeter in diameter, two strands of hair thick,

[Image changes to show Geoff Rogers showing the guide wire to a colleague]

and ours has over 15 components in it that are all custom manufactured and custom assembled.

[Image changes back to show Geoff Rogers seated and talking to the camera]

So it’s quite a challenge.

[Image changes to show Geoff Rogers and a colleague in a laboratory type setting]

This technology was acquired last year by Merit Medical, one of the largest medical device companies in the world.

[Image shows Geoff looking through a microscope and then his colleague looking through the microscope]

Merit now intends to scale up the manufacturing of this device, make 100,000 a month and take it to markets.

[Image change to show Geoff talking to the camera and then the image changes to show Geoff and a colleague viewing the guide wire movement on a monitor]

Doing science in startups is really hard.

[Images move through of the display on the monitor, Geoff’s face as he looks down, the guide wire movement on the monitor, and Geoff smiling at the camera]

For me, winning the Prize for New Innovators highlights the importance of scientific startups and entrepreneurs in the Australian ecosystem.

[Music plays and text appears below the Prize for New Innovators logo: Mr Geoff Rogers, Prize for New Innovators]

Read more

Read more about the Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science 2018