This page belongs to: National Measurement Institute

Health sector

We use measurement to support personalised healthcare and optimal health outcomes. This includes producing DNA reference materials to support genetic testing in cancer patients.

We provide reliable testing, calibration and consultancy services to the health sector.

We aim to support the health industry and drive innovation. 

Our work

We work to give medical practitioners and consumers confidence in measurement results so they can make informed decisions. 

We support innovation in medical technology.

Research examples

Our work impacts the health industry and the Australian economy.

It affects Australians as users of health and medical services.

Genetic testing

We are a world leader in accurate DNA measurement.

We collaborate with organisations applying genetic tests to improve health and consumer wellbeing.

Our specialist ability to measure genetic disease markers contributes to improving diagnosis of cancer and infectious diseases.

Advances in nanomedicine

We are a trusted provider of measurement expertise for nanomaterials used in medicine.

Nanomedicine uses tiny particles to create and improve a wide range of medicines and medical devices.

Nanomaterials are measured in nanometres – a billionth of a metre. At this scale, new properties can emerge.

Different pathways in biological systems become accessible which may be attractive for designing novel treatments.

We study nanoscale measurements to assist researchers and industry produce size-controlled materials.

Core services

We provide reliable, high-accuracy measurement to both private and government entities. Our services include:

  • testing and calibration to ensure effective quality control in the health industry
  • testing to ensure medical devices comply with standards
  • independent [technical and scientific advice] to key industry and statutory bodies including the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA)
  • leading expertise in sports drug testing
  • external user access to specialised measurement facilities and expertise.

Medical device calibration

Medical devices are essential to the safe, effective treatment of patients.

The accuracy of devices may drift over time. They need regular calibration to remain safe and compliant.

Devices we calibrate include:

  • lasers and energy meters
  • ultrasound equipment for physiotherapy and sonography
  • electrophysiology tools
  • blue-light meters.

Medical device compliance testing

We conduct specialised simulations for medical devices to ensure they meet TGA requirements.

This includes detection of fumigants and chemical by-products from the sterilisation of medical devices.

Devices we test include surgical kits and 3-D printed medical devices.


Accurate measurement is key to innovation in nanomedicine.

Our work includes nanoparticle characterisation for application to novel medicines, diagnostics, treatment and personal care products.

Our particle characterisation facility is available for external user access and includes support by world-leading measurement experts.

We also contribute to the development of standards for the measurement of nanomaterials. This includes the relevant nomenclature and terminology.

Pharmaceutical testing

We test and analyse the efficacy and purity of pharmaceutical products.

Accurate measurement of pharmaceuticals is key to the safety of patients and consumers.

We help Australian manufacturers meet regulatory and quality requirements.

We measure active ingredients, excipients, impurities, raw materials and finished products.

Medicinal cannabis

We offer a wide range of cannabis testing capabilities. We can test plant material and medicinal forms.

Our capabilities include:

  • chemical product safety and compliance testing
  • microbiological product safety and compliance testing
  • identification and quantitation of a range of psychoactive compounds.

We have the necessary experience, permits, procedures and facilities to comply with Office of Drug Control requirements.

We are also working to extend our current scope of TGA accreditation.

Pathology testing

Pathology results produced at different times or in different laboratories may not be directly comparable. 

We provide high-accuracy benchmark values for key clinical analytes for pathology laboratories to assess their performance. 

Genetic testing

We produce DNA reference materials to provide calibration or validation of genetic tests.

We provide highly specialised measurement support and technical advice for laboratories and researchers carrying out genetic testing.

Supplement Testing

Producers and consumers need to understand and confirm the types and levels of nutrients in formulated dietary products.

Examples of nutrients are:

  • vitamins
  • amino acids
  • omega-3 fats.

We have an extensive scope of NATA-accredited nutrient testing capabilities for dietary supplements.  

Examples of dietary supplements are:

  • formulated drinks
  • protein powders
  • vitamin tablets.

We tailor our approach to provide the right solution depending on the product.

Translational research support

We provide support to help turn research into diagnostic products and treatments.

We have extensive facilities for top-level measurement of size or dimension, light, ultrasound, pressure and temperature. 

We maintain excellence in chemical and biological reference materials and methods, for example, in DNA measurement.

Collaborating with industry

We are open to working with industry partners and researchers.

Recent projects and partners include:

  • cochlear implant wire diameter and vacuum consultancy – Cochlear Limited
  • continuous positive airway pressure machine humidity and flow adjustments – ResMed
  • new acoustic mastoid standard – Diatec.

Emerging issues

Our emerging work includes:

  • supporting potential innovations in personalised medicine and genetic testing, for example, DNA testing for cancer risk
  • support for the application of nanotechnologies in health care
  • providing a range of microbiological, food allergen and food-borne virus testing.

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