Having experienced the nerve-damaging effects from over-exposure to vibration while working with power tools, Jason Johnstone knows the importance of innovation in the health sector to solve practical problems.
Johnstone, the founder of Vibration Action was announced the winner of the HealthTech Supernode Challenge – receiving the Te Papa Hauora Innovation Prize at the awards ceremony in Ōtautahi Christchurch.
His product, a hand-arm vibration monitoring device using cloud-based technology, was recognised for its potential to protect workers and help workplaces better meet requirements due to increased regulation. The prize will help further the development and market launch of Johnstone’s technology.
“The winning technology has been developed from personal experience and a clear passion for solving the problem”, says Peter Townsend, Te Papa Hauora Advisory Council Chair.
Powered by ChristchurchNZ and delivered by Ministry of Awesome, the HealthTech Supernode Challenge aimed to identify and support New Zealand’s most promising ideas and innovations with global commercial potential that solve real healthcare problems.
The Challenge brought together some of the best minds across New Zealand’s innovation community to support innovators in the fast-growing digital health tech sector of Ōtautahi Christchurch, a growing seedbed for health education, research, and innovation in New Zealand.
Simon Anderson, Acting General Manager of Innovation and Business Growth at ChristchurchNZ
“The winning technology has been developed from personal experience and a clear passion for solving the problem”.
Simon Anderson, Acting General Manager of Innovation and Business Growth at ChristchurchNZ commented that the pre-accelerator partnership with Ministry of Awesome is an example of Christchurch’s prolific approach to health care that brings together a creative and inspiring network integrating world-class healthcare, research, innovation, education and industry.
“The Challenge itself isn’t just about accelerating global ideas. It is about creating connections and supporting commercialisation to unlock boundaries and challenge the status quo.
”Seven finalists took the stage to pitch their innovations at the Demo event at Tūranga in central Christchurch. This year’s cohort demonstrated a wide range of innovations addressing pertinent issues across the healthcare system.
From hardware and software diagnostic solutions to mental health and wellbeing applications, the teams delivered focused solutions on making healthcare more equitable, accessible and effective for New Zealanders.
Marian Johnson, Chief Executive at Ministry of Awesome, says, “The Challenge has uncovered incredible innovation with the potential to make a positive global impact in a critical sector. These startups, together with the support from Christchurch’s flourishing innovation community are creating jobs for a more resilient future. Congratulations to all nine Finalists and to Jason from Vibration Action. We are excited to continue working alongside Jason through Founder Catalyst, our startup incubator at Te Ōkaha – Ara’s centre for growth and innovation.