How one Melbourne company is innovating the e-health market

It started with a simple idea: helping others. Now, Melbourne-based health tech startup, Curve, is developing new technology to improve the lives of people all over the world.

Mohinder Jaimangal wanted to do something that made a positive impact in the world. Turning to a tight-knit group of friends with backgrounds in robotics and computer science, they put their minds together to work out exactly how they could do something with their skills that would have the positive impact Jaimangal had in mind.

“That’s how Curve started,” he says from his Melbourne flat. Curve, a digital health start-up based in the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI) certainly makes an impact on people’s lives: “We use software to solve medical problems,” Jaimangal explains.

In collaboration with the MCRI, Curve has developed digital solutions to a number of medical issues, ranging from every-day to serious: among these solutions is an app that reminds parents to administer Vitamin D to their children and also a diagnostic tool that enables the early detection of cerebral palsy in babies.

“And then we have our own ideas and products that we try and push out,” Jaimangal says: “Axon is one of the products.”

By digitising the exchange of important information between medical professionals and patients, Axon enables a more efficient and cost-effective way of providing care for patients. Jaimangal says the idea was originally brought to Curve by doctors who they then worked with to develop it.

It was the product that helped them gain a place in Melbourne University’s MAP start-up accelerator program.

Being part of the MAP accelerator program has given the company a big boost. “MAP is one of the top university-based accelerator programs in the world,” Jaimangal says. “As a result of being part of the accelerator we’ve received a cash injection, mentorship and help getting our ideas to market.”

The inevitable question faced by any start-up doing well is why they should stay local. But Jaimangal has a ready answer:

“A lot of us grew up in Melbourne and, for us, this is the best city in the world. We thought why can’t you make it big in technology in Melbourne? So that’s why we are here.”

When the company started in 2009 the start-up scene in Melbourne was still in its infancy; that scene has exploded in recent years. “The government has really made a big push towards innovation and business,” Jaimangal says.

“We are getting more investment into technology and more investment in general. And as start-ups continue to do well and make good exits the better the ecosystem will develop.”

Working with the State Government of Victoria has been intrinsic in Curve’s success.

“We have been working with the Victorian government for a long time. They have helped us connect with other companies in the health area. They have provided us with grants to go places where we could export our services. We have used a travel grant to go overseas. I am helping shape where innovation could go for the state. We continually talk to government about how we are supporting digital health. And they are always looking at how to bring investment locally and internationally to Melbourne.”

While the world is their oyster, for this local start-up there’s no better place to develop their services than at home.