Ex­port pro­file: Vol­para Health Tech­nolo­gies

Exporter - - HEALTH IT - Glenn Baker is ed­i­tor of Ex­porter.

Vol­para Health Tech­nolo­gies (http://vol­para­so­lu­tions. com/) de­vel­ops dig­i­tal health so­lu­tions to en­able per­son­alised, high qual­ity breast cancer screen­ing based on ob­jec­tive mea­sure­ments of breast den­sity, com­pres­sion and ra­di­a­tion dose. The com­pany was founded in 2009 by four of the world’s lead­ing breast imag­ing ex­perts, and its Welling­ton R&D and engi­neer­ing head­quar­ters was es­tab­lished by Dr Ralph High­nam.

VHT’s breast imag­ing an­a­lyt­ics and anal­y­sis prod­ucts im­prove clin­i­cal de­ci­sion-mak­ing and the early de­tec­tion of breast cancer. Vol­para soft­ware is used in 35 coun­tries, with more than nine mil­lion women hav­ing their breast den­sity an­a­lysed us­ing Vol­paraDen­sity.

Vol­paraEn­ter­prise, a cloud-based busi­ness in­tel­li­gence prod­uct to as­sist qual­ity con­trol, was launched last July.

Ex­port strat­egy:

• Fo­cus on what po­ten­tial US cus­tomers would value. The coun­try’s large pop­u­la­tion, strong early-adopter cul­ture and pa­tient ad­vo­cacy groups (28 states have leg­is­la­tion re­quir­ing women be no­ti­fied of their breast den­sity) pro­mote the adop­tion of in­no­va­tive prod­ucts. The US has rep­re­sented 90 per­cent of sales to date. • Vol­para seeks out high-qual­ity lo­cal dis­trib­u­tors and agents but re­tains the abil­ity to go di­rect to cus­tomers. Agents give Vol­para ac­cess to their lo­cal cus­tomer base, may help Vol­para’s reg­u­la­tory po­si­tion and can sup­port dis­trib­u­tor re­la­tion­ships.

Chal­lenges and learn­ings:

• Early ground­work en­cour­ag­ing peer-re­viewed pa­pers re­gard­ing breast den­sity has been es­sen­tial in the huge de­mands be­ing placed on them – es­pe­cially in ar­eas such as the age­ing pop­u­la­tion, long-term chronic con­di­tions, dis­abil­i­ties and men­tal health.”

Be­ing re­spon­sive to the Health Strat­egy gives health IT firms an ad­van­tage when it comes to in­ter­na­tional op­por­tu­ni­ties, he says.

Healthy tar­gets

Ar­rol is con­vinced that New Zealand’s health IT sec­tor has a huge

es­tab­lish­ing Vol­para as the mar­ket leader. • In the US, in­no­va­tive pri­vate clin­ics and large re­searchori­ented clin­ics have es­pe­cially been re­cep­tive. Staterun health or­gan­i­sa­tions have been slow adopters, or re­quire multi-year tri­als prior to pur­chase. • Ad­dress­ing reg­u­la­tory and qual­ity obli­ga­tions for med­i­cal de­vices re­quires sig­nif­i­cant re­source. Timely in­vest­ment has put Vol­para in a strong mar­ket po­si­tion. • Early in­vestors are fully en­gaged with what the com­pany is try­ing to do, and have been in­stru­men­tal in get­ting Vol­para through to ASX list­ing.

Best ad­vice:

• Keep in­no­vat­ing and pro­tect your IP. • Hire the best peo­ple pos­si­ble. • Iden­tify the lu­mi­nar­ies in coun­tries and in­vest in them. • Con­sider whether to re­fine the prod­uct lo­cally then go over­seas (of­ten the best ap­proach), or start di­rectly over­seas (the ap­proach Vol­para took, but only with spe­cific driv­ers point­ing to this strat­egy). • Al­ways re­tain the abil­ity to sell di­rect. op­por­tu­nity to grow its in­ter­na­tional pres­ence and build sig­nif­i­cant ex­port re­turns. He be­lieves it’s time to move more ex­porters up the lad­der to sit along­side, or even above, the achieve­ments of Orion.

“In its own right the health IT sec­tor should be tar­get­ing at least $1 bil­lion of ex­ports over the com­ing five years, that would then pro­vide the plat­form for a fur­ther $1 bil­lion­plus to be added through to 2026.

“To do this we need to es­tab­lish a clear set of ob­jec­tives that aligns ev­ery­one with achiev­ing them – pri­vate and pub­lic – and we need a sup­port­ive New Zealand health sec­tor.

“None of this can be achieved un­less we’ve a strong, lo­cal health IT in­dus­try that is en­abling lead­ing-edge health ser­vices for New Zealan­ders, and can use th­ese proof points to es­tab­lish off­shore suc­cess sto­ries.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.