Meet the CFO at the Forefront of Wearable Health-Tech

Restricted by its imagination, and coupled with a sense of purpose to excel, Australia’s health-tech sector is a frontier for the brave – a wild-west of promises and opportunity with a constant plethora of challenges to commercialise.

As health-tech beckons to explode in Australia – the industry is capable of revolutionising, the nation’s economic fortunes. Whether it has come to terms with its enforceable power it possesses, it seems fear is stifling the sector’s ability to advance where it needs to be competitive.

And just as that may hold true, Brisbane-based WearOptimo, the four-year old health-tech start-up revolutionising precision medicine, is leading the charge on how companies should be commercialising their tech, and at the helm steering the company’s financial fortunes is its CFO, Dan Parry.

Parry, along with Founder and CEO, Professor Mark Kendall, are navigating what could be one of Australia’s most formidable health-tech companies, toward a multi-billion-dollar global market.

WearOptimo has developed a microwearable skin sensor technology capable of detecting dehydration in individuals, especially in industries where the risk is extreme, and death or injury significantly high.

The technology has not only attracted global attention, but has seen State and Federal Governments, Australia’s National University, and healthcare giant, Aspen Medical, throw their weight behind WearOptimo.

“Google, purchased Fitbit for more than $US2.1bn…..It saw great value in the health data of individuals.”

Dan Parry, CFO | WearOptimo

Incorporated in 2018, as part of ANU’s innovation program, the scheme was specifically designed to assist entrepreneurial Australian academics like Professor Kendall, successfully commercialise their IP through corporatisation and funding assistance.

WearOptimo, is the perfect example of how academia and the private sector can collaborate to deliver the innovation Australia needs; taking ideas globally and putting new tech in the hands of those who need it most.

Aspen Medical have invested heavily in a strategic partnership between the two, reinforcing not only it’s confidence in WearOptimo’s technology and his standing as a world-class scientist, but the revolutionary brilliance behind what has been developed.

The investment provides WearOptimo significant funding to accelerate the development of its micro-wearable sensor – while refining and testing it across industries like military, mining, and resources.

The investment is a significant commercial partnership and major step in WearOptimo’s journey to fast-track the development of its product launch, and gain access to key markets.  

WearOptimo’s micro-wearable skin sensor technology is set to redefine precision medicine, but it will be Parry driving the business strategically, where the technology’s global success will inevitably rest.

Time is critical, and as the development of the technology continues to surge ahead, precision medicine will have begun to transform people’s health in ways unimaginable.  

Parry is a veteran in the start-up world. It was his time with Chicago-based telco Ameritech, borne out of the AT&T divestiture in 1980, where he cut his teeth and forged his way via some of the US’s most formidable and recognisable tech companies.

Biotech, life sciences and the med-tech sectors have been central to Parry’s professional life, and his move to Boulder, Colorado, the State known more for its bicycle paths and breweries, than NASDAQ listed companies like Synergen, and Fort Collins’ s Heska, are what really sparked Parry’s passion for health-tech.

Now WearOptimo is the beneficiary of Parry’s highly regarded international experience.

WearOptimo’s focus Parry says, “Is the encyclopaedic information contained under the skin and how it can translate that information into life-saving technology”.

“We are developing a wearable sensor that addresses a key unmet medical need,” he says.

According to Parry, it’s what’s beneath the skin that will provide tremendous value in the health-tech data collected, including anonymised data, which is where WearOptimo will derive an overwhelming majority of its financial value.

Demonstrating just how valuable data is to companies and what it delivers financially, “Google,” Parry says, purchased Fitbit for more than $US2.1bn. “It saw great value in the health data of individuals.”

Guaranteeing data security is the single foremost challenge companies face, and while trying to work within the boundaries of privacy regulations, it’s exactly what WearOptimo is paying attention to.

“This is a platform technology which has key biomarkers for Cardiac Health, Inflammation and other critical care applications so our objective is to ensure privacy remains one of our primary objectives.”

Parry says, “WearOptimo is constantly optimising its business model and addressing the most effective way to market”.

“We are consistently conducting significant sensitivity analysis, which means there are different paths, business models can take, however, it’s determining the best strategic model to take and deliver. That’s the key.”

Focussing on the risk management processes for the company, links closely to the strategy WearOptimo is adopting, according to Parry.

“We are developing tech in the clinical proof of concept phase to where it will source funds that will assist in its progress toward launching the product to market.

“Addressing  large accessible markets in excess of $US100Bn in hydration, immune system status and cardiac biomarkers is a lucrative business, which is why as a company, WearOptimo is determined to bring manufacturing in house with a EGSCP Queensland Government and ANU grant it has secured.”

“It’s exciting times,” Parry says, “To be part of a team developing technology that is not only novel but will save lives and be a key player in both the Australian and global life sciences community.”