The CEO and managing director of ANDHealth, Bronwyn Le Grice, has been named by the Pearcey Foundation as its 2021 Victorian Pearcey Entrepreneur Award recipient.
The peer-selected awards recognise an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the Australian information, communication and digital technology sector in their chosen industry in their state.
Jordan Green, Victorian chair of the Pearcey Foundation said, “As this year’s recipient of the Victorian Pearcey Entrepreneur Award, Bronwyn has most definitely taken a risk, made a difference and is a true inspiration."
Bronwyn Le Grice said, “There are very few genuinely peer-based award programs in Australia, and it is a great privilege to be counted among the extraordinary recipients who have previously received this award.
“I remain committed to seeing technologies which directly improve patient outcomes commercialised within Australia, for the benefit of all Australians and our global community. Now, more than ever, we need to look to digital health solutions delivering disease prevention, diagnosis, management and treatment that support an accessible, affordable and resilient healthcare system of the future.”
Working with a consortium of industry partners, Ms Le Grice established ANDHealth in 2017 to address the gaps in understanding of, and support for, evidence-based and clinically validated digital health technologies in Australia.
ANDHealth’s non-profit model has already supported over 450 emerging digital health companies, with the ten companies selected in the pilot ANDHealth+ program going on to raise over $70 million in funding, creating around 300 jobs and impacting over 200,000 patients in just four years.
James Dromey, the chief innovation officer of the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, worked alongside Ms Le Grice in developing the concept for ANDHealth.
Mr Dromey congratulated the ANDHealth boss for her significant contribution to building the capability of Australia’s digital health industry to become an economic and health outcomes powerhouse.
“The goal for ANDHealth was to create a ‘for-good’ accelerator, which removed many of the barriers and costs of participation for SMEs, but also one which produced companies which were genuinely de-risked from the perspective of a professional investor or enterprise customer,” he said.
“This was novel at the time because there was no real understanding of or support for technologies which were directly interfacing with patients to drive improved clinical outcomes and which are required to meet stringent clinical efficacy and quality standards before going to market.”
After early seed funding by Industry Growth Centre MTPConnect and a small group of highly committed, multi-sectoral corporate members, ANDHealth recently celebrated a major milestone with the creation of its first dedicated funding facility, the ANDHealth Digital health Accelerator Fund, that will directly invest in SMEs selected for the company’s flagship ANDHealth+ program.
Gavin Fox-Smith, chair of the ANDHealth board, commended Ms Le Grice for her achievement.
“Under Bronwyn’s leadership, ANDHealth has contributed to significant growth within Australia’s digital health sector and continues to be a driving force for the development of sovereign capability in evidence-based, regulated digital health technologies. Bronwyn has shown herself a true leader in building an Australian digital health industry that is globally connected, robust, clinically and commercially viable – and delivers health and economic outcomes.”
ANDHealth’s chief product officer Grace Lethlean has worked with Ms Le Grice since the beginning of ANDHealth. “Going out, fighting for and creating a sector is not an easy thing,” she said. “It involves financial risk, reputational risk, risks in building and relying on strong relationships. Bronwyn has put herself on the line by calling out challenges and barriers to growth in the digital health sector. At the same time, one of her great strengths is her unique ability to articulate her vision and engage others, and to ‘walk the talk’ with respect to the importance of collaboration to bring about real and sustained change.”