Medtech designed to calm needle-phobes pokes into Australian hospitals

Medtech designed to calm needle-phobes pokes into Australian hospitals

NeedleCalm founder and CEO Lauren Barber

The company behind a medical device designed to relieve the physical pain and anxiety associated with injections has secured a distribution deal with Haines Medical Australia to reach hospitals in Australia and New Zealand, while also eyeing overseas markets.

The partnership is the largest deal NeedleCalm has sealed since launching in Australia over a year ago and was described by CEO Lauren Barber as "a major coup". 

It is also the latest contract in a growing distribution pipeline for the medical device and follows agreements made with Team Medical, Medimart, MediSpa and NZ-based Cape Medical.

Barber said the company is “aiming to bolster its Tran-Tasman presence” while also “looking to potential overseas markets by the end of 2022 to coincide with the predicted demand for traditional needle-related procedures continuing to return to pre-pandemic levels".

“It’s important to remember Australia had approximately 128 million needle procedures annually before COVID – and our product can be used to help treat around 60 per cent of them,” Barber, a 2020 Melbourne Young Entrepreneur finalist said.

The device - a single-use adhesive pad with biocompatible medical-grade silicone – is applied to a patient’s skin and takes advantage of a natural body process known as the ‘gate control theory of pain’.

Grasping firmly on the pad before a needle is inserted, the sensation produced by NeedleCalm on the skin blocks the flow of pain signals to the brain as a needle enters the body.

The device is secured no more than five centimetres above the anticipated site of the injection immediately before the procedure. The closer and quicker the needle is inserted, the more effective the procedure is for the patient.

“The pandemic has certainly presented increasing opportunities to partner with hospitals, primary care providers and medical distributors like Haines to continue to grow, monitor and improve the product’s use in real life – and real-time,” Barber said.

“But NeedleCalm was specifically designed to make a difference, not just a quick buck, and I see our biggest opportunity still in the traditional needle procedures like cancer treatment, blood transfusions and venepuncture.”

Five months ago, NeedleCalm also took home the best Product Design in the 2021 Good Design Awards.

Haines national product manager Laura De Lacy said Haines was excited to serve as “the conduit between NeedleCalm and hospital buyers."

“When the price of NeedleCalm is weighed up against the time, costs and trauma that can arise from treating needle-phobic patients, it really is a no-brainer,” De Lacy said.

“It’s a product we’d love to see become mainstream in hospitals across Australia.”

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