Major global honour for master of microwearables

An Aussie inventor and entrepreneur reshaping the future of global healthcare with microwearable technology has been recognised for the incredible impact of his work. 

Professor Mark Kendall is one of three Australians elected to the US-based National Academy of Inventors in 2020.

Mark Kendall, a Vice-Chancellor’s Entrepreneurial Professor at The Australian National University (ANU), has been elected a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI).

Election as an NAI Fellow is the highest professional distinction awarded to academic inventors.

Professor Kendall is the founder and CEO of Brisbane-based health-tech company WearOptimo, which works on next-generation solutions to global health problems.

He joins 175 inventors from 115 institutions from around the world, and is one of three Australians elected to the NAI in 2020.

His election as a fellow recognises Professor Kendall’s outstanding contributions to the field of biomedical engineering, particularly the delivery of vaccines and wearable health monitoring devices that will help beat major diseases and potentially save lives.

“At WearOptimo we see our role as helping change the world,” Professor Kendall said.

“The microwearables we’re working on will empower individuals and their health care providers.

“For example, some of our sensors will detect and alert you to dehydration while people are on the job, or to dehydration in the elderly. Another type of our sensors will help with the early detection of heart attacks and cardiovascular disease, which is responsible for 20 million deaths per year.

“We’re working on tackling some of the biggest killers on the planet, so it is a real thrill to receive this recognition for our important work.”

Professor Kendall has also mentored more than 40 PhD and master’s students, with many going on to become successful innovators themselves.

His election to the NAI follows on from a new partnership between WearOptimo and Aspen Medical, which will take his Australian-designed microwearables to the global market.

Microwearables are low-cost, “sticker-like” sensors that monitor critical signs in the patient, enabling timely and tailored medical intervention and better recovery planning.

“WearOptimo’s microwearable sensors are designed to rapidly access patients’ vital signs, in situations where time really matters,” Professor Kendall said. “In the case of a heart attack, early warning can be the difference between life and death.

“Most of today’s drugs, vaccines, and other treatments have been created with a ‘one size fits all’ approach. Our microwearable sensors are designed to allow doctors and patients to fine-tune treatment to precisely suit their condition at the time.”