A simple, lightweight, medically proven heart rate diagnostic device is set to be distributed and delivered through 100 per cent Indigenous-owned company, Supply Aus.
Contracts with both Samsung, creators of the S-Patch Cardio, and Sigma Healthcare, a network of independent and franchised pharmacies throughout Australia, will see Supply Aus source and distribute the life-saving device across Australia.
Through Sigma, Supply Aus will be able to use National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) outlets to provide a range of fairly priced health items to Indigenous communities.
Powered by a Samsung Bio-processor, the S-Patch Cardio updates cardiologists with quick and accurate diagnostic data about patients' heart health.
The eight-gram patch simply sticks to the chest of its user, connects via Bluetooth to the user's device, and collects electrocardiography (ECG) data which is instantly uploaded and accessible to the relevant doctors. Users can also track their symptoms on their connected device.
Crucially, it's approximately a third of the price of a traditional ECG monitor.
It also allows for more efficient diagnosis, removing the need for face-to-face consultation â" a game changer for those living in rural and remote areas.
Whilst the S-Patch has several uses, the primary use will be for pre-screening and preventative efforts against cardiac health issues.
The device has already been approved by numerous healthcare bodies, including the Australian Department of Health.
Supply Aus CEO Adam Williams described the S-Patch as a problem-solving venture. He said Supply Aus had been working with Samsung for approximately 18 months to secure the position of sole distributor to the Indigenous health space in Australia.
"[It's an] opportunity we have as an Indigenous business looking after our own mob."
Although Supply Aus has locked in contracts with both Samsung and Sigma, Williams described the upcoming process of gaining government support for distribution as having to "move some mountains".
"I don't think [government ministers] believe an Indigenous business can do this," he said.
Williams also said Supply Aus is looking to employ 11 fulltime employees to manage the distribution of the product. Ideally, they'll all be Indigenous.
For the best introduction of the device, Williams wants Supply Aus employees to be trained at Samsung headquarters in Seoul, South Korea on how to use the device and troubleshoot any issues that may arise.
Williams believes this will help distributors familiarise themselves with the device with mob by their side, giving them the best chance at seamlessly implementing its use into community.
With Indigenous Australians 20 per cent more likely to experience heart or circulatory diseases than non-Indigenous people according to the Medical Journal of Australia, new devices like the S-Patch Cardio can ease the strain on Aboriginal Medical Services and ACCHOs.
This risk is especially evident among younger people, with Indigenous Australians between 30 and 39-years-old over three times as likely to die from heart disease than non-Indigenous Australians.
Williams and Supply Aus want to target this risk and care for community through the S-Patch Cardio.
"[It's] mob looking after mob all the way through," Williams said.
By Aaron Bloch