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  • Physio Pitchfest picks Pronosupinator as winner

    Author: Haley Williams

The Physiotherapy Research Foundation’s Physio Pitchfest announced Brodwen McBain from the Upper Limb Co as the winner of the Judges’ Award for The Pronosupinator.  

Funded by the Physiotherapy Research Foundation, Physio Pitchfest fosters innovation and helps to identify an unmet clinical need in the field of physiotherapy.

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APA National President Phil Calvert says the event is about empowering members to transform physiotherapy practice and improve patient wellbeing through innovation. 

“As the peak professional body for physiotherapists in Australia, representing more than 27,000 members, two of our key focus areas are advancing the profession and driving innovation in physiotherapy care for the benefit of all Australians.

“Physiotherapists are driven to find new and better ways to help their patients reduce their pain, recover faster from injury and manage their conditions so that they can enjoy a better quality of life.


Occupational Therapist
SA Health, Limestone Coast Local Health Network
Occupational Therapist - Senior
Charters Towers Health Service

“We were excited by the depth and range of ideas we received as part of the Pitchfest program, which we feel is reflected in the final five shortlisted innovations.

“We’re delighted to be able to foster innovation in the profession and look forward to supporting the winner to help change people’s lives for the better,” said Mr Calvert.

Twenty applications from Australian Physiotherapy members were received and reviewed by a judging panel with five applicants shortlisted.

Applicants had three minutes to pitch their idea in front of an audience of at least 1,500 at the Pitchfest Transform Conference.

Ms McBain’s The Pronosupinator, a dynamic orthosis, provides a passive stretch into forearm supination or pronation.

Functional and comfortable to wear, it improves range of motion in the presence of stiffness and improves functional outcomes following wrist or elbow injuries.

“We are so excited to be part of the inaugural Pitchfest and so grateful to have been chosen as the winner.

“The funds will allow us to continue to develop the Pronosupinator and help more people achieve optimal outcomes following injury.

“A big thank you to the Physiotherapy Research Foundation and all involved for such a great initiative.

“We feel very fortunate to have shared the experience with some very innovative physiotherapists,” said Ms McBain.

The judges used the following criteria:

· How confidently and succinctly do they pitch their idea?
· How well do they articulate the problem they are trying to solve?
· Does their solution solve the problem, and how does it differ from competitive products?
· Is the target market clearly defined and is it large enough?
· Is the team credible and do they have the right skills?
· Will the idea/product have a significant impact on our profession or patients?
· Is their idea validated by research or other criteria?
· Is the path to market viable?
· Is the idea/problem scalable?
· Is the use of funds appropriate?
· Are the timelines and milestones achievable?

The judges’ feedback on Ms McBain’s pitch:

• An excellent presentation that clearly articulated the problem and how the innovation solved this problem.
• A clear understanding of the competitors, target market, the path to market and the use of prize money.
• Significant market traction and validation to date.
• The ability of the Pronosupinator to impact the profession and patient outcomes globally.

Dr Leo Ng from Curtin University won People’s Choice Award for the Research Screener – Making Science Smarter.

The People’s Choice Award asks, which of the pitches do you think is the most innovative and will most likely lead to transformation within the profession?

The Research Screener - Making Science Smarter, is a web application that applies machine learning techniques to semi-automate research article screening. This unique technology can scan thousands of abstracts within a few hours rather than months by researchers.

For more on the finalists, visit


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Haley Williams

Haley Williams has a Bachelor of Communication in Journalism and over a decade of experience in the media, marketing and communications industries.

She is a widely published journalist with a particular interest in writing magazine features on parenting, health, fitness, nutrition and education.

Before becoming a freelance journalist, Haley worked as a writer for NeoLife (a worldwide nutrition company), News Limited and APN News & Media.

Haley also has extensive experience as an SEO Content Writer and Digital Marketing Strategist.