• Several ASX medtech companies have upcoming catalysts in 2024 as they look to transform healthcare 
  • Imricor preparing to treat its first ventricular tachycardia patient this quarter 
  • Optiscan on schedule for launch of breast surgical device to be deployed in further clinical studies and completion of its telepathology application

Recent years have proven monumental for several ASX medtech companies with groundbreaking innovations and advancements. As cutting-edge technology and healthcare converge, companies within the sector are pioneering solutions that revolutionise diagnosis, treatment and patient care.

Medical technology can be defined as “the technologies that diagnose, treat and/or improve a person’s health and wellbeing, encompassing both low and high-risk medical devices,” according to the Asia Pacific Medical Technology Association (APACMed).

“Medical devices assist healthcare professionals to diagnose and treat patients with a higher level of accuracy and in a timelier fashion, and help patients overcome sickness or disease, improving their quality of life,” the organisations says.

In what is shaping up to be a big year for ASX medtech companies several have upcoming catalysts as they work to shape the future of medicine and improve outcomes for patients worldwide.

Here’s some we’ve noticed.


Imricor Medical Systems (ASX:IMR)

2024 is shaping up to be a big year for IMR. With a European CE Mark already received for atrial flutter indications, the company is now gearing up to treat its first ventricular tachycardia patient this quarter.

IMR is at the forefront in advancing MRI-compatible products within the $8 billion cardiac catheter ablation market, aiming to reduce procedure times, enhance effectiveness and safety for patients and medical staff alike.

Cardiac ablation is a common treatment for cardiac arrhythmia or irregular heartbeat, which affects more than 80 million patients globally, a number which is set to double over the next 30 years.

Performed by an electrophysiologist, who will make an incision in a patient’s groin and guide a catheter through the vein up to the heart, cardiac ablation involves using a catheter to burn and destroy the tissue of the heart that is responsible for causing the electrical misfiring which then restores the heart to normal rhythm.

“The procedure is currently done under X-ray guidance, known as X-ray fluoroscopy, and the problem with that is while X-ray is good at showing hard structures like ribs and the catheter itself you can’t visualise soft tissue like the heart to confirm you have ablated the corrrect spot,” IMR vice president of corporate strategy Nick Corkill told Stockhead.

Corkill says that the original idea for the company was to create MRI compatible tools for physicians to perform complex cardiac ablations, like ventricular tachycardia and atrial fibrillation which require doctors to cross to the left side of the heart.

“It has taken close to two decades and over US$100 million to develop all these tools and to now be ready to treat the first ventricular tachycardia patient this quarter has the entire team and the medical community extremely excited,” he says.

He says another exciting milestone is commencing the US FDA trial on atrial flutter, which the company already has the green light for in Europe and the Middle East.

“The US market accounts for close to half of the US$8bn a year cardiac ablation market, we are just days away from starting our FDA trial at Johns Hopkins University.”

The trial requires 91 patients to be treated and IMR currently have four hospitals joining the trial with plans to have it completed this year and approval expected by the FDA for artrial flutter in 2025.

Corkill says momentum lost during the Covid-19 pandemic is resuming and the company has steadily reactivated hospitals in Europe with more to come throughout the rest of 2024.

“In the second half of the year, we expect to have several hospitals installing our equipment in the Middle East and we are looking forward to entering the Australian market following TGA approval in the very near term.”

Corkill says the hospital footprint the company is building out globally is a key long-term asset.

“We initially start hospital with atrial flutter, but as we gain the approvals to do ventricular tachycardia and atrial fibrillation or even take heart biopsies the revenue opportunity per procedure increases significantly for Imricor and the value proposition for the hospital also multiplies,” he says.

“Whilst it takes a little time and effort to get each hospital established, once they are active, Imricor captures 100% of the consumable revenue for each procedure as there are no other MRI compatible cardiac ablation products in the market.”


Optiscan (ASX:OIL)

OIL has developed a miniaturised confocal endomicroscope that can generate microscopic images in real time essentially eliminating the need for physical biopsies.

It’s an approach known as optical biopsy, and OIL is a global leader in its development and manufacture.

CEO and managing director Dr Camile Farah, who is himself a pathologist, told Stockhead OIL is at an inflection point in its evolution as the company shifts from being an original equipment manufacturer to a private label manufacturer, essentially building and releasing products to the market under its own brand name.

“In the past OIL made a system specifically for Pentax used in gastroenterology (GI) and currently we make a system for Carl Zeiss used in brain surgery,” he says.

OIL’s technology takes a beam of light and focusses it to penetrate living tissue, in turn generating microscopic images, which can be used to diagnose cancer and other diseases on the spot.

“It literally puts the pathologist’s microscope in the hands of surgeons and allows them to resect cancers down to the last cell, at the time of surgery, which current operating systems cannot do,” Farah says.

OIL is also building a cloud-based telepathology application that will bring surgeons and pathologists closer together to diagnose, treat and monitor patients with cancer, in addition to AI apps that can tell a surgeon if cancer is present while they’re operating.

“Our platform is particularly useful for intraoperative pathology during surgery for the diagnosis and resection of malignant tumours,” Farah says.

OIL is currently focussed on breast, oral and GI cancers which between them account for 30% of total cancer cases in the US alone, and a US$160 billion US healthcare spend.

The company recently announced it had established an office in the Minnesota BioBusiness Centre and appointed two US-based executives as it looks to grow its operations in the world’s largest healthcare market.

“We are super excited about the progress we’re making with the development of the pipeline of products,” Farah says.

He says OIL is on schedule for the launch of a breast surgical device that will be deployed in further clinical studies, and also the completion of its telepathology application.

“The appointment of the US-based heads of clinical and regulatory affairs demonstrates our commitment to supporting the commercialisation of our devices in the US market through pursuit of FDA clearances for our various devices with breast and oral being our first two clinical applications,” he says.

“Since establishing our presence in the US, we have been working on various partnerships and collaborations that we believe will supercharge our path to regulatory success and ultimately bring our cutting-edge technology to more patients suffering unnecessarily due to delays in diagnosis and difficulties with current treatment approaches.”

OIL has also kicked off R&D on its second generation flexible endomicroscope for GI which is estimated to cost $9.5 million over the next three years.

Farah  says $3 million of that funding will come from the Federal Government as part of its CRC-P program to bolster the medtech sector.

Mach7 Technologies (ASX:M7T)

2024 is also shaping up to be a monumental year for health technology company specialising in Enterprise Imaging solutions M7T.

Their technology allows healthcare practitioners across all departments and specialities to view and store diagnostic imaging.

The company recently released its Q3 FY24 result which showed record sales orders and cashflow positive YTD, an important milestone.

CEO and managing director, Mike Lampron says the first nine months of FY24 has been an exciting time for M7T as the company exceeded its initial FY24 sales order target in six months and saw a dramatic shift to subscription sales.

“The transition from capital to subscription revenue will provide us with high quality revenue and greater predictability around future earnings and cash,” he says.

Lampron says the company has a strong sales pipeline with contract size larger than in the past reflecting recent key wins. In July 2023 M7T announced its participation in the Veterans Health Administration’s (VHA’s) National Teleradiology Program (NTP).

He says M7T is also positioning itself to benefit from industry tailwinds with a highly fragmented market for medical imaging and ongoing shift in demand from acute to ambulatory care settings.

The company operates across multiple regions, care settings and product combinations.

“Sales orders secured across FY24 to date have resulted in a 37% increase in contracted ARR to $28.2 million compared to 30 June 2023 which represents future revenue once first productive use is achieved for new customers as well as additional revenue from existing customers from the effective date of renewal,” Lampron says.

“Our sales pipeline is the strongest it has ever been and reflects opportunities with new and existing customers across multiple geographies and product combinations.

“Looking ahead, our strategic priorities will reflect our purpose of enabling exceptional patient care by empowering healthcare providers to make better informed decisions.”


The IMR, OIL & M7T share price today:



At Stockhead, we tell it like it is. While Imricor and Optiscan are Stockhead advertisers, the companies did not sponsor this article.