01 / What is Via Innovations?
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The Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB) recognises that innovation is a fundamental process that is at the heart of improving healthcare.

The CDHB wishes to continue to be a vigorous supporter of innovation that has the potential to improve the health of its regional community and beyond.

The CDHB also recognises that innovation within the Canterbury Health System can take many forms. It may involve adopting new techniques, lean management systems, better efficiencies, technologies to improve information flows, licensing technologies and new ventures based on protectable intellectual property.

VIA INNOVATIONS has been established to:

  • Accelerate innovation within the Canterbury Health System (CHS) that is focussed on improving health outcomes;
  • Connect ideas to enterprise, health to commerce and innovators to investors;
  • Enhance connections between CHS and the wider Canterbury Regional Innovation System (CRIS).

02 / Who will I be working with?
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Executive Leader - Health Innovation

Stella is a champion of innovation within the CDHB and wider Health System, as the Executive Leader of Innovation. Stella has been involved in fostering excellence in clinical standards, research and innovation, quality and patient safety.


Innovation Director - Via Innovations

Anya oversees and coordinates Via Innovations' activities. Anya has a background in tech startups, commercialising emerging technologies from universities and managing innovation funding processes.


Clinical Innovation Director

Dr Helen Lunt provides a link between clinical staff and Via Innovations. In addition to her role with Via Innovations, Dr Lunt continues to undertake clinical, teaching and research activities in diabetes. She also has multiple mentoring roles and is a University of Otago (Christchurch) Clinical Associate Professor.


e-clinical Health Lead

Saxon Connor provides a link between e-health innovators and Via Innovations. In addition to his role at Via Innovations Saxon is an HPB Surgeon at Canterbury DHB and e-tutor for a UK-based HPB ChM programme.

01 / What is Via Innovations?
03 / Who have you worked with?
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Medical Physics and Bioengineering Challenge

The Medical Physics and Bioengineering $10,000 Health Innovation Challenge, offered in association with Via Innovations ran during November 2014 and was open to everyone in the Canterbury Health System with an idea about improving patient care.

First prize: $10,000 worth of development time, materials and marketing for your idea.

Two additional awards of $5000 were given due to the high calibre of entrants

Viable “runner-up” projects were considered for development in conjunction with a panel of industry partners from CDC, Callaghan Innovation and Powerhouse Ventures Limited.

Spinal Traction Device – Dr Raj Singhal

  • Developed in conjunction with Medical Physics and Bioengineering Department
  • Facilitates realignment of a dislocated cervical spine reducing compression on spine
  • JV vehicle formed with Motovated Design & Analysis Ltd and Ossis Limited
  • Via provided funding and clinical validation which facilitated the first two production prototypes into service
04 / How do
we start?
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The best way to start is with an initial meeting with one of our team to hear about your idea. We will send you out some information ahead of time with an idea of the sorts of questions we will ask and things we consider when providing advice. Don't worry if this process is new to you - we are here to guide you through it.

Please email us with a brief summary of your idea and we will be in touch shortly to set up a time to meet.