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Welcome to Health Horizon’s Innovator Focus series. To compliment the Australian Health Innovation Showcase we will celebrate the success and strength of the Australian health ecosystem each week by interviewing and featuring an Australian health innovator. Our aim is to provide insight into developing and scaling health innovations here in Australia.

First up we had a chat with Dr Hannah Kirk, the Chief Research Officer of TALI Health. TALI Health is leading a change in the assessment and treatment of childhood attention difficulties. TALI Train is their flagship computer program that is designed to improve the attention of children with cognitive disabilities such as Autism.

Dr Hannah Kirk

What is your health innovation? What does it aim to do?

TALI Train is a game-based attention training program for young children, designed by a team of neuroscientists at Monash University. The program represents the culmination of over 25 years of research in developmental psychology and cognitive neuroscience. TALI Train has been proven, through scientifically validated clinical trials, to improve attention by strengthening underlying attentional processes. Critically, improvements were retained after treatment had stopped, suggesting that benefits are long-term, conferring a lifelong advantage.

Designed as a five-week clinical intervention, the program is accessed via a home-based tablet, making it available to users across a wider range of socio-demographic groups and geographic locations. The program incorporates engaging touchscreen exercises to train children’s core attentional skills.

Using a special algorithm, each exercise adapts in difficulty in real time to the performance of the child to ensure that they are constantly challenged. Key parameters can also be tailored by TALI providers to ensure that the program addresses the unique needs of each child.

How do you celebrate and showcase your successes? Who is the first person you tell?

TALI Health is made up of a collaborative and interdisciplinary team of neuroscientists, software engineers, game developers, and all-around talented individuals. We ensure that we celebrate all of our achievements small or large with one another, as well as the company’s shareholders.

What challenges have you come up against in developing your health innovation? What motivated you to keep going?

Due to its iterative nature, the development process of software often takes longer than expected. We have been lucky enough to work with fantastic industry and research partners, Torus Games and Monash University, who have helped to keep us motivated. The strong relationships that we have formed means that communication always flows openly and that everyone is working towards the same endpoint. Everyone in the TALI team, whether internal or external, understands the value and impact that TALI Train can have on the lives of children and families impacted by attention difficulties, and this is what helps to keep everyone motivated.

Example of one of the games that targets selection, a core attention skill.

What is one thing the public could do to help your innovation to succeed?

The public could help our innovation succeed by spreading the word about the TALI Train Program. The research and evidence base of the program has already been established, and we have received great feedback from our early adopters. We just need more people to know that the program exists so that all children with attention and academic difficulties are able to access vital early intervention.

What are the benefits of developing your innovation in Australia?

Australia has a very unique medtech ecosystem. We have always punched well above our weight in this space. There is a strong, committed community of experienced developers, entrepreneurs, investors, organisations, and the Australian government that are willing to help out others to achieve the greater good for all Australians.

If you are interested in becoming a TALI Train provider please contact TALI Health vie email info@talihealth.com.

Follow the progress of TALI Train on Health Horizon.

What is one thing the public could do to help your innovation to succeed?

The public could help our innovation succeed by spreading the word about the TALI Train Program. The research and evidence base of the program has already been established, and we have received great feedback from our early adopters. We just need more people to know that the program exists so that all children with attention and academic difficulties are able to access vital early intervention.

What are the benefits of developing your innovation in Australia?

Australia has a very unique medtech ecosystem. We have always punched well above our weight in this space. There is a strong, committed community of experienced developers, entrepreneurs, investors, organisations, and the Australian government that are willing to help out others to achieve the greater good for all Australians.

If you are interested in becoming a TALI Train provider please contact TALI Health vie email info@talihealth.com.

Follow the progress of TALI Train on Health Horizon.

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