Innovative Adelaide-based manufacturer Micro-X has received funding to develop a game-changing portable brain scanner from the Australian Government’s Medical Research Future Fund.

The scanner will be small enough to be placed in ambulances or Royal Flying Doctor Service aircraft and will give more Australians rapid access to treatment in the crucial first “golden hour” after a stroke.

It is expected to revolutionise stroke care particularly for rural and remote Australians who are twice as likely as city stroke survivors to be left with a serious, lifelong disability.

The Australian Stroke Alliance received $40 million under the initiative for a five-year program to lay the foundations for a national and equitable approach to the treatment of stroke.

Micro-X will receive $8 million of that to develop the portable scanner using their unique technology.

Stroke patients have a much greater chance of surviving and avoiding long-term brain damage if they are diagnosed and treatment begins within that first hour.

“We are excited to be at the forefront in developing technology which has the potential to radically transform health care for all Australians,” Micro-X Managing Director Peter Rowland said.

“This unique collaboration puts Australia and the Australian Stroke Alliance at the forefront of global best practice in stroke care which may be adopted as the new standard for stroke diagnosis.”

The Frontier Health and Medical Research Initiative allows researcher collaborations to explore bold and exciting ideas that could have a dramatic, global impact on health care.

Micro-X, based in the Tonsley innovation hub in southern Adelaide, has developed world-leading, proprietary technology for miniaturising x-ray sources.

The breakthrough was made possible by the discovery of Micro-X’s patented carbon nanotube (CNT) emitter technology.