A team of engineers and healthcare experts, led by the University of Nottingham, have been awarded by the Royal Academy of Engineering for the development of the Monica Novii ™ Wireless Patch System — a wearable monitor that accurately and continuously monitors the baby’s heartbeat in labour.
The team, who started their research in the early 1990s, includes Professor Barrie Hayes-Gill and Professor John Crowe from the University of Nottingham; Terence Martin from Monica Healthcare; Kanwaljit Bhogal; and Dr Jean-Francois Pieri; and Dr Carl Barratt from GE Healthcare.
With early funding from Action Medical Research, in addition to EPSRC and Innovate UK, they collaborated to apply practical electronics and biomedical engineering to a real-world medical setting, to address the challenges of reliably and accurately measuring the heartbeat of a baby during labour.
The device overcomes heart rate confusion between mother and unborn child and is unaffected by high body mass index, unlike its ultrasound competitor. Its high sensitivity means that the data is more accurate — critical in enabling life-saving early interventions. The product allows mothers to move around freely while being monitored, which can help to shorten labour, reduce interventions and increase satisfaction with the mothers’ birthing experience.
We are highly delighted to have won this prestigious RAE Colin Campbell Mitchell Award that recognises the achievement of the whole team.
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