What is bitbaby?
bitbaby provides expectant mothers with a clear understanding of their baby’s regular pattern of movement and well-being during pregnancy.
The story of bitbaby
Partnered with Nova Venture Studios to develop the product and business
Raised significant investment from both VC’s, the British Bank’s Future Fund and Innovate UK
Built user guidance panel of over 350 mothers, along with a network of obstetricians, midwives and researchers to support development
Conducted feasibility trial using a prototype of the device on 23 pregnant women in concurrence with an ultrasound scan, with bitbaby demonstrating a better success rate of detecting smaller fetal movements than maternal perception.
Winner of Innovate UK’s Fast Start 2022 competition and grant funding
The midwife behind bitbaby
In 2018, with over 20 years of experience as a midwife, the founder of bitbaby took the first steps in creating the bitbaby device.
Having seen so many women experiencing anxiety in the latter stages of pregnancy – unsure about their baby’s movement, there had to be a better way. So the idea of a wearable device that monitors fetal movement was borne.
Since 2019, bitbaby has created several prototypes, carried out rigorous clinical tests and received significant investment and grants to develop the device. Working with the NHS and Tommy’s, bitbaby is in the final stages of development and will be launching in 2024.
Since 2018 bitbaby has created and tested several prototypes, building a user guidance panel of over 350 mothers, along with a network of obstetricians, midwives and researchers to support development.
We have conducted feasibility trials using a prototype of the device on 23 pregnant women in concurrence with an ultrasound scan via Ultrasound Care Liverpool, with bitbaby demonstrating a better success rate of detecting smaller fetal movements than maternal perception.
In addition, a second feasibility study was conducted in October 2022 in collaboration with our development partner, which helped us further refine our algorithm.
Since then, bitbaby has partnered with esteemed Professor Heazell and his team at Tommy’s Research Centre. In collaboration with St Mary’s NHS Trust and the University of Manchester, bitbaby will perform clinical trials in 2023.
This will allow the device and app to meet regulatory requirements and conformity assessment as a Class IIa medical device under UK regulations.
Over time, the data collected will contribute to a fetal movement dataset that can be used to inform future research and advancement, as well as the refinement of the movement detection algorithm.
Have a question about our research?
A note from the founder
My idea for bitbaby materialised from my midwifery experience.
I have always been passionate about ensuring pregnant mothers and their partners receive the highest standard of care so they can have a positive pregnancy and birthing experience. bitbaby empowers pregnant women by helping them to feel more in control of their pregnancy, more confident and trusting of their maternal instincts. My hope is by wearing bitbaby during pregnancy, mothers will feel empowered to ask questions and be more involved with decisions in regard to their care.
What mums are saying
“During my first pregnancy I found it difficult to recognise my baby’s normal pattern of movements…”
During my first pregnancy I found it difficult to recognise my baby’s normal pattern of movements when I was working during the day. I knew that she moved a lot during the late evening, and struggled to pick up clear patterns during the day. Towards the end of my pregnancy, as I began to work less and eventually went on maternity leave, I had a handful of occasions where I didn’t think she had moved very much. As I didn’t really know whether this was normal for her, I went into the hospital for monitoring. Each time, everything was fine, she was just having a long afternoon nap, something that continued after she was born!
The last episode of perceived reduced movements happened the day before my due day, and so, despite the baby being fine every time, I was told they were planning on inducing me straight away. At this point, it was identified that my blood pressure was high, for the first time in my pregnancy, which added to the insistence on an induction. Whilst my birth experience was, overall, still very positive, I’d been expecting to wait at least another week longer and didn’t feel I was mentally prepared for it to happen so soon!
I’m now pregnant with my second, and this time my placenta is at the front making it harder to feel moments, so I’ll have to pay extra attention to the pattern of movement this time around!
Empowering and reassuring expectant parents to enjoy their pregnancy experience, with the knowledge that their baby is moving.
Founder / Registered Midwife
Lead Software Engineer
Saoirse Ríbh Hewitt
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