Midwife’s pregnancy device receives a £50,000 grant from Innovate UK
Liverpool UK – A midwife behind the pregnancy device bitbaby, has received £50,000 in funding from Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency to help develop the product further.
Rachael Curran, a qualified midwife and founder of bitbaby applied for funding earlier this year. The grant will help accelerate the development of the device by covering the costs of regulatory expertise, further feasibility trials, product safety & compliance testing.
Whilst still in development, once launched, bitbaby will help pregnant women objectively recognise a regular pattern of movements for their baby – one of the key indicators of fetal wellbeing.
Speaking about the grant, Rachael said…
“We’re extremely pleased to have been awarded a grant by Innovate UK. It’ll allow us to continue the development, achieve medical device certifications and conduct further feasibility trials. We’re aiming to launch the product in 2024 and the grant keeps us well on track to do that.”
Following a raft of successful user testing earlier in the year, bitbaby has entered a crucial phase of development as the team aims for a 2024 product launch. The highly anticipated device has received positive support from pregnant women involved in the trials, with one woman saying:
“bitbaby is unique to both existing and first-time mums-to-be. The developers put mums and their emotions at the heart of their creations. A truly rewarding company with pregnancy in mind”.
The wearable device can be used by expectant mothers from 24 weeks onwards. With highly attuned sensors, the device monitors fetal movement and feeds the data into the bitbaby app. Mothers are able to see at a glance when their baby has moved and track the regularity of the movements. It’s hoped that the device will offer reassurance, improve maternal confidence and crucially, reduce unnecessary interventions and improve outcomes.
Innovate UK is part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). It’s the national funding agency investing in science and research in the UK. Operating across the whole of the UK with a combined budget of more than £6 billion, UKRI brings together the 7 Research Councils, Innovate UK and Research England.
The next 18 months will see bitbaby develop the hardware and software of the wearable device and the app and go through more rigorous, NHS-approved clinical trials before it will be released to the public.
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A regular pattern of movements is a key indicator of your baby's well-being during pregnancy.
Women don't always know how to recognise a regular pattern of movements for their baby and don't know what they should be checking for. This leads to increased anxiety. When they do think something isn't quite right, they don't feel confident and they doubt themselves so don't seek advice straight away.
We're developing a device that will monitor your baby's movements during pregnancy from 24 weeks onwards so that you can have a better understanding of your baby's regular pattern of movements.
To read more helpful blogs visit our pregnancy blog.