10 November 2011
Life-saving system wins IET Innovation Award
A new intelligent software system that interprets foetal heart rate monitoring during child birth has been awarded an Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) Innovation Award, winning the Healthcare Technologies category at last night’s awards ceremony.
INFANT, the first software of its kind, interprets the foetal heart rate monitoring in real time and informs medical staff nearby and remotely of any potential problems. To date 7,000 births have been monitored with INFANT in some of the UK’s leading hospitals, with the technology functioning beyond the level of human experts. The impact of INFANT is currently being measured in the largest maternity study to ever take place in the UK. Funded by the Health Technology Assessment Board, the study involves 46,000 births in 16 centres across the UK and Ireland at a cost of £6m.
Developed by K2 Medical Systems, INFANT was primarily developed to reduce the emotional and financial costs associated with human errors in foetal monitoring, and has taken 20 years to develop before entering the market. Using an escalation of attention seeking communication, the software starts with visual indications if problems are detected, moving to alarm tones and finally to a human voice if ignored further.
Upon receiving the award, Robert Keith, Managing Director, K2 Medical Systems Limited commented, “We applied for the IET Innovation Awards as they are seen as industry leading and we are very honoured that 20 years of research has been recognised in this way. We have waited for the right moment to compete at this level and we are delighted with the result.”
The IET Innovation Awards recognise the most innovative companies operating within a wide variety of engineering and technology disciplines, with 15 categories including Healthcare, Transport, Telecommunications and new for 2011, Embedded and Critical Systems. Attracting a record 420 entries from around the globe, the IET Innovation Awards offer industry experts a unique opportunity to demonstrate their skill and imagination as they tackle their own local, economic and social challenges.
The awards culminated in a glittering awards ceremony at the Intercontinental Hotel, London, hosted by actor, writer and presenter, Robert Llewellyn. The Awards were sponsored by ABB, Altran Praxis, D Young and Co, Lloyd’s Register, Mathworks, National Grid, NPL and Withers and Rogers.
The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) is Europe’s largest professional engineering society, sharing and advancing knowledge to promote science, engineering and technology across the world. The IET Innovation Awards celebrate the products, technologies and processes that lead the way in engineering innovation.