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The University of Nottingham’s Electrical and Electronic Engineering team won the Healthcare Technology award for Monica – the world’s first wearable labour and delivery foetal monitor, making life-saving early interventions possible around the globe.

This wearable foetal monitor overcomes heart rate confusion between a mother and her unborn child and is unaffected by high Body Mass Index, unlike its ultrasound competitor. Its high sensitivity means that the data is more accurate which is critical in enabling life-saving early interventions.

The innovation allows patients to move freely while being monitored, helping to make labours shorter, reduce interventions and improve the mother’s birthing experience.

Foetal heart-rate and contraction monitoring has now become routine clinical practice during pregnancy and labour to evaluate the well-being of the unborn baby and mother.

Dr Meghann Batten, Director of Nurse-Midwife Hospitalists at Henrico Doctors’ said: “The device has improved our ability to offer true freedom of movement to our patients labouring without anaesthesia. Even something as simple as getting up to go to the bathroom without having to request someone to remove the monitor cables, provides women with a sense of autonomy and privacy.

“Labour positions including squatting, sitting on a labour ball, leaning over or on hands and knees, often result in loss of tracing with traditional monitoring. Once the device captures the heart rate, women are able to move as they need to without being asked to adjust their position so that we can improve tracing.”

IET President, Peter Bonfield, added: “This is the fifteenth year of our Innovation Awards which recognise and celebrate the achievements of the most outstanding innovations across engineering and technology. This year’s finalists come from a diverse range of companies and academic institutions, who all demonstrate the innovation and imagination of engineers worldwide as they tackle major economic and social challenges.

“With the IET’s mission to inspire excellence in engineering and technology, we are so proud to show our support for these exceptional innovators, putting their innovations in the spotlight and helping them to advance their fundamental work.”

Heriot-Watt University and SP Energy Networks won the top prize, the IET and E&T Innovation of the Year, for their Network Constraints Early Warning System (NCEWS) that develops algorithms to extract information about missing cable assets and voltage excursions.

A full list of the 2019 IET Innovation Award winners includes:

  • IET and E&T Innovation of the Year: Heriot-Watt University and SP Energy Networks for their Network Constraints Early Warning System (NCEWS) which develops algorithms to extract information about missing cable assets and voltage excursions.
  • Armed Forces: The Royal Navy for HECLA; the collection of Hydrographic Data using Autonomous Underwater Gliders to support Live Anti-Submarine Warfare Operations.
  • Communications: Joint Forces Command Medical Innovation Hub (JHubMed) for their telemedicine on the battlefield; a networking monitoring device that enables clinical support to be transferred to the frontline on operations.
  • Cyber Security: Senseon for their cyber threat detection and response, stopping attacks in real time.
  • Emerging Technology Design: Boston University for their magnetic metamaterials to significantly improve the performance of MRI.
  • Healthcare Technologies: University of Nottingham for Monica Healthcare – the world’s first wearable labour and delivery foetal monitor, making life-saving early interventions possible around the globe.
  • Information Technology: Heriot-Watt University and SP Energy Networks for their Network Constraints Early Warning System (NCEWS) which develops algorithms to extract information about missing cable assets and voltage excursions.
  • Intelligent Systems: Ocado Engineering for their Intelligent Bot Swarm ‘The Hive’ that reduces average order picking time from 90+ minutes to 5 minutes.
  • Manufacturing Technology: University of Liverpool for their in-situ monitoring of the Electron Beam Additive Manufacturing process to address the lack of quality control in metal 3D printing.
  • Model-Based Engineering: University of Southampton for their Multiphysics Simulations for Robust Computational Modelling of Stochastic Nanostructures.
  • Power and Energy: UK Power Networks and Smart Wires for Load Share; leveraging advanced and innovative power flow control to increase the flexibility of Distribution Networks and enable the connection of Distributed Energy Resources cheaper and faster to customers.
  • Safety Technology: HiLo Maritime Risk Management for their life-saving maritime knowledge sharing platform and statistical risk model.
  • Start-up: Orbex for creating the Prime rocket; an orbital launch vehicle to deliver small satellites into Earth’s orbit.
  • Sustainability & Environmental Impact: Upcycle Africa for constructing affordable homes out of plastic waste while empowering communities to protect the environment.
  • Technology Transfer: GroundProbe for their Geotech Monitoring LiDAR (GML) technology for Tunnel Construction.
  • Transport: Heriot-Watt University and Research Centre for Carbon Solutions for creating low carbon jet fuel through integration of novel technologies from co-valorisation of CO2 and biomass.
  • Young Innovators: University of Liverpool for their in-situ monitoring of the Electron Beam Additive Manufacturing process to address the lack of quality control in metal 3D printing.

 

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Notes to Editors

About the IET

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  • We are a diverse home for engineering and technology intelligence throughout the world. This breadth and depth means we are uniquely placed to help the sector progress society.
  • We want to build the profile of engineering and technology to change outdated perceptions and tackle the skills gap. This includes encouraging more women to become engineers and growing the number of engineering apprentices.
  • Interview opportunities are available with our spokespeople from a range of engineering and technology disciplines including cyber-security, energy, engineering skills, innovation, manufacturing, technology, transport and diversity in engineering.
  • For more information, visit theiet.org

 

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