A University of Nottingham spin-out company which has developed a novel technology for monitoring expectant mothers, has been acquired by GE Healthcare.
Monica Healthcare was spun-out of the University to develop work from the research group that was led by Professor Barrie Hayes-Gill and his colleague Professor John Crowe between 1989 and 2002.
Monica Healthcare’s technology enhances obstetric care by the use of wireless fetal monitoring devices, enabling an expectant mother to move freely during labour to more comfortable positions, even to be able to take a shower.
Monica’s advanced fetal monitors are already used by midwives, labour and delivery nurses, and expectant mothers at over 1000 sites across Europe, Asia and North America, with more than 100,000 patients benefitting from the technology in the last year.
The company, which now employs 20 people in Nottingham, was established by Professor Hayes-Gill with two of his researchers Dr Barratt, now CEO of the company, and Dr Pieri, Monica’s CTO. Professor Hayes-Gill has worked part-time as Director of Research for Monica Healthcare Ltd since its creation in 2005 as part of the management team and as an Executive Director on the board.
Since 2015, GE Healthcare has been Monica’s exclusive North American distribution partner for the Novii Wireless Patch System – a single-patient use patch that effectively monitors maternal heart rate, fetal heart rate, and uterine activity, even on the patients who are difficult to monitor using the existing ultrasound technology. The Novii patch communicates through Bluetooth wirelessly to the fetal monitor, providing patients with greater mobility in labour.
Professor Barrie Hayes-Gill commented: “Joining GE Healthcare provides a fantastic opportunity to bring together Monica’s digital offerings with GE Healthcare’s global infrastructure to provide even stronger capabilities and solutions to customers around the world.
"GE is one of the world’s leading healthcare solutions companies, and will be promoting the use of Monica’s technology internationally. The funders, researchers, and the range of other supporters should all feel very proud of what they have achieved by working together and believing in Monica Healthcare.”
Improving maternal and infant care
Tammy Noll, General Manager of GE Healthcare’s Maternal-Infant Care division, added: “At GE Healthcare, we are committed to improving the health care experience across care areas, including childbirth. Through this acquisition, we will combine the incredible expertise and mobile-digital innovation from the Monica team with GE’s longstanding industry leadership and customer focus – all with the goal of bettering maternal and infant care for patients worldwide.”
GE Healthcare has a turnover of $14.85 billion and employs over 46,000 staff worldwide. The company’s Maternal Infant Care products include maternal/fetal monitors, infant warmers, infant resuscitation systems, phototherapy, incubators and combination beds, providing care for both mother and baby through delivery and post-delivery care. It is also one of the major providers of prenatal ultrasound systems.
Dr Susan Huxtable, Director of Intellectual Property Commercialisation at the University of Nottingham, said: “I am delighted that Monica is being acquired by GE Healthcare. GE will ensure that Monica Healthcare’s innovative products, based on technology developed by the University of Nottingham, can be distributed widely, benefitting thousands of expectant mothers across the world.
A significant impact
“The success of Monica illustrates that although the journey to commercialisation might be a long one, in the end it can lead to something very worthwhile which can make a significant impact.”
Monica was funded in its early stages by Action Medical Research, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and also the EU (Maria Sklodowska-Curie).
For more information about the University of Nottingham’s spin-out portfolio and technologies available for licensing, click here or telephone +44(0)115 823 2180
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Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham has 43,000 students and is ‘the nearest Britain has to a truly global university, with a “distinct” approach to internationalisation, which rests on those full-scale campuses in China and Malaysia, as well as a large presence in its home city.’ (Times Good University Guide 2016). It is also one of the most popular universities in the UK among graduate employers and was named University of the Year for Graduate Employment in the 2017 The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide. It is ranked in the world’s top 75 by the QS World University Rankings 2015/16, and 8th in the UK for research power according to the Research Excellence Framework 2014. It has been voted the world’s greenest campus for four years running, according to Greenmetrics Ranking of World Universities.
Impact: The Nottingham Campaign, its biggest-ever fundraising campaign, is delivering the University’s vision to change lives, tackle global issues and shape the future. More news…
About GE Healthcare
GE Healthcare provides transformational medical technologies and services to meet the demand for increased access, enhanced quality and more affordable healthcare around the world. GE (NYSE: GE) works on things that matter - great people and technologies taking on tough challenges. From medical imaging, software & IT, patient monitoring and diagnostics to drug discovery, biopharmaceutical manufacturing technologies and performance improvement solutions, GE Healthcare helps medical professionals deliver great healthcare to their patients. For more information about GE Healthcare, visit our website at www.gehealthcare.com