Six babies are stillborn every day in Australia and one of the major issues associated with many of these tragedies is reduced foetal movement during pregnancy.
As a result, Stillbirth Foundation Australia has teamed up with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC)’s Open Innovation Platform to encourage researchers to develop a tool to monitor foetal movements.
The Foundation is urging innovators, entrepreneurs and the general community to take up the challenge and develop a tool to take to market, which could help drive down the stillbirth rate.
“Stillbirth takes the lives of six children a day in Australia, and more can and must be done to drive this down, including research and education,” said Foundation General Manager, Victoria Bowring.
“No tool ever could or ever should replace the role of doctors, but tools could be developed that can help doctors to make a better diagnosis of potential issues.
“While periodic checks of foetal movements occur during pregnancy, clinicians are reliant on the mother’s account of events between checks, and there is currently no way of measuring this activity over an extended period of time.
“The weakness of this approach is that reporting by mothers may not always be highly accurate in terms of exact foetal movement frequency and how this has changed over time.
“If we are able to accurately and easily monitor baby movements over longer periods we will be in a better position to determine the health of the unborn baby and ensure that it arrives safely.”
The successful applicant will be supported by the Foundation, PwC Health Consulting and PwC Open Innovation teams throughout a twelve week project accelerator.
During this period, they will be provided with access to experts in stillbirth, obstetrics, biomedical engineering, digital start-ups and the health and life sciences sectors.
“The Innovation Platform presents an outstanding opportunity for an enterprising researcher or entrepreneur to work with experts and develop a solution to this serious problem,” said Bowring.
“Successful applicants will also be provided with the opportunity to work with mothers, expectant parents and health service providers.”
After the accelerator is complete, successful Applicant/s may have an opportunity to take their solution forward as a joint venture with the Foundation and other contributors.
Additionally, the Foundation has pledged up to $20,000 to support the successful applicants.
Allocation of the funding will be determined based on the number of winning parties or solutions.
To find out more about the PwC Open Innovation Platform and how you can get involved visit: https://openinnovation.com.au/innovation/problem/stillbirth-foundation-australia-stillbirth-prevention
Almost all research into stillbirth is directed through Stillbirth Foundation Australia from people who have experienced its devastating loss. In the past seven years we have invested $1 million dollars into successful projects such as iSAIL at the RPA Hospital. The Foundation is now calling for more government and corporate investment so we can fund more research into prevention, and more campaigns to let parents of unborn babies know what they can do to reduce the risk. To donate, go to https://stillbirthfoundation.org.au/donate/
Media contact: Nick Trainor 0407 078 138