Success for Sheffield academics and doctors at Dragons’ Den style conference

Academics and doctors are to begin developing a device monitor a breathing disorder in young children, after they won £10,000 in a Dragons’ Den style competition.

Friday, 13th December 2019, 6:41 pm
Updated Monday, 30th December 2019, 10:31 am
L-R Dr Josephine Dixon-Hardy, Grow MedTech Programme Director_ Professor Reza Saatchi, Sheffield Hallam University_ Dr Danielle Miles, Grow MedTech Programme Lead and Technology Innovation Manager. Photo by Simon And Simon Photography.
L-R Dr Josephine Dixon-Hardy, Grow MedTech Programme Director_ Professor Reza Saatchi, Sheffield Hallam University_ Dr Danielle Miles, Grow MedTech Programme Lead and Technology Innovation Manager. Photo by Simon And Simon Photography.

A team of academics and clinicians from Sheffield Hallam University (SHU) and Sheffield Children’s Hospital (SCH) triumphed in the Grow MedTech Pump Prime competition to win £10,000 of medical technology funding.

The money will be used to advance the development of a device that utilises innovative method to monitor central sleep apnoea in young children and infants.

Reza Saatchi, Professor of Electronics at SHU, said: “We are delighted to have won the prestigious Grow MedTech Pump Prime competition.

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“There is currently a clinical need for a reliable and cost-effective device that allows home monitoring of infants and children with central sleep apnoea, and it is testament to the strength of our 15-year research and innovation partnership with Sheffield Children’s Hospital that we have succeeded in winning this highly competitive research prize which allows us to meet this important medical need.”

Led by medical engineer Professor Reza Saatchi, the project team included Professor Heather Elphick, Dr Ruth Kingshott and Dr Nicki Barker from SCH, alongside Dr Ruth Evans and Anthony Jones from SHU.

The team impressed Grow MedTech’s panel of independent judge ‘dragons’ with their plans for technology that can help clinicians to monitor the respiratory condition in children and infants.

Central sleep apnoea, which affects around one per cent of all infants, is a type of breathing disorder that occurs during sleep and causes individuals to pause their breathing. These incidents can be serious enough to require hospital admission.

The competition was part of the event Growing MedTech Translation 2019, an event hosted by Grow MedTech, a major UK programme providing specialist support for innovation in medical technologies across Sheffield City Regions.

Alongside the judges, delegates at the conference were also able to vote for their favourite research innovation, and the SHU/SCH came out on top. The project focuses on the paediatric population, but the technology is equally applicable to adults.