‘Next Generation’ Device Could Herald Breakthrough in Prediction of Preterm Birth
A new ‘next generation’ device which could help doctors reliably predict the risk of preterm birth is to be developed by the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust thanks to funding from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).
Professor Dilly Anumba of the Academic Unit of Reproductive and Developmental Medicine and Consultant in Obstetrics & Gynaecology said: “Preterm birth is a huge global problem, and prediction and prevention of preterm birth remain challenging, because current methods, such as measuring the cervix by ultrasound, have limited accuracy. If a technique that reliably predicts preterm birth could be developed, care measure can be employed to delay birth to reduce potential long-term disability and impairment. We know that even if we can delay birth by a number of weeks, we can reduce the risk of more severe outcomes. Thanks to NIHR funding, we will now be able to improve on our original promising invention, and build on the world-l;eading expertise in Sheffield to improve pregnancy and preterm outcomes.”
|Professor Dilly Anumba|
The first version of the device, which used electrical impedance spectroscopy, was tested on 500 women in a clinical research trial. Up to 200 women who previously had a preterm birth will take part in the new study employing this innovative technique. The project commenced in January 2017.
The NIHR funding has been awarded to Professor Dilly Anumba, Academic Unit of Reproductive and Developmental Medicine, Dr Timothy James Healey, Clinical Engineering, STH, Professor Simon Dixon, HEDS Group ScHARR, Professor Stephen Walter, ScHARR, Mrs Mags Openshaw, PPI Co-applicant.