ResusRight, a biomedical start-up founded by the University of Sydney and Westmead Hospital, has raised $784,000 in a recent investment round to manufacture Juno – a clinical training system for newborn resuscitation.
More specifically, Juno is a paediatric medical device designed to safely resuscitate babies who struggle to begin breathing after birth. The system aims to improve outcomes for the approximately ten million babies that experience breathing difficulties at birth each year.
ResusRight was founded by doctoral biomedical engineering students, Matt Boustred and Matthew Crott, as well as Dr Mark Tracy and Dr Murray Hinder; a research team based at Westmead Hospital that specialises in improving care of vulnerable babies.
The team’s mission is to lower neonatal mortality rates and prevent babies from developing disabilities due to complications at birth.
The capital raised will allow ResusRight to launch the training system and develop a prototype monitor for use in the clinical setting at birth, with manufacturing due to begin in the 2021-22 financial year.
“It was very empowering to find a group of investors who strongly support our team and mission,” ResusRight co-founder and CEO Matt Boustred said.
“This funding will allow us to roll out the Juno, followed by the manufacture of a resuscitation device prototype in the second half of this year.
“Worldwide, every year over 10 million newborn babies require resuscitation at birth, with approximately one million babies dying annually from birth asphyxia. Experts estimate that at least 30 per cent of these deaths –300,000 babies a year – could be prevented with better resuscitation.”
According to Boustred, a lack of access to life-saving training and equipment contributes to a large proportion of these deaths.
“ResusRight aims to advance the gold standard of newborn resuscitation through equipment that is accessible in design and at a price point that is affordable to a global market,” he said.
“We want our monitoring systems to be as useful for a consultant in Westmead Hospital as for a midwife out in Bourke or a birth attendant in India.
“Our mission is to improve outcomes at birth to ensure no baby dies or is left with a preventable disability when their life has just begun.”
The company aims to give clinicians the tools and training to enable more effective newborn resuscitation, ResusRight co-founder and CTO Matt Crott said.
“A key issue in current practices is that the resuscitator has no measure of how much air they are giving to the baby, or whether their mask technique is correct,” Crott said.
“This means they can easily over-deliver or under-deliver air to the baby, both of which have potential to lead to lung or brain injury. In Australia, approximately 17,000 babies require resuscitation annually – sadly thousands of infants are left with injury or disability through this process which more effective monitoring could help reduce.
“Newborn babies should be given the best chance at life, and they deserve high-quality medical techniques that are tailored for their needs. With our Juno training system, we aim to provide both better quality and a higher frequency of resuscitation training – something that was recognised as a priority area in the most recent Australian Resuscitation Council guidelines.”
The ResusRight team hopes to provide better accessibility to neonatal training through affordable pricing. They are introducing Juno into educational programs at Westmead Hospital, Monash Health and Royal Women’s Hospital.
In Australia, over 60,000 medical clinicians receive regular neonatal resuscitation certification.