SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 7, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Women's health company, Bloomlife, announced today they were awarded two grants to further develop their groundbreaking prenatal wearable for remote fetal monitoring and preterm labor detection. The projects received a total of $2.3M in funding from the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme of the European Union under the SME instrument, and Belgian based Flanders Innovation and Entrepreneurship funding agency.
Both grants will enable the commercialization of novel medical products for prenatal care and, in turn: improved birth outcomes, lower healthcare costs, and job creation within Belgium and Europe at large.
"We are honored to have the support of both Flanders Innovation and Entrepreneurship and the European Commission Horizon 2020 program," commented Bloomlife Co-founder and CEO Eric Dy, "Given the highly competitive review process, this is a major endorsement by key opinion leaders in Europe for both our technology and vision to bring prenatal care into the 21st century."
The Horizon 2020 project is focused on the development and clinical validation of Bloomlife's labor detection algorithms. Bloomlife will run a multi-site clinical study over the next two years to longitudinally collect data on expectant moms throughout their 3rd trimester. The goal is detecting labor onset remotely, a diagnosis that today requires a visit to the doctor for a clinical examination.
"The biological triggers of labor onset are still unknown, and identification of the early stages of labor are often difficult to interpret. For low-risk risk moms at term (>37 weeks gestation) this uncertainty leads to unnecessary, inconvenient trips to the hospital. However, for moms at high risk to deliver preterm (<37 weeks) this uncertainty can cause a significant increase in morbidity and even mortality for her baby," says Dr. Frederic Chantraine, MD Ph.D., and Principal Investigator at CHR Citadelle in Liege (Belgium). "Getting proper medical care to detect preterm labor and delay delivery is critical especially for moms less than 32 weeks. This project will develop and validate a novel tool for remote labor detection to ensure each mom gets the care she needs when she needs it."
The Flanders Innovation & Entrepreneurship grant is focused on expanding the development of Bloomlife's wearable to monitor fetal health for early signs of distress non-invasively and remotely.
"Fetal movement and fetal heart rate are the two indicators of fetal health today. Unfortunately, fetal heart rate is limited to hospital settings, and there is no tool to objectively and accurately monitor fetal movement. We are excited to be part of the research to quantify fetal movements and fetal heart rate in ambulatory settings. The clinical relevance, for instance, is in pregnancies with growth retarded fetuses (+/- 5%) where we do not have any decent day-by-day monitoring today, is unquestionable," commented Dr. Wilfried Gyselaers, MD, and Principal Investigator at Ziekenhuis Oost Limburg in Genk (Belgium).
Bloomlife's mission is to empower women by delivering unprecedented insight into her health. With its smartphone-connected sensor and app, Bloomlife puts clinically validated information into the hands of expecting parents starting with a better way to visualize and track contractions. Bloomlife's long-term mission, to improve the health of moms and babies worldwide, is fulfilled through its community of moms. By crowdsourcing the largest and most comprehensive dataset on maternal and fetal health parameters, the company hopes to accelerate long overdue advancements in women's healthcare with a better understanding of pregnancy complications, such as preterm birth.
Contact: Eric Dy, [email protected]