A Sydney-based biomedical startup founded by two doctoral students has raised $784,000 to fund a paediatric medical device designed to safely resuscitate newborn babies.
ResusRight is now valued at almost $3.8 million following the capital raising which has been supported by the Cerebral Palsy Alliance, Startmate Accelerator and various angel investors looking to develop Juno, a clinical training system to aid critical resuscitations at birth.
The fresh capital paves the way for ResusRight to launch the Juno training system and develop a prototype monitor for use in the clinical setting at birth. The device provides quantitative feedback to the user on their resuscitation technique to optimise the procedure.
Manufacturing of the device is scheduled to begin in the second half of this year.
ResusRight was founded by University of Sydney biomedical engineering students Matt Boustred and Matthew Crott who are collaborating with researchers Dr Mark Tracy and Dr Murray Hinder of Westmead Hospital.
The team has been working to reduce neonatal mortality rates and prevent babies from developing disabilities due to complications at birth.
"Worldwide, every year over 10 million newborn babies require resuscitation at birth, with approximately one million babies dying annually from birth asphyxia," says Boustred, the CEO of ResusRight.
"Experts estimate that at least 30 percent of these deaths 300,000 babies a year could be prevented with better resuscitation. A lack of access to life-saving training and equipment contributes to a large proportion of these deaths."
Boustred, who has extensive corporate advisory experience as an analyst for BG Capital and Magellan Funds Management, says ResusRight plans to roll out its resuscitation equipment at a price point that is affordable to a global market.
"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," he says.
"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."
Closer to home, about 17,000 babies a year in Australia require resuscitation at birth, says Crott, the chief technology officer of ResusRight.
"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," he says.
"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.
"Sadly, thousands of infants are left with injury or disability through this process which more effective monitoring could help reduce.
"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."
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