$400,000 awarded to device for critically ill babies

Assoc Prof Christane Theda
Associate Professor Christane Theda with the neoNAV
16 January 2020 | Pregnancy | Research and clinical trials

A new device to help babies in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU) has today (16 January) been awarded a grant from Federal Government of $400,000 to accelerate its development.

The neoNav device was created by a team of engineers from Navi Medical Technologies and is being trialled at the Women’s to improve care of critically unwell babies.

Associate Professor Christiane Theda, a neonatologist at the Women’s and co-founder of Navi Medical Technologies, says the device’s use of electrocardiogram (ECG) signals can help medical staff more accurately place catheters in the veins of extremely premature and ill term babies.

“The neoNAV has the potential to be a real game-changer for newborn specialists who currently rely on x-rays or ultrasound to tell them that a central venous catheter is in the right place. These catheters are vital in ensuring we can give the baby medications and intravenous nutrition, but around 40% of the time these catheters are misplaced,” says Associate Professor Theda.

“The neoNAV tells the medical staff exactly where the line is there and then, which may eliminate the need for an x-ray and could reduce risk of complications and potentially improving health outcomes of babies.

“It has been fantastic to work on this device for the past four years, finding a solution to a common problem that I, myself, have experienced as a neonatologist. This grant will support the clinical trials, rolling out the device for use at the hospital this year.

“I’d like to thank the Royal Women’s Hospital for supporting the development of this device. And, of course, the Department for Industry, Science and Technology for this significant investment in the device’s future.”

Federal Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews said the neoNav is ‘a great example of innovative technology that can improve lives as well as present a growth opportunity for Australia’s medical technology sector.’