hode Island based social enterprise Maternova, Inc. has introduced a new registered non-profit arm, Maternova Research. This women owned venture has been awarded its first round of significant grant/study funding.
Maternova Research, a newly formed non-profit arm of the multi-award winning Maternova, is pleased to announce that Merck/MSD has granted project funding for pilot studies of an exciting new global health diagnostic technology. The funds (amount not disclosed) will be used to conduct a official product feasibility study featuring the uChek device.
Manufactured by Biosense Technologies Private Limited in India, the "uChek device is a remarkable advancement in providing critical care in low resource settings for expectant mothers and patients alike. The device is a smartphone based portable diagnostic system. uChek can perform a wide variety of tests ranging from routine urinalysis to specialized tests such as determining the albumin to creatinine ratio in urine as well as blood sugar test."
Most importantly for maternal health, the uChek allows healthcare workers to track a set biomarkers in a urine sample, including protein, glucose, leukocytes, nitrites and urobilinogen. The presence of protein in a pregnant woman's urine when accompanied by high blood pressure is one of the earliest signs of preeclampsia. Eclampsia and pre-eclampsia represent a major cause of maternal mortality and morbidity globally. The risk that a woman in a developing country will die of pre-eclampsia/eclampsia is approximately 300 times higher than that for a woman in a developed country (EngenderHealth 2007). Other conditions such as gestational diabetes and pernicious anemia are indicated in urine samples.
Each year, millions of women lack even basic antenatal care during their pregnancy. Simplified procedures combined with innovative design can significantly reduce the occurrence of life threatening complications for both mom and baby.
Maternova Research Director Emily Taylor sees the potential for maternal health globally: "with the current, inadequate utility infrastructure that is a reality in many countries, mHealth is the most promising innovation in healthcare delivery in low resource settings. Putting the power of high quality diagnostics in the hands of every health worker is an exciting prospect. Using the uChek to make early diagnoses of preeclampsia and other conditions will allow more timely referrals to specialized care, which will in turn improve outcomes for scores of women and neonates. We see this device as a game-changer. "
The study will be conducted over several months in hospitals and clinics in Thailand and Zimbabwe. The hope is to confirm both ease of use as well as accuracy of results when the uChek is provided to practicing midwives in remote locations. Maternova Research will be seeking additional funding and partnerships for product trials and testing of innovative global health technologies on a rolling basis.
Biosense Technologies Private Limited is a medical engineering and design firm developing revolutionary diagnostics. We are dedicated towards finding practical alternative technological solutions that improve lives of our users and empower our customers in delivering quality healthcare to people. Ultimately, it thrills us in believing that we are making healthcare affordable and reliable for all.
Maternova Research is committed to discovering and commercializing innovations for global public health. With global traction and a superior infrastructure consisting of team, advisors, and strategic partners, Maternova Research believes in quality healthcare as a human right, regardless of location.