Pioneering technology developed by Addenbrooke’s and the Rosie that can help save the lives of sick babies from across the region has won a Cambridge award.
LocANTS scooped ‘The Tech for Good’ honour in the Cambridge Independent Science and Technology Awards 2023 hosted at the Faculty of Science and Engineering at Anglia Ruskin University.
It was collected by consultant paediatrician and neonatologist, Dr Arunava Dhar, and London-based entrepreneur and IT consultant, Ranadip Chatterjee. Both have been developing the technoloogy since 2017, alongside consultant in neonatal intensive care, Dr Sue Broster, who is now director of innovation, digital and improvement at CUH.
Guests heard how LocANTS, also known as resPNse, is a cloud-based platform which, at the touch of a button, enables consultants in Cambridge to see and hear a patient, read their notes, examine scans and X-rays, and check readings from ventilators, infusion pumps, and other equipment.
The consultants, all part of the Paediatric and Neonatal Decision Support and Retrieval Service (PaNDR), can control cameras and microphones fitted to remote hospital Workstations on Wheels (WoWs), and assist doctors with tough decisions.
Livestream data is monitored in the PaNDR control room, meaning that if necessary, staff can speedily and efficiently arrange an ambulance transfer to a specialist neonatal critical care unit, such as the one at Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (CUH).
The extra layer of clinical support means babies are less likely to have to be moved, which frees up stretched paediatric and neonatal ambulance crews and preserves critical care cots for the sickest babies.
The initiative has already been welcomed by families who know their babies are getting the right care, in the right place, at the right time, and they don’t have the expense, inconvenience, and stress of visiting a different hospital.
WATCH - Baby baby Aurelia Hunt was one of the first patients to benefit
One of the first patients to benefit has been baby Aurelia Hunt, who became seriously ill after being born prematurely at Colchester Hospital. Rather than being transferred for treatment in Cambridge, Aurelia was safely cared for in Colchester, with her family able to stay together.
Addenbrooke’s and the Rosie, which together are Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (CUH), are currently trialling LocANTS at Peterborough, Colchester and Ipswich hospitals.
If it is a success, the hope is to roll it out across all Eastern Region hospitals, before making a bid to the NHS to implement it nationwide.
Dr Dhar, who came up with the original concept, said:
We are thrilled to have won this award, which serves as a tribute to everyone who has worked so hard to make LocANTS the success it is.
It is particularly fitting that it has won the ‘Tech for Good’ award, since it achieving excellent results for babies, parents and hospitals is the key aim of LocANTS.Dr Arunava Dhar
It was the sixth annual awards, which this year attracted a record number of entries into 16 categories judged by a panel with a range of expertise. It took place on Thursday (May 18).