Grant boost for medical monitor

A new R&D centre will be established at Queen’s University to develop and test BiancaMed’s breathing and heart rate monitor technology

A grant from RDA Invest NI will help set up a R&D centre at Queen’s University Belfast to develop and test breathing and heart rate monitoring technology developed by University College Dublin spinout BiancaMed.

Invest NI has offered £250,000 towards the set up of the centre at Queen’s University’s Institute of Electronics, Communications and Information Technology (ECIT).

BiancaMed, headquartered at NovaUCD, the Innovation and Technology Transfer Centre at University College Dublin, is developing the technology at its new R&D centre in Belfast. BiancaMed’s core product is a wireless sensor that can detect breathing and heart rate up to a distance of two metres. The firm said the first application for the technology is as a baby monitor, but the technology will be developed further for use in other applications with life-saving potential, such as home health and exercise monitors.

John Thompson, Invest NI’s director of innovation, research and technology, said: ‘This innovative technology has the potential to add significant momentum to the drive in modern healthcare towards effective care management for chronic diseases. Through direct application to products as well as licensing it to other companies, BiancaMed has the potential to access a global market for its unique technology.’

As well as receiving assistance through Invest NI’s Compete programme, which supports the commercialisation of research, BiancaMed has secured €2.5m venture capital support for the project from venture capital firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson ePlanet Ventures and ResMed, which develops products for sleep-disordered breathing.

BiancaMed was founded as a spinout from University College Dublin’s School of Electrical, Electronic and Mechanical Engineering.