By Gavin Gibbon
Twinkle Heart was developed at Khalifa University of Science and Technology
A home-based device which helps pregnant mothers monitor fetal heart-beat and the baby’s cardiac activity, developed at Khalifa University of Science and Technology, has received an official intellectual property (IP) technology licence.
The technology behind ‘Twinkle Heart’ was developed by Dr Ahsan Khandoker, associate professor, Biomedical Engineering, and licensed to Advanced Research Projects, the start-up established by Biomedical Engineering graduate and Emirati Saeed Alteneiji, and was incubated at Khalifa Innovation Centre (KIC).
‘Twinkle Heart’ comprises four fetal phonocardiogram (FPCG) sensors held on the maternal abdomen by a square fabric harness and elastic belts, making it easier for pregnant women to simply listen to their baby’s heartbeat and feel reassured.
Alteneiji said: "ARP’s IP licence with Khalifa University is vital for my start-up. We will be executing a development plan in 2020 to transfer the IP from the prototype stage to a commercialised product. A marketing plan is already on the way to create awareness for the device, and our team of experts in marketing, engineering, and technology are closely working towards developing the final product.”
The portable, low-cost, safe, and easy-to-use fetal screening device for use at home or pregnancy clinics by mobile phone and cheap sensors was originally planned to help medical doctors and midwives. The research results have already been demonstrated through several collaborating hospitals in the UAE and overseas.
Dr. Arif Sultan Al Hammadi, executive vice-president, Khalifa University of Science and Technology, said: "Khalifa University’s comprehensive role includes not only education, but also providing a successful and integrated academic journey in areas that serve the UAE’s strategic sectors. This enables graduate studies and innovations at our state-of-the-art research centres, while facilitating the creation of start-ups and commercialisation of patented technology with products targeting these sectors."
Khalifa University currently has over 140 issued patents, with around 360 pending patent applications and more than 400 invention disclosures.