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Barnsley Hospital and Sky Medical Technology win prestigious 2020 Bionow Award


Newswire Coverage

Obstetrics blood clot prevention study recognised as Healthcare Project of the Year

A partnership between Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and Sky Medical Technology (Sky), a UK industry-leading medical devices company, has been recognised at the 2020 Bionow Awards for its use of the innovative geko™ device in preventing blood clots in high-risk pregnant patients.


The award category, Healthcare Project of the Year, celebrates collaboration. Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust worked in partnership with Sky to carry out a pilot observational study to determine whether Sky’s innovative neuromuscular electrostimulation device, the geko™, was suitable for blood clot prevention in high-risk pregnant patients where the current standard of care is not suitable.

The current standard of care recommends anticoagulants or mechanical compression which cannot be used by some pregnant patients for a variety of reasons, including severe pre-eclampsia, where patients might need urgent delivery, or post-partum haemorrhage. Two percent of the overall patient population cannot be treated with this current standard of care.

As such, the Barnsley Hospital Maternity Unit worked with Sky to create a study focused on 90 patients who were contraindicated to the current standard of care. All 90 were prescribed the geko™, a small watch-sized device that sticks to the leg and increases blood flow, via painless electrical pulses, at some stage during labour – more than half were prescribed geko™ as the only method of blood clot prevention.

Following the study Barnsley became the first maternity unit in the UK to adopt the innovative gekoTM device, and two other hospitals have since followed.

Dr Mona Fawzy, Consultant in Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Labour Ward lead and Deputy Obstetric Lead at Barnsley Hospital, said: We are delighted to have won. Recognising the need to provide prophylaxis to at risk patients, we embraced the opportunity to examine the role of the geko™ device in the obstetrics population. Our findings show the geko™ device is safe and well-tolerated and can be used to protect patients until it is safe to prescribe blood thinning drugs. We are pleased to be the first NHS maternity unit able to provide a blood clot prevention strategy for all high-risk patients in our care.”

James Fry, Partner and Head of the life sciences practice for Mills & Reeve, sponsor of the award said: “The work undertaken by Sky Medical Technology in collaboration with Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust showcases yet another stand-out year of achievement for life sciences in the North, where a strong spirit of partnership between industry and the NHS has led to the development of an important new therapy for obstetrics blood clot prevention. We are honoured to sponsor Bionow’s Healthcare Project of the Year Award. The companies shortlisted made it a strong category this year but this collaboration has resulted in exceptional read out data and a product that is clearly meeting an unmet clinical need, in a real area of need”. Play Video.

Bernard Ross, CEO of Sky Medical Technology, comments: “I would like to thank Bionow and Mills & Reeve, sponsor of the award. We are extremely proud to again win in the category: healthcare project of the year. It celebrates the very high priority we place on partnering with our NHS colleagues who, on top of their full-time jobs, and in a challenging environment, are willing to give-up additional time in pursuit of innovation for better patient outcomes.”

“Deep Vein Thrombosis is the highest cause of maternal death in the developed world – and I applaud Dr Fawzy and her clinical team at the Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, for leading in the field in embracing a new treatment that ensure all at-risk patients, during pregnancy, can have a safe method of blood clot prevention. It is to them this award goes, for their vision and hard work and I thank them.”