Vacuum extractors have essentially remained unchanged since the 1960s. Now, however, there is an innovation that promises to make childbirth safer.
In Sweden, nine per cent of all births are completed with the help of vacuum extractors. That amounts to almost 10,000 babies per year being born with the help of vacuum extractors.
“It’s important that we learn more about the use of vacuum extractors so we can make evaluations that can form the basis for future advice and rules. The goal is to make these births both safer and more certain,” says Dennis Sturm, who has a PhD in health and technology from KTH.
High technology support
The way there may go via the innovative Genit system: a high-tech assistant system that registers how much force is used, number of attempts that are made and also the angle of use. This information is sent wirelessly for storage and processing. Today, the system is used at Karolinska University Hospital.
“Our equipment provides a more precise picture of what’s happening during a birth than conventional methods, and it’ll have a critical role in the future, giving doctors the right knowledge and expertise,” says Sturm.
Throughout its development, the company has received support from Flemingsberg Science and KTH Innovation.
“They have been invaluable with their knowledge about business development and network of competence. We would never have developed as quickly as we did without their help,” explains Sturm.
Also involved in the company, are Magnus Westgren, professor in obstetrics and gynaecology at the Karolinska Institute; Gunilla Ajne, a consultant at the maternity ward at Karolinska University Hospital in Huddinge, (south of Stockholm); Khurram Yousaf, research engineer at KTH and the Karolinska Institute; and Peter Arfert, technician at KTH’s School of Technology and Health.