Unmet Need – Neonatal

Briefing for applicants

The Academic Health Science Network for the North East and North Cumbria (AHSN NENC) are delighted to announce a new Unmet Needs Challenge, connecting innovators from healthcare with our Innovation Pathway Partners to explore collaborations that improve health outcomes for our regional population.

We want to seek, and facilitate swift progress on, cross-sector collaborative projects that benefit our patient population by improving health outcomes and efficiencies as well as accelerating the adoption of evidence-based innovation.

The AHSN NENC is seeking implementation projects with market-ready, digital or digitally-enabled innovations, which may be either novel uses of existing technologies or new innovations. These could include software, Apps, hybrid technology-services and device-software, that support pathway improvement and improved patient management in line with the tailored needs of the patient.

The innovations must also support integration into the care pathway so that patients receive the right care at the right time.

Applications are welcomed from companies of all sizes, individuals, NHS teams and charities who are interested in forming collaborations focusing upon testing the ability of digital solutions to address the triple aims of improving safety, efficiency and patient outcomes.


Maintaining normal body temperature in a newborn is an essential basic need in the first 24 hours of life. Abnormally low body temperature (hypothermia) is generally defined as any temperature below 36.5°C in a newborn baby.  Confirmation of the diagnosis of hypothermia is made by measuring the body temperature.

All efforts must be made to prevent hypothermia, but early detection would prevent admission to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).

Neonatal hypothermia is a significant contributor to neonatal morbidity and mortality. There are, however, several effective strategies available to prevent, detect and/or treat neonatal hypothermia. Despite these strategies, neonatal hypothermia contributes to a substantial proportion of neonatal mortality globally, mainly as a co-morbidity of severe neonatal infections, preterm birth, and asphyxia.

Guidance generally states that axillary temperature must be checked within one hour of birth using a digital thermometer, and recorded in the baby’s notes.  The axillary temperature must be checked again within six hours of birth for a full term and well baby, or within three hours for a pre term / IUGR baby, and recorded in the baby’s notes.

The Unmet Need

The ability to remotely monitor neonatal temperature. The solution must be safe, transportable, effective and efficient.

Application timeline

Application submission deadline: 22 February 2019

Shortlisted applicants will be notified on 4 March 2019 and invited to present to a panel of industry experts on 13 March 2019.


Submit your application