Galway’s Nua Surgical represents Europe in global health competition

7 Sep 2021

From left: Padraig Maher, CTO, Marie-Therese Maher, COO, and Barry McCann, CEO. Image: Nua Surgical

The Galway company is one of eight semi-finalists for its SteriCision device, which helps provide surgical access during C-sections.

Nua Surgical, a Galway-based medtech start-up, has been named as the only European semi-finalist in the 2021 Healthy Mom and Baby 2.0 Innovation competition. The competition is run by Parkview Health, a not-for-profit community-based health system in the US, and Matter, a healthcare incubator.

Nua Surgical was founded in 2019 by Barry McCann, Padraig Maher and Marie-Therese Maher. The company emerged from NUI Galway and designs technology with a focus on women’s health.

The competition asked innovators to submit a product or software aimed at assisting women in pregnancy and early motherhood. Specifically, this year’s competition asked: “How might we better support at-risk pregnant and new mothers throughout their healthcare journey as well as in their daily lives?”

The product that Nua Surgical submitted is the SteriCision. This is a self-retaining retractor used in C-sections.

The company said that with a rise in obesity, many of the C-sections performed each year are challenged by the presence of excess abdominal tissue blocking the uterus. This can result in longer surgeries with higher rates of infant and maternal complications.

The SteriCision medical device aims to give doctors improved access to and visualisation of the uterus during caesarean delivery, helping them to safely repair tissue, identify bleeds and prevent any prolonged complications. It can also reduce procedure time and the risk of infection.

McCann, the CEO of Nua Surgical, emphasised the importance of the competition for the Irish start-up. “We aim to gain US regulatory approval at the end of 2022 so a potential partnership with a US health system such as Parkview Health is a fantastic opportunity for us,” he said.

The semi-finalists will present their products virtually on 15 September. The winner of this innovation competition will receive $10,000. Five finalists will then participate in a two-month virtual accelerator where they will work with Parkview Health and Matter. In December, these finalists will present their work to a community of healthcare professionals and leaders to try and secure further opportunities and funding.

Nua Surgical was named the winner of the InterTradeIreland Seedcorn competition in 2020, securing €100,000. It was also selected as a winner of Health Innovation Hub Ireland’s Health Innovations Call 2020.

Sam Cox was a journalist at Silicon Republic covering sci-tech news