CRADLE device recognised for top award

Tommy's Professor Andrew Shennan wins the 2017 Newton Prize for his blood pressure monitoring device

Tommy's Professor Andrew Shennan


Tommy's News, 03/11/2017

Congratulations to Professor Andy Shennan, who along with his colleague Professor Shivaprasad Goudar, has been awarded the 2017 Newton Prize for their life saving blood pressure monitoring CRADLE device.

Professors Shennan and Goudar were recognised for their work on ‘Evaluation of the Introduction of a Novel Device in the Management of Hypertension and Shock in Pregnancy in Low Resource Settings.’

This simple and affordable device detects hypertension and circulatory shock with an early warning system.  As an easy-to-use and portable device with low power requirements, more than 3,000 of the CRADLE’s have been delivered to hospitals and clinics, and successfully incorporated into routine care, sometimes as the first blood pressure device available in the clinic.

Professor Shennan said:

 “To be able to impact on care in those parts of the world where it is desperately needed has been our most fulfilling research experience.”

Chief executive of Tommy's, Jane Brewin commented: 

“Tommy's has funded more than 4m over the last 10 years into the Tommy’s pregnancy centre in London whose focus is to reduce pre-term birth and other pregnancy complications. It is great to see that other countries can benefit from research funding in the UK and that we can help people around the world who don’t have access to the excellent health care service that we enjoy in the UK. The Cradle device is a practical life-saving solution that will help many families in India and in time around the world.”

Measuring a mother’s blood pressure and pulse during pregnancy is vital to detect life-threatening conditions. Dangerously high blood pressure is a sign of pre-eclampsia, while low blood pressure and a fast pulse indicates shock from dangerous bleeding. However, these signs are often missed in areas where there isn’t enough pregnancy related care, or knowledge of how to measure blood pressure properly. This has tragic consequences, as it can result in deaths that could and should be avoided.

More on the CRADLE Project

CRADLE is described as ‘an easy, cheap way to measure blood pressure and detect pregnancy complications in rural communities.’

Tommy’s have collaborated with Microlife Ltd to create the CRADLE device, which provides an accurate and easy way to measure blood pressure and pulse. The device doesn’t need any expertise: it can be used by anyone from a community health worker to a doctor or midwife. Each device costs less than £15. CRADLE includes an early warning 'traffic light' system to tell health workers when changes in blood pressure and pulse need medical action. They have been adapted the device so it can be used in places with few resources by including a micro-USB port and sealed rechargeable lithium battery pack. This means it can be charged using a standard mobile phone charger.

Find out more about the CRADLE research project.  

Read more about Tommy’s research into the causes of pre-eclampsia.




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