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Gabriel Jones is a Principal Investigator at the Nuffield Department of Women's and Reproductive Health. In his story, Gabriel shares insights from his two decades of experience collaborating with industry, talking about the motivation behind these partnerships, and how the partnerships have significantly improved pregnancy outcomes worldwide.

Gabriel Jones alongside the quote "Collaborating with industry partners has allowed our team to refine and improve our technologies based on user feedback, leading to better pregnancy care and outcomes."

How long have you been collaborating with industry?  

We have been collaborating with industry partners for over two decades. Our journey into industry collaboration began with an academic focus on fetal heart rate monitoring and has expanded to incorporate cutting-edge technology and large-scale data analysis. The key partners we have worked with are Huntleigh Healthcare and GE Healthcare.

What motivates you to work in collaboration? 

Our primary motivation for working with industry is to translate academic research into practical applications that can improve pregnancy outcomes globally. Collaborating with industry allows for the deployment of advanced technologies in clinical settings, providing real-world impact, feedback and facilitating continuous improvement. 

What formats have your collaborations taken?  

Our collaboration with Huntleigh Healthcare initially started through licensing an algorithm developed at the University of Oxford by Professors Geoffrey Dawes and Chris Redman. This algorithm assesses the baby’s well-being during pregnancy. The partnership with GE Healthcare began with a shared vision to develop state-of-the-art deep learning algorithms to enhance pregnancy outcomes. 

What benefits and impacts have arisen from your collaborations?  

Collaborating with industry partners has allowed our team to refine and improve our technologies based on user feedback, leading to better pregnancy care and outcomes. With Huntleigh, our algorithm has reached hundreds of hospitals worldwide, and with GE, we have built a large database of over 150,000 pregnancies, enabling advanced research and development. These collaborations have resulted in numerous publications, follow-on funding, and the establishment of long-lasting professional relationships. In summary, our collaboration with Huntleigh Healthcare and GE Healthcare has been incredibly beneficial, allowing for the translation of academic research into impactful clinical applications. These partnerships have not only enhanced our research but have also significantly improved pregnancy outcomes worldwide. 

Can you give us your top tips for working with industry?

  • Establish clear communication channels with your industry partners.
  • Be open to feedback and continuously seek to improve your technology based on real-world use.
  • Foster a collaborative environment where academic and industry partners can share knowledge and resources freely.
  • Know what you know and, just as importantly, know what you don't know. Leverage the expertise of your industry partners and support offices to fill in the gaps.

What has been your biggest learning from the experiences you’ve had? 

Reflecting on our experience, the most significant lesson has been the importance of ongoing communication and collaboration with industry partners to ensure that the technology meets clinical needs and can be effectively integrated into healthcare systems. We have learned a great deal from our industry partners, including insights into the practical challenges of deploying new technologies in clinical settings. 

How has the Business Partnerships Office helped you in navigating collaborations?  

As academics and clinicians, we are not typically well-versed in business and industry collaboration. The Business Partnerships Office has been instrumental in facilitating these collaborations, providing valuable support and guidance throughout the process. Their expertise has been crucial in navigating the complexities of industry partnerships and ensuring successful outcomes.