When Dr. Courtney Townsel (above) sees an expectant mother with a rare but serious condition called cervical insufficiency, she has only a few treatment options. And, despite steady advances in the treatment of mothers and unborn babies during high-risk pregnancies, none of those options is ideal. In fact, the surgical procedure most commonly performed to treat cervical insufficiency has remained largely the same since the 1950s.
“Just because it’s what we’ve always done doesn’t mean we should keep doing it the exact same way,” says Townsel, a maternal-fetal medicine fellow at UConn Health. “I thought we could do better.”
Townsel is at work on a product that will replace this surgical procedure involving hospitalization with a quick, in-office procedure. She is now transforming that idea into a viable product with the help of Accelerate UConn, the University’s National Science Foundation Innovation Corps site.