UHI nursing student secures funding to develop life changing device

A UHI nursing student has secured national funding to develop a new product which aims help people with mobility issues get a good night’s sleep.

Roma Gibb (39) from Evanton has been awarded over £41,000 from Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency, to test her Bed Band invention.

Roma, who is in the third year of a BSc degree in nursing at UHI, developed the device after seeing how people with limited mobility often struggle to maintain a comfortable position in bed.

After receiving support from the UHI Business Competition and Highlands and Islands Enterprise’s IMPACT 30 and Pathfinder Accelerator programmes, Roma applied for a patent on her device and set up a company, Person Centred Solutions ltd. She then gained additional funding through the Inverness and Highland City-Region Deal health and life sciences innovation fund to run a project to further co-design the Bed Band in collaboration with UHI and potential users of the device led by Dr Michelle Beattie.

The funding from Innovate UK, an organisation which is part of UK Research and Innovation, will enable Person Centred Solutions Ltd to run a study into how the Bed Band can improve users’ sleep and comfort.

Roma was also recently named as a runner up in the Converge KickStart Challenge, receiving a further £7,500 to help develop her product.

Speaking about her journey so far, Roma said: “This has been quite the unexpected journey! I have been very lucky to receive continued support from HIE and UHI. It’s been a heavy workload, but I have enjoyed the whole experience. I’m looking forward to this next step in the Bed Band’s development and I have a fantastic team working with me on this project. The money from Innovate UK will help to drive the Bed Band another step closer to helping people.”

Dr Adam Giangreco, Director of Health and Life Sciences Innovation at UHI, commented: “UHI is so privileged to have such an enthusiastic and entrepreneurial student in Roma. Her tenacity in developing this technology is an inspiration for all our staff and students, and I feel really proud that UHI is continuing to support to her in developing this innovative product.”

Roma and her team are currently looking for volunteers to take part in the Innovate UK-funded Bed Band pilot study. Anyone who is over 18 and who struggles to maintain a comfortable position in an adjustable bed or hospital/ profiling bed is invited to find out more by emailing info@personcentredsolutionsltd.com

UHI secured £9m from the UK Government through the Inverness and Highland City-Region Deal, which is managed by The Highland Council. The Deal is a joint £315m initiative supported by the UK and Scottish governments and other partners.

The UHI life sciences programme secured £9m from the UK Government through

the Inverness and Highland City-Region deal, which is a joint initiative supported by up to £315m investment from the UK and Scottish governments, The Highland Council, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and UHI, aimed at stimulating sustainable regional economic growth.