Investment in ARNE helps neonatologists treat newborn babies


April 26, 2022

ARNE B.V. has raised financing from Oost NL and venture builder NLC. ARNE supplies smart software with which neonatologists can make decisions based on data after the birth of a child. This reduces the number of unintended mistakes and improves the survival of babies who are in critical condition shortly after birth. With the financing, ARNE can further develop the product and achieve the first commercial traction. Oost NL provides the investment from ION+ and NLC from their Momentum fund.

In the Netherlands, one in ten babies receive breathing support just after birth, and significant interventions are required in one per cent of the cases. This is the ‘Newborn Life Support’ (NLS) protocol, an instructional overview on how to act in babies with complications after delivery. Neonatologists, doctors who care for sick or premature babies, must often make important decisions in stressful and medically urgent situations, in 55 per cent of the cases this NLS protocol is unintentionally deviated from. Additional training in this protocol is not sufficient, only 39 per cent of doctors pass a re-exam.

For this reason, Tim Antonius, a neonatologist at Radboud UMC and trainer of the NLS protocol, and his team developed smart software that helps doctors make decisions based on the available data. Based on certain vital parameters of the newborn baby, such as heart rate and oxygen saturation, an algorithm determines which steps the doctor can best take.

Touchscreen with vital information of vital importance
The NLS protocol is currently available as a PDF document or paper version. A neonatologist logically does not have time to search such a document in critical situations. The funding will allow ARNE to continue developing the electronic decision support system (eDST), which presents essential information in an audio-visual manner. As a result, the doctor has their hands free, and it is always clear what the next step in the NLS protocol is. The software can be used via a touchscreen that is installed on the car in the resuscitation room near the delivery room.

Reducing accidental errors
As part of the transaction, ARNE will establish itself in Ede. Rob de Vroet, CEO at ARNE: “We are very happy with the support from Oost NL and Momentum because it allows us to take major steps in improving our product and bringing eDST to the market. We have been in contact with Oost NL for a long time. For example, in an earlier phase, we met with the Business Angels Network, and we hired the necessary legal expertise with the help of a voucher provided via De Groeiversneller.”

Oost NL provides the investment from ION+, an innovation fund for SMEs in Gelderland and is financed by the province of Gelderland and a contribution from the European subsidy program OP-Oost. “Every neonatologist deserves the best support to give newborn babies the best possible start. ARNE shows that smart software can make a difference in the follow-up of the NLS protocol, a textbook example of the strong development of medical technology in the Eastern Netherlands”, says Thomas Hensel, senior investment manager at Oost NL.

NLC has been involved with ARNE as a co-founder of the company since 2019, having previously provided initial funding through their Momentum fund during the venture’s start-up phase. Together with Oost NL, NLC is now making new capital available through the Momentum fund to be able to introduce this technology to the market. “We are very excited about the developments that ARNE has gone through in recent times and are, therefore, happy to continue to support Tim, Rob and the rest of the team in their mission to give all babies the right start,” says Lars Olthof, Venture Finance Expert at NLC.

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