Robert Keith is the CEO and co-founder of K2 Medical Systems, a position he has held since
the formation of the company in 1999.
Whilst a member of the Plymouth Perinatal Research Group, and having been awarded grants
from the Medical Research Council, Robert undertook seven years of research between 1989
and 1996 to improve the interpretation of fetal heart rate monitoring during labour and clinical
decision making. Robert developed a computer system to interpret the fetal heart rate record
in real time and a prototype went on permanent exhibition at the National Science Museum,
London. He was awarded a PhD entitled ‘Intelligent Fetal Monitoring and the Management of
Labour’ in 1993.
Robert’s passion to further the understanding of fetal heart rate interpretation and improve
maternity care led him to secure the position of Engineer Manager and then Senior Staff
Scientist for Corometrics Medical Systems (inventors of fetal heart rate monitoring technology
and now part of General Electric Medical Systems) in Connecticut, USA, from 1996 to 1999.
Whilst in the USA, Robert also lectured on Expert Systems in Medicine at Trinity College,
Connecticut, and was in advanced collaborative projects with Cornell University and MIT.
In 1999, Robert then returned to the UK to form K2 Medical Systems; an innovation and
technology company that develops and manufactures hardware and software medical devices
for maternity and was the technology transfer vehicle for the previous decade of research
Under his leadership, K2 has grown from strength to strength and is now recognised as one
of the leading maternity systems providers in the UK. Producing unique, innovative and effective
products, K2 has developed quickly from its beginnings within a busy maternity department to
an international concern which has been recognised with the Queen’s Award for Innovation and
winner of Healthcare innovation from the Institution of Engineering and Technology. K2 now has
subsidiary companies in Australia and the USA, as well as having representation on the ground
in the Middle East and customers based around the world.
Robert is leading the company into its next decisive phase with the release of INFANT®, unique
software designed to provide an electronic analysis of the fetal heart rate and interpretation
during labour to support clinical decision making and avoid the human errors that lead to
poor perinatal outcomes including avoidable stillbirth during labour. Following over 25 years
of research and development, and having successfully evaluated INFANT® in the largest NHS
funded maternity trial ever undertaken in the UK, Robert has seen his dreams of improving
maternity care for all become a reality.
A Chartered Engineer and Fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology, as well as
an Expert Witness providing advice in obstetric litigation regarding fetal monitoring, Robert
remains committed to improving maternity care for mothers and their babies and is dedicated
to continued innovation focused on improving healthcare outcomes.
For the list of publications click here.
For a downloadable copy of the CEO biography click here.