Urinary Continence Management Projects
Unmet need: Lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) can cause significant distress to the sufferer and can impair quality of life severely for those affected. Effective treatment of LUTS requires clinical evidence on frequency of events, urine volumes passed and urgency. Current management is based on recording such events using paper diaries.
Solution: A new device, based around NICE guidelines on the identification and management of Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms (LUTS), has been developed by MDTi in collaboration with D4D, to provide real benefits to patients and their healthcare providers. The electronic diary will aid diagnosis and reduce inappropriate referrals by improving utilisation of specialist resources and presenting accurate and summarised clinical data to the clinician.
Increasing independence for catheterised patients
Devices for Dignity is approached on a regular basis by individuals and organisations with inventions that meet real clinical need. But along with providing assistance to these parties, the organisation’s clinical and academic partners are also involved in conducting research.
Dr Louise Moody, is a senior lecturer in product design at Coventry University. She is involved in a working group which is investigating the design limitations of existing urine bags for patients with continence problems .
Many individuals experiencing difficulties with continence rely on urine drainage bags. Typically urine drainage bags are worn on the leg, with drainage at the lowest point of the bag. For people with limited strength, flexibility,dexterity or mobility, setting up the drainage system on a daily basis, connecting the relevant parts, and emptying the bag can be difficult.
D4D has recognised that this can be a significant issue for many people, resulting in reduced independence and confidence.
“Failures in the reliability and ease of use of the connectors and drainage taps can lead to accidents, which for the user can be incredibly embarrassing and lead to a significant loss of confidence in the product. We believe that by making some simple change to the design of the bags and their components, that many of these accidents can be avoided,” says Dr Louise Moody.
Through D4D, Dr Moody’s project team are aiming to develop a range of improved taps and connectors for urine drainage bag systems to suit the needs of different users. The group has already bench tested a proof of concept prototype. This electronic system was designed to enable people who have difficulties using the currently available products to empty their bags unaided.
“We’re designing products based on feedback provided by a large number of people who currently use leg-worn urine drainage bags. As a result we are hoping that anything we design will meet user needs. Incontinence can be very difficult to live with, and these products have the potential to improve people’s lives providing them with greater independence, and well-being,” says Dr Moody.