Teddy leg bags set to make life more bearable for young children

A CUTE and simple teddy bear leg bag could revolutionise care for small babies and children, their parents and carers when urinary catheters need to be fitted due to surgery or health problems.

The child-friendly bags, developed by the National Institute for Health Research’s (NIHR) Devices for Dignity Healthcare Technology Co- operative offer a far less unpleasant experience for young children and are imprinted with Mummy and Baby bear images.

They come in two small sizes (150ml and 250ml) and are much more comfortable and lighter for small children than typical adult sized bags (350ml to 1,000ml) – which often do not fit correctly around a child’s leg and can be uncomfortable as well as dragging on the catheter. This could cause discomfort if not anchored correctly. The bags are now being made available by Great Bear Healthcare Limited to healthcare organisations thanks to NIHR Devices for Dignity Healthcare Technology Co-operative, a flagship initiative set up by the Department of Health to develop new medical devices and technologies that improve treatment and quality of life for patients.

Shaped like a cuddly teddy bear, the newly designed bags come with accessorised fun, paw-printed straps, and aims to reduce the unpleasant experience young patients, their parents and carers often endure when necessary urinary catheters have to be fitted when young children are unable to control their bladder properly due to a health problem or after surgery.

The leg bags are usually worn by the child on a leg, and enable them to move around freely. They can also be worn all day long and offer an aesthetically pleasing alternative to conventional, medical-looking leg bags which are attached to a child’s legs when a catheter is placed in the bladder.

Incorporating a soft, smooth fabric backing which feels comfortable against the skin and allows the skin to breathe, both versions of the teddy leg bags can also be linked to a larger capacity “night bag”, which are used overnight and placed by the child’s bedside when in hospital or at home.

The product has been manufactured by Great Bear Healthcare Limited, who have over 100 years’ experience of designing and manufacturing products and accessories helping make life more comfortable for people with bladder problems.

The mummy and baby bear leg bags are designed to be used by newborns and young children.

Nicola Heron, programme director for the NIHR Devices for Dignity Healthcare Technology Co-operative, said: “Coming into hospital when you are a very young child can often be a very emotional and stressful time, both for the child and their parents or carers. Wearing a leg bag can be an uncomfortable and unpleasant experience, so we’re delighted that this fun, new look bag with a number of unique design features has been launched that will appeal to the young audience.

“The new bags look and feel a lot less medical, and one child who used to hide her bag behind her back because she was so ashamed of it says she wears it like a handbag because she’s so proud of it.”

Pippa Bowkett, marketing director for Great Bear Healthcare Limited, who was heavily involved in the development of the product, added: “There is always a stigma to wearing any bodily worn appliance and, for the very young, it is sometimes hard to accept that these types of appliances will be with them for the short and/or long term. Great Bear is passionate about improving the quality of life for those who use urinary drainage bags and we saw an opportunity for a niche product that could really make such an experience easier for both the child and their respective parents/guardians. We are delighted to bring this product to market with the help of the NIHR Devices for Dignity HTC.”

For further information visit http://www.greatbearhealthcare.co.uk/our-products/mummy- baby-bear-leg-bag

D4D secures £100k funding to develop medical technologies for children with long-term conditions

The National Institute for Health Research has awarded Devices for Dignity HTC additional funding (£100,000) to develop, in collaboration with the main five childrens hospitals in UK, innovative medical technologies to meet the specific needs of children with long term conditions.

Using the methodology developed by Devices for Dignity HTC, a new paediatric theme will identify, validate and prioritise unmet needs and will catalyse the development of new healthcare technologies with a specific focus on the paediatric sector.

D4D live on BBC Radio Sheffield!

BBC Radio Sheffield presenter Rony Robinson spoke exclusively to Nicola Heron, programme manager, and Oliver Wells, commercial director from D4D about the Sheffield support snood and their bid to win £10,000 as part of the NHS Innovation Challenge Prizes ‘Acorn Challenge’. The interview, which is broadcast to 200,000-plus listeners, outlined how the special motor neurone disease support snood was developed, what the benefits would be for patients, and what D4D intend to do with the £10,000 prize money if they win. The presenter even gave his personal backing to the team – informing listeners that ‘all of Sheffield was behind them!”

Benefits for patients living with renal disease

An article written by David Coyle, project manager at NIHR Devices for Dignity HTC, has been published in KidneyLife, the magazine of the National Kidney Federation. The article reviews technology innovations with potential to benefit patients living with renal disease and improve their quality of life.

Read the article here (pdf download, 184KB)

Download the KidneyLife Magazine here. (pdf download, 3MB)

Visit the website of the National Kidney Federation here.

Medical technology designers to face Dragons Den judges for £10,000 innovation prize

Medical technology designers are to pitch a new contoured support snood helping to improve the quality of lives of motor neurone disease sufferers whose neck muscles have weakened to a panel of Dragons’ Den style judges as part of a £10,000 innovation challenge.

A team of experts from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) funded Devices for Dignity Healthcare Technology Co-operative have been singled out from hundreds of entries across the country to showcase the work as part of the NHS Innovation Challenge Prizes ‘Acorn Challenge’.

The NHS Innovation Challenge Prizes is being run by NHS England and aims to recognise and reward small ideas that have the potential to make a big difference to patients.

The Sheffield support snood is a lightweight neck collar that sits along the contours of the patient’s neck muscles, allowing patients’ freedom to move their neck.

The unique design – which has been tested on 26 patients suffering with motor neurone disease – could be used for patients suffering with other devastating neurological conditions, such as stroke and trauma, and makes everyday tasks such as eating and speaking easier for patients whose quality of life is already severely impaired by debilitating illnesses.

The Sheffield support snood has been designed and developed thanks to a collaboration between the NIHR Devices for Dignity Healthcare Technology Co-operative, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Sheffield Hallam University and the University of Sheffield.

Nicola Heron, programme manager for the NIHR Devices for Dignity Healthcare Technology Co-operative, said: “The Sheffield support snood was created in response to patients living with motor neurone disease and other neurological conditions who told us existing neck collars provide insufficient support or completely immobilise the neck, negatively impacting on the quality of their life.

“Although we cannot stop the disease itself from worsening, the collar has the potential to make life more comfortable for patients already suffering with a debilitating illness by alleviating pain and discomfort caused by weakened neck muscles.

“We’re delighted that we’ve been given this fantastic opportunity to showcase the significant improvement in wellbeing our newly-designed collar offers. If successful we will use the prize money to manufacture a new batch of collars for patients with motor neurone disease, which can market in the UK and other big countries such as the USA. We are also keen to explore if the product can be used to support patients with other neurological conditions.”

The team will present in front of the Dragons’ Den NHS Innovation Challenge Prizes judges on Wednesday 3 December. The judging panel will consist of leading figures from the NHS, industry and third sector.

Winners will be announced on or after Thursday 8 January 2015.

To find out more about the NHS Innovation Challenge Prizes visit www.england.nhs.uk/ourwork/innovation/challenge-prizes

Download full press release (pdf; 106KB)

Clinicians hack into eight-hour challenge to help patients

A team of clinicians, medical engineers, designers and patient representatives were challenged to come up with new innovative concepts to solve patients’ needs in an eight-hour health design hack.

Members of the nationally acclaimed Devices for Dignity Healthcare Technology Co-operative set two challenges at the University of Sheffield’s fifth annual Business Innovation Network conference.

These are a project to create better systems for lifting patients safely and more comfortably who are unable to support their own weight and a sip straw for patients who have difficulty in swallowing from a beaker or cup following a stroke, or suffer with Parkinson’s Disease, motor neurone disease, or multiple sclerosis.

Read more here

D4D End of Pilot Report 2008-2013

The National Institute for Health Research Devices for Dignity Healthcare Technology Co-operative (D4D) has achieved much in its first five years. This booklet is a celebration of our work and successes, focussing on real examples of how we have collaboratively developed new technologies and treatments, and helped pave the way for the HTCs of today and tomorrow

Click here to download your copy

Devices for Dignity to attend the 2014 European MedTech Forum

Devices for Dignity is attending the 2014 European MedTech Forum. The largest health and medical technology industry conference in Europe, this year the Forum is revolving around the theme of “More needs. Higher expectations. Smaller budgets. Can the European MedTech Industry deliver?“.

Organised by MedTech Europe’s alliance members Eucomed and EDMA, the seventh edition of the MedTech Forum will take place on 15-17 October 2014 at the Dolce La Hulpe, Brussels. Last year the conference brought together more than 500 participants active in the EU healthcare scene, including policymakers, scientific communities, patients’ representatives, healthcare professionals, academics and representatives of the global medtech industry.

Motivating women to care for their pelvic floor health

NIHR Devices for Dignity HTC (D4D), in collaboration with the Bladder and Bowel Foundation, has produced a new video to motivate women and teenage girls to look after their pelvic health.

“We wanted to create a video that explains the importance of the pelvic floor muscle exercises,” said Nicola Heron, programme manager at D4D. “Most teenagers aren’t aware of their pelvic floor. It’s unusual for young women to have pelvic floor problems but being aware of the pelvic floor can help them keep it in shape and avoid problems when they are older.” 

Devices for Dignity recognises outstanding achievement at Medilink UK awards

The finest of the UK’s Life Sciences and Healthcare Technology sector have been honoured at the 2014 Medilink UK Healthcare Business Awards.

This year’s coveted National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Devices for Dignity Healthcare Technology Co-operative (HTC) Outstanding Achievement Award was awarded to Moor Instruments.

Moor Instruments is a market leader in providing laser Doppler imaging system for tissue blood flow assessment. Over the past decade, they have advanced laser Doppler imaging technology from a purely research tool in to a dedicated medical device for burn assessments in clinical settings.

The Medilink UK Awards, this year held at the Med-Tech Innovation Expo, at the Ricoh Arena, Coventry, is an annual event that celebrates cutting edge technologies, outstanding business achievements and international successes across the UK’s Life Sciences sector.

Winners from five categories – Start-up, Innovation, Partnership with the NHS, Export Achievement and Outstanding Achievement – were honoured at the prestigious event.

The Awards was hosted at the end of the first day of the exhibition, as part of the Medical Device Manufacturing Conference, with leading professionals from the Life Sciences sector, UK government, research institutes and overseas organisations in attendance.

Gary Stapleton, Medilink UK’s new Chairman and Business Director of 3M Health Care Business Group, West Europe, said: “We are proud to celebrate the considerable achievements of companies who have continued to push the boundaries of healthcare innovation for the benefit of business, healthcare systems and most importantly the patient.

“I would like to extend a massive congratulations to all of our winners and shortlisted companies. Their achievements should give us great encouragement for the future of our industry.”

The nominees for the awards were derived from the regional awards which were selected by Medilink’s network across the UK.

Winner of the Nabarro LLP Start-up Award was Derbyshire-based FLi Medical Innovations, for its novel piece of surgical equipment which assists surgeons in an approach for Total Hip Replacement, known as the ‘Direct Anterior Approach’. Independent assessments have indicated an annual saving to the NHS of over £300m if this technology is widely adopted.

Crewe-based Medtrade Products Limited won this year’s  HGF Innovation Award for its unique Celox Rapid Gauze – a new haemostatic bandage used in traumatic injuries. The gauze stops the most severe bleeding after only 60 seconds of pressure and takes around 30 seconds to pack into a deep wound. It is designed for emergency services such as ambulance paramedics as well as police forces and military medics.

The UK Trade & Investment Export Achievement Award was awarded to Halifax-based Sidhil. Sidhil is a volume manufacturer of beds for acute and community applications. Continued investment has seen the company branch out successfully into the export market with a number of major contract wins.

The Medilink UK Partnership with the NHS Award was awarded to Zilico Ltd. Zilico is developing the next generation of diagnostics that utilise electrical impedance spectroscopy to provide accurate and real-time results. Its flagship product, ZedScanI, is in the area of cervical cancer diagnostics and received its CE mark in September 2013.