EZ Care - A Urinary Catheter designed for easy self-care and avoiding damage to the mucosa
The term project executed by the second year students of the Advanced Product Design Programme at Umeå Institute of Design, will focus on the design challenge of understanding the needs, wishes and opportunities when conceptualizing and designing a non-infective urinary catheter.
In collaboration with Madeleine Ramstedt, a researcher at the department of Chemistry at Umeå University, this was the first face of a project funded by Vinnova, a company that supports need-driven research and runs programs to boost innovation in Sweden.
In urinary catheterization a latex, polyurethane, or silicone tube known
as a urinary catheter is inserted into a patient’s bladder via the urethra. It
allows the patient’s urine to drain freely from the bladder for collection.
But it has a lot of problems.
The first problem is mucosal damaging.Today, the major problem with Foley catheters, which is the most commonly used catheter that was patented back in 1936, is
the damage created by the catheter’s aperture to the bladder mucosal
lining. While the bladder is being drained, the aperture starts to suck in
the mucosa, which cause major pain to the patient , damage the mucosa and increase the risk
of urinary tract infection.
The second problem addressed was the complexed process of current flushing.Patients who are
using Foley catheters, are recommended by the doctor to flush and
clean the catheter at the hospital once a week, this in order to prevent
or get rid of possible clogs and decrease the risk of urinary tract infection. At the moment only a few patients manage to follow this procedure on a weekly basis.
The EZ Care Catheter concept presents a solution for both the avoidance of damaging the mucosa inside the bladder with a new design of the balloon that keeps the catheter in place, as well as simplifying the procedure of the mandatory flushing, which is often done by medical personnel, so the user could do it by themselves.
Concept Introductionpage 01
Concept Backgroundpage 02
Problem Analysispage 03
Concept of Bowl Shaped Balloonpage 04
Concept of Self-care Flushingpage 05
Concept of the Bowl Shaped Balloon:
Compared to the current Foley catheter, the most important changes in EZ Care Catheter is the design of the balloon and the lowered and protected location of the tip aperture. The size of theEZ Care Catheter inside the bladder is one third less than the Foley catheter. After sterilized water goes throw the balloon channel, filling up the Bowl Shaped Balloon which changes the way urine drainage happens.When the bladder is full and the patient starts to open the valve to void, the bladder decreases in size as the urine is drained from the bladder through the catheter.The Bowl Shaped Balloon fits the natural shape of a squeezed bladder and helps draining all the urine.But for the Foley catheter, the mucosa goes into the aperture even before the urine, damaging the mucosa and causing serious problems for the patient afterwards.
Concept of Self-Care Flushing:
In the current complex flushing procedure, the user has to go to the hospital and have a nurse removing the urine bag and cover it with a disinfection cap, then connect the catheter with a flushing device and start flushing. After the procedure is done, the flushing device is disconnected, and the disinfection cap is removed and the urine bag reconnected, at the moment only a few patients manage to follow this procedure on a weekly basis.
The EZ Care Catheter concept presents a more compacted and integrated valve, so you can do self-care flushing at home. Its exterior device integrates three channels, one separate Bowl Shaped Balloon channel and one flushing channel combined with the drainage urine channel. Instead of going to the hospital every week, all you need do is sterilize the opening of the flushing channel and connect a single-use flushing device to do the flushing at home.
Compared with all the devices the present flushing procedure needs, the EZ Care Catheter concept is simpler, all you need is a sterilization paper towel and a single-use flushing device and it is gentle to the bladder.
Very deep design thinking and research with this project.