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3Ps Catheter Technology is in the News again (June 2017)

Late in 2016 3P won a grant from the IET to help with further development of their catheter technology, which significantly reduces infections.

As part of a NHS funded development 3P developed a new catheter technology that uses the same valve technology as in a squeezy ketchup bottle. It has the potential to halve infection rates and save the NHS millions of pounds, following positive tests by Bristol Urology Institute.

Catheters can be used long- or short-term to drain the bladder as part of a hospital procedure or if the patient suffers from incontinence issues, but come with a risk of side effects. Directly or indirectly, use of catheters causes 250,000 serious infections, 3,000 deaths and up to £500 million in healthcare costs each year in the UK, according to researchers at Southampton University. However, laboratory trials of a new design of catheter carried out at the Bristol Urological Institute found it cut infection rates by up to 50 per cent. Catheter design has stayed mainly the same since the 1930s, even though they suffer blockage issues when worn long-term. A catheter can become blocked, they can cause "soft tissue damage", and the stale urine that sits within the bladder can lead to infection. The new valve restores the body’s natural bladder protection by ensuring it fills and empties more naturally. ‘It works like any pressure-relief valve,’ says Dr Dave Seaward, project director at engineering firm 3P Innovation. ‘When the bladder is full, the urine creates a pressure to open the valve in the catheter. With this new technology, once open, it stays open until there is no pressure at all left, meaning the bladder is completely emptied.’ The first clinical trial of the catheter involving patients, funded through an innovation programme run by the NHS, is set to start at Southampton University before the end of 2017.

Dr Dave Seaward presented the technology at the IET's Horizontal Innovation conference held in London, 30-31st January 2017. 3P were in good company with other presentations from Innovate UK, Google, the High Value Manufacturing Catapult, Williams F1, Public Health England, BAE Systems, Deloitte, Prodrive amongst others. Horizontal Innovation™ is becoming a fast growing new business opportunity from the creative use of existing technologies with new process implementation and delivery. With this new way of collaborating, companies are finding they have increased commerciality by sharing their expertise and adopting best practice from others and ultimately generating new and lucrative revenue streams.

There is huge potential to deliver further widespread benefits in terms of scale, time to market and relative cost savings to parallel industrial sectors.

The grant funding via the IET has led to positive publicity in a range of UK national newspapers:-
Express Article is here
Daily Mail Article is here
High value Added Manufacturing Press release is here
The MTC press release is here


Developing a catheter valve

"This is a truly innovative solution to a real world health issue and has the potential to bring huge benefits to our healthcare system by reducing infection rates and fatalities the potential to bring huge benefits to our healthcare system by reducing infections"

Jeremy Watson - President IET



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