Develop a practical aid that makes self-cathetherization as easy as possible.
Slimstones is a subsidiairy of MMID. The company develops medical support aids that add value to life.
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There is a large number of women that for various reasons are unable to empty their bladder independently. To make self-catheterization as easy as possible, MMID has, on the initiative of Martin Bucx, anesthesiologist at Radboud University Medical Center, developed a practical aid. This tool ensures more women are eligible for self-catheterization, and it provides them with the option to catheterize outside the home, for instance in a public restroom, which gives them considerably more freedom of movement.
anesthesiologist at Radboud University Medical Center
Unfortunately, there is a large number of women that for various reasons are unable to empty their bladder independently. This problem can be caused by neurological afflictions, such as multiple sclerosis (MS) or spinal injury. It can also occur after extremely prolonged labor, or when the bladder, by whatever cause, is not emptied (urinary retention). Some patients require a permanent indwelling urinary catheter which often causes significant discomfort and complications, such as infections. Others can solve the problem with intermittent self-catheterization; emptying the bladder at regular intervals during the day. This method is much less burdensome and is known to cause fewer complications. To make self-catheterization as easy as possible, MMID, on the initiative of Martin Bucx, anesthesiologist at Radboud University Medical Center developed a tool that is far more effective than previously available.
Caspar Steenhuijsen, CEO and owner of MMID and Slimstones: “User-friendliness was our central focus during the development process. Every design choice we have made is fully tailored to the user. We have done an incredible amount of user tests with the help of patients at Radboudumc. We even recruited two graduates from Sweden to help with the testing phase, and this resulted in many new insights. The first prototype we tested proved much too complex, and that is why we simplified the design considerably. We also made sure the design has a modern and fresh look and feel, instead of a stigmatizing appearance.”
Other important technical challenges, besides effectiveness, were waterproofness and hygiene, since the product contains electronics that drive the lighting and the user must be able to clean the product easily. Tijs Diessen, Producibility Designer at MMID, explains, “We separated the design into three elements, namely the part containing the mirror and electronics, a clamp that attaches to the toilet seat, and a flexible watertight cover for the USB port. Each part easily clicks together, no screws are required. The mirror is glued to the casing with waterproof tape, which not only makes the product easy to use but also quick to assemble. We have truly considered every stakeholder in this project.”