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Development of novel sphincter sensors for use in gastroenterology and urology diagnostic applications

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1 Author(s)
Urie, J. ; Mediplus Ltd., Lyon

We are developing a range of sphincter sensors for use in Gastroenterology and Urology diagnostic applications, such as Reflux and Urinary Incontinence. Urinary Incontinence costs the NHS in the UK around pound600 million per annum so there is a clear need for improved diagnostic methods such as the sensors being developed. As part of this process a reusable interface unit will be developed which can connect to existing diagnostic equipment thus reducing the impact on the clinicians using the products developed. Initially the interface unit will communicate to the equipment by the use of wires and with future iterations it will enable the clinician to carry out ambulatory studies by storing the data remotely and then wirelessly transmitting the data to the diagnostic equipment. The current methods of measuring sphincter closures are water perfused and solid-state micro-tip catheters. Both have advantages and disadvantages - The water-perfused catheters are slow to respond, single use and also can be tricky to set-up correctly. The solid-state micro-tip catheters are quick to respond, very expensive and are re-usable which has contamination issues. The products developed within Healthy Aims will overcome these shortcomings and will enable clinicians to obtain fast accurate diagnostic results. To date the project has developed a gauge that meets the specifications and has identified a number of different ways in which to manufacture the final device and is confident that by the end of the project a urethral sensor will be going through clinical trials. A number of clinical education seminars have been held to increase the awareness of the project and to ensure that the development is in-line with current clinical thinking. The future of wireless diagnostics for Gastroenterology and Urology will enable more 'natural' diagnosis and possibly treatment of patients suffering with certain conditions. For example, the current method of diagnosing urinary incontinence focu- es on a small time period in the patients working day. By having systems that can monitor the bladder over a number of days we will provide clinicians with more information with which to treat the patient. If this data can be wirelessly transmitted to the clinician from the patient's home, then remote diagnosis becomes a real benefit to the patients and clinicians alike.

Published in:

Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, 2007. EMBS 2007. 29th Annual International Conference of the IEEE

Date of Conference:

22-26 Aug. 2007