Challenge

Support a start-up in the development of an innovative Central Venous Catheter (CVC) system to a stage where they could approach potential licensees and investors to discuss partnering opportunities.

Approach

We worked with Avasys to rapidly and iteratively progress their concept and develop a proof-of-principle model, optimising user experience and design for manufacture. We created a ‘sales pack’ to clearly communicate the key product features to support commercialisation activities.

Outcome

An innovative low-profile hub which can be comfortably secured to the patient’s skin under a sterile dressing, reducing the frequency of disinfection procedures and lowering the risk of infection caused by tugging of the catheter.

At a glance

Client
Avasys Medical Technologies

Sector
Surgical

Service
Industrial design

Team staff on project
2

Catheter technology for a start-up

A CVC is a catheter placed into a large vein to administer medication or draw blood. Patients needing prolonged infusion therapy often require only intermittent catheter access but must contend with bulky tube extensions that restrict mobility and impact quality of life.

Catheter-related infections can lead to serious health concerns for patients. Infections may result from micro-organisms gaining access under the skin due to frequent tugging on the catheter or from incomplete disinfection of the ports prior to line access. So-called CLABSIs (Central Line-Associated Bloodstream Infections) are responsible for 50,000 deaths annually and cost US hospitals more than $20Bn in follow-on treatment.

The Quick Connect catheter system consists of a low-profile hub which can be comfortably secured to the patient’s skin beneath a sterile dressing.

The catheter extensions are only needed during a visit to the infusion centre, where a sterile extension set is attached. The Quick Connect system requires fewer disinfection procedures, so the risk of breaching sterility is reduced.

The bulk of the tube extensions is eliminated improving overall patient quality of life. It also minimises potential infection caused by tugging.
Crucially, the system is familiar to caregivers improving adoption in a variety of settings.

Clear communication

A ‘sales-pack’ for potential development partners and investors was also developed. Team were able to add value to Avasys’ proposition through clear communication of the system and its benefits when compared with existing catheters. This included detailed illustrations of the user steps through the life of the product paired with a cost breakdown of consumables.

Although we managed to significantly progress the concept in a short space of time, a key requirement of the project was to highlight areas which required further refinement, such as material selection and fine-tuning of the clamping mechanism.

Alex Driver, Senior Consultant

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