Top NHS urologist welcomes arrival of award-winning new urinary incontinence system

Melio system improves privacy and dignity for patients

A leading urologist has called for the subject of urinary incontinence to be spoken about more openly following the launch of the world’s first intelligent catheter bag, which will help to improve treatment of the disease.

Emeritus consultant urologist to the North Bristol NHS Trust, Professor Roger Feneley, was speaking following the launch of the Albert Medical Devices’s new Melio electrical pump system.

The award-winning leg bag has been praised by urologists for its ability to enhance overall urology care and restore dignity and independence to the 200 million people around the world who suffer from urinary incontinence.

Stressing the importance of speaking out about the condition, Professor Feneley said: “Many thousands of older and disabled people rely on a catheter and bag to control their loss of bladder control, yet this is a subject rarely discussed because of the embarrassment it can cause.

“The catheter in universal use worldwide has not fundamentally changed for more than 70 years. It is invariably drained into a urine collection bag, well concealed under clothing and any attempt to empty can present a major upheaval for the user and often an even trickier manoeuvre for the carer.

“The Melio leg bag completely transforms this routine task, enabling the urine collection bag to be emptied discreetly without an undignified struggle. So many catheter users and their carers could benefit if only they knew such a device was available.”

Existing leg bags have remained largely unchanged, with patients having to lean down to where the bag is strapped to empty it; something not always possible for them to do themselves. Wearers of the traditional bags also have no way of knowing when the bag is full and this can cause reflux and infections because the one -way valve does not work when the bag is overly full.

Melio overcomes these disadvantages by replacing the tap with a tiny pump and employing a simple computerised level detector. In addition, a compact computer controller which clips onto the waist belt puts the wearer in charge.

Tom Fitzherbert, chief executive of Albert Medical Devices, said: “Self-management for patients is essential for them to restore dignity and give them greater control. As well as offering huge benefits to wearers, the Melio leg bag is an improved and cost-effective solution for hospitals and care homes.”

The Liverpool-based company won the Da Vinci Award for Innovation and a DTI Smart Award for the product and is being supported by biomedical venture capital firm, SPARK Impact.

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