Funding awarded for innovative ostomy product range

Ostique Ltd, working with the ERDF-funded Medical Devices Testing and Evaluation Centre (MD-TEC), NIHR Trauma Management MedTec Co-operative (Trauma MIC), Bowel & Cancer Research (BCR) and Cambridge Design Partnership, the technology and product design firm, has been awarded £320,000 in funding by Innovate UK, the government’s innovation agency.

The funding will support the development of embossed covers and disposable waste inserts which will improve the quality of life for the thousands of people across the UK who have a stoma (an artificial opening in the surface of the abdomen).

MD-TEC and Trauma MIC, part of BHP and based at University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust (UHB), are providing support for the testing and commercialisation of the product. MD-TEC is a European Regional Development Fund 2016-2020 project that enables companies to bring medical products to market quickly, at less cost and with reduced risk.

Ostique, founded in 2015 by Stephanie Monty, aims to create new products for ostomy care, which empower people with a stoma.

“After my brothers and father were diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, I was inspired to start Ostique to help those living with a stoma”, said Stephanie.

“There has been little change in the last 25 years, with the limitations of current ostomy appliances impacting on patients’ mobility and their psychological well-being.”

“Inspired by tattoos and lingerie, the two-part system will offer significant functional advantages through material innovation and rebrand ostomy bags as a desirable product, helping users to feel confident and empowered.”

Ostique’s products are designed for temporary use, such as swimming or intimate occasions when exposing an ostomy bag may cause embarrassment. Users can choose from a range of beautiful embossed designs and colour match the product to their own skin. The reusable cover uses innovative adhesives to reduce skin inflammation, with other benefits including improved ventilation, enhanced comfort and ease of use.

On Instagram, positive comments include describing Ostique’s products as “the future of stoma wear”, “one of the greatest things ever”, and something that “[gives] us hope for a brighter future”.

A stoma can be created as part of treatment for inflammatory bowel disease, cancer or bowel trauma, bypassing the normal bowel function and diverting waste into an ostomy bag, which must be constantly worn. In the UK alone, there are almost 200,000 people living with a stoma, and the global ostomy market is due to reach over $3.4 billion by 2020 due to the increasing prevalence of bowel disease and cancer.

Jeffrey Faint, NIHR Trauma MIC Research Coordinator, said: “We’re delighted that Innovate UK has provided funding for Ostique’s products for the next two years, which have the potential to transform ostomy care.

“The products will provide real benefits for patients with ostomy bags and stomas, and our device testing centre will help to certify and commercialise the range.”