Case Study: Patient and Family Engineering

Monday 03 August 2020

NHS patients and families across the UK face a number of challenges when securing and maintaining the array of enteral feeding lines and devices that are vital to patients’ survival and management of their conditions, including preventing children pulling and removing their devices. 

No product exists to resolve this clear need; consequently, parents are often driven to develop bespoke solutions to secure their children’s feeding lines and carry the weight of their fluid bags, or having to resort to purchasing expensive online products which may not be fit for purpose.

These makeshift solutions generally fail to provide children with sufficient dignity and quality of life, and result in frequent and unnecessary hospital visits due to infection, induced through pulling and interference from children and young people.

Tookie Limited, NIHR Children and Young People MedTech Co-operative (NIHR CYP MedTech), and the Gastroenterology Services Clinical Team at Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust (SCH) met several times during early 2020 as a clinical focus group to consider these unmet needs and to investigate the design of a wearable medical device to be offered to patients to improve patient well-being and safety.

We have published a case study of this project to highlight how the expertise and agility of small companies and the NIHR MedTech and In Vitro Diagnostics (NIHR MIC) network, along with meaningful PPI initiatives, can enable the development of novel products that have both short- and long-term benefits for the health and wellbeing of children, young people, and their families.