11 Health and Technologies Limited
In October 2011, Michael Seres became the 11th person in the UK to undergo a small bowel transplant at The Churchill Hospital, Oxford. During surgery he was given an ileostomy and had to cope with the ongoing issues of having a stoma, such as leaks and spills while trying to empty his bag in to a jug to provide output volume and timings to his doctors.
Currently there is no solution to these issues. Technology does not seem to have been used in this area of healthcare despite having around 3 million people in the world with either a temporary or permanent stoma.
As an in-patient, Michael observed that nurses often spend a great deal of their time helping patients empty bags and clearing spills whilst having to remember to complete output data sheets. This information is highly useful for the physicians.
ostom-i™ Alert Sensor
From his hospital bed, Michael started to look for solutions to make his quality of life and others in similar situations, better. His aim was to develop a sensor and with this idea in mind, Michael began ordering spare parts off e-bay and assembling them. Nine months later the ostom-i Alert Sensor was launched and 11 Health was born. The sensor simply and easily attaches to any ostomy pouch/ stoma bag and using Bluetooth wireless technology, it sends signals to a free mobile app to advise when the ostomy pouch is at a point where it should be emptied. For instance, if a patient wants to be alerted when the pouch is 60% full and then again at 90%, this information is inputted into the app and the sensor will do the rest, i.e., notifications are sent in real time for both instances to the app. Instantaneously, the ostom-i Alert Sensor automatically collates the data of output as well as timings and sends the data to the Doctors. This is a very simple and quick way of transferring data accurately to the Doctors and prevent any erroneous estimations. This mix of data and technology means no leaks and spills and no emptying of the bag into a jug to measure the output.
This self-management alongside remote monitoring are undoubtedly the future of healthcare. As a long term patient, Michael knows how important monitoring is. Hence, he developed a device that started life from the patient perspective. Understanding what makes a patient's life simpler and of better quality is a key component when developing a device. He believes that his device does just that. It was developed by a patient for a patient and this is perhaps the most appealing factor of the product, i.e. it has the patient's best interest at heart.
Surprisingly it was easier to launch the product in the USA than the UK. USA's system is more commercial than UK and embraces patient innovation more. The device is now being used by patients in hospital in Oxford but making inroads as an outsider in the NHS is a real challenge. One Michael is determined to overcome.