Project leaderMontserrat Llinàs
Participating organizationsHUVH, VHIR, Vecmedical Spain
To develop new equipment to automate bladder irrigation in urology patients. This process is currently done manually. Automating it would substantially reduce most complications (obstruction of the system, vesicle perforation, urinary tract infection), as well as cutting costs and increasing quality of care.
The project is the result of a collaboration between Vecmedical, a company that specializes in developing medical devices, and the Vall d'Hebron Research Institute (VHIR). Vecmedical develops medical devices and VHIR leads the clinical trials to validate the technology and gain approval in regulatory processes.
Most significant challenges
The main hurdle in developing medical devices within the framework of a public institution is the lack of financial resources. Collaboration with a company in the healthcare-device manufacturing sector has made it possible to obtain public grants from the Carlos III Institute of Health in 2015 and the CDTI in 2017.
An additional challenge has been defining the regulatory path to obtain the necessary approval before hitting the market. Finally, one of the most important challenges is taking the product to market, getting the Catalan healthcare sector to adopt the technology coming out of its own hospitals and research centers. In this regard, innovative public procurement initiatives may be key.
National funding and working with an industrial collaborator have allowed us to move forward with proof of concept, developing a functional prototype, production strategy and regulatory path. The first clinical trial is expected to begin in late 2018.