Fleming Medical and Smart Wound Care with Cúram
09 July 2021
Fleming Medical have partnered with CÚRAM researchers - who have recently secured a €46 million reinvestment from Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) - at the SFI Research Centre for Medical Devices located at NUI Galway to develop a wound dressing with integrated sensors to track wound biomarkers and assist in clinical decision making.
Wound care puts a massive burden on healthcare systems that are already strained, especially when the rates of chronic wounds care rising year on year due to an aging population. Globally, “1–1.5% of the population will have a problem wound at any one time. Furthermore, wound management is expensive; in Europe, the average cost per episode is €6,650 for leg ulcers and €10,000 for foot ulcers, and wound management accounts for 2–4% of health-care budgets. These figures are expected to rise along with an increased elderly and diabetic population.
Infection is one of the most frequent complications of non-healing wounds. It can jeopardise the progression towards healing, result in longer treatment times and increase the resource use. In the worst cases, it can result in a major amputation or a life-threatening condition.” (Gottrup et al, 2013)
Effective treatment of chronic wounds involves constant inspection and regular dressing changes to avoid infection. This process can often be timely and costly to the patient and the system. Developing a smart wound dressing can help improve waste and eliminate uncertainty when it comes to the healing or worsening of a wound. A prototype wound dressing for Fleming Medical by CÚRAM has already been developed with an onboard sensor to monitor the wound bed. The readings are communicated wirelessly to the user and can be read using a smartphone. This prototype is currently being field-tested and work is ongoing to accommodate additional sensors onto the device.
Adam Collins, Postdoctoral Researcher at National University of Ireland, Galway shares: “We have made a strong start to the project. Prototype devices will be shared with clinical key opinion leaders for feedback in the coming weeks. The interdisciplinary aspect of the project is driving the momentum with Prof. Georgina Gethin advising on clinical aspects, Prof. Gerard O’Connor providing lab space at the advanced manufacturing pilot line and Mark Fleming informing commercial needs. Mark has taken an active role in the project and his ambition is encouraging.”
As part of the partnership with CÚRAM, they collaborated with Fleming Medical on the Advanced Wound Care Webinars that took place in March 2021. Prof Georgina Gethin represented CÚRAM and presented the webinars and discussed wound evaluation and the stages of wound healing as her specialities include assessment of the wound bed, wound diagnostics, and wound pH.
This partnership is important to Fleming Medical as it aligns with their core values and beliefs to enhance patient quality of life and empowering patients through innovative point-of-care diagnostics.
Fleming Medical are delighted to be associated with such a successful and innovative organisation and are looking forward in continuing to work with CÚRAM to develop the smart wound dressing.
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Gottrup, F., Apelqvist, J., Bjansholt, T. et al. EWMA Document: Antimicrobials and Non-healing Wounds—Evidence, Controversies and Suggestions. J Wound Care. 2013; 22 (5 Suppl.): S1–S92.