A Breakthrough For Women – Times North
This trail blazing development has the potential to transform the lives of women world-wide
Professor Jacqueline Oldham
North East firm develops pioneering female health technology
Femtech – female technology – is one of the fastest growing sectors of health-care, driven by an increased level of investment into the sector; forecast to reach $50bn by 2025, according to a recent Frost and Sullivan report.
To date, female health has been an area of healthcare with limited research and investment but there are signs this is changing, and Cramlington-based Femeda Ltd is set for rapid expansion based on its innovative research development recently launched in the UK. A third of all women experience bladder leakage, which has a huge impact on their quality of life. Acknowledging a need for an easy-to-use, discreet and clinically effective treatment, Femeda focused on developing a product that would be a life-changing breakthrough for women.
THE RESULT WAS PELVIVA:
- A new treatment for women, patients and healthcare professionals with proven clinical efficacy.
- A solution to the problems caused by a lack of adherence, or inability to perform pelvic floor muscle exercises correctly.
- A disposable, discreet and easy-to-use pelvic floor muscle retrainer with reactive pulse technology (RPT).
Pelviva incorporates a revolutionary pattern of neuromuscular electrical stimulation using a programme developed by Professor Jacqueline Oldham, of Manchester University. Each device contains a unique microprocessor that delivers the patented Pelviva waveform to the pelvic floor muscles. It is a single-use, disposable intravaginal medical device made of a body responsive foam, which adapts to every woman’s individual shape. The unique Pelviva RPT delivers a series of intensive reactive pulses every alternate ten seconds, to stimulate the pelvic floor muscles. THE device mimics the way the body works naturally, causing the pelvic floor muscles to contract. This helps restore speed and strength to the power fibres, to prevent bladder leakage when women cough, laugh, sneeze, or exercise. It also re-trains the endurance fibres to hold on when a woman urgently needs the toilet, giving back control over urgency bladder leakage.
Professor Oldham, Director of Corridor Manchester Health Innovation, said: Pelviva is the result of painstaking research through academic, clinical, and industry collaboration bringing innovation into healthcare. This trail blazing development has the potential to transform the lives of women worldwide.
Bladder leakage is the term Femeda choose to use when talking about this condition as women find it difficult
to relate to the correct medical term ‘urinary incontinence’, which is more commonly associated with the elderly and infirm. The condition affects a woman’s psychological, emotional, social, and sexual function. It is a global problem, affecting women as young as 18 and often exacerbated by childbirth and menopause. Only one in four are likely to consult with their healthcare professional due to the embarrassment which surrounds the condition; the rest will ‘suffer in silence’. As part of an ongoing development and focus on manufacturing excellence, in 2016 Femeda set up its own manufacturing plant in Cramlington. The plant runs alongside its R&D team to provide a springboard for future growth.
Last month, Femeda won the 2019 Medilink Partnership with Academia Award. The awards celebrate success spanning the whole of the North of England. The ceremony saw industry, academia and the NHS come together to toast the achievements of the incredibly strong health sector regionally.
The Company also won the Product of the Year category at the prestigious 2018 Bionow Awards which acknowl-edge ingenuity, dedication and the accomplishments of those who drive innovation and deliver outstanding results within the biomedical and life science sectors across Northern England. “It’s a first for a consumer medical device to win the award and a great achievement against some exceptional competition and innovation across the regions,” said Andrew Tasker, chief executive of Femeda. It is a credit to the close teamwork in the company that has become integral to how we work in the business, and which has driven our successful launch.
“Our R&D efforts focus on clinical leadership whilst continually incorporating consumer and patient insights,” he said, adding “whilst bladder leakage is not a life-threatening condition, it is a life changing condition for millions of women worldwide.” In recognition of the major support the business has received from clinicians and academics in the Manchester area to bring Pelviva to the market, Femeda is investing back into the Greater Manchester community. It has committed to provide up to £50,000-worth of Pelviva product to women with bladder leakage in the region, via the appropriate clinicians and hospital trusts.
The company is working with Health Innovation Manchester and the relevant health trusts, as well as primary and secondary care providers, to make the product available to women who as yet have had limited alternatives. “Bladder leakage is an extremely common problem that seriously impacts on women’s lives,” said Julia Herbert, Femeda’s clinical director. “It has a close association with depression and often results in women withdrawing from social and physical activity. Bladder leakage can also negatively impact on a woman’s personal life, relationships and sexual function.”
“It’s been great to be involved in the development of Pelviva to bring women a treatment that really does fit into their life, is easy to use and that is also clinically effective. Pelviva is a pioneering medical device that will have a life-changing impact on womens quality of life”
Pelviva is available direct to consumers from www.pelviva.com and will soon to be available in selected pharmacies.