Developed by Medsols Uganda Ltd, iDrain is a low-cost chest drainage device primarily designed for use in pleural effusion patients. The device can also be used for other suction procedures.
The vision of Medsols (U) Ltd is innovation for a healthier world. Through research and innovation, we solve emerging and existing healthcare challenges.
Access to standard medical devices is still a big healthcare challenge in the developing world countries. According to WHO, almost 80% of the medical devices from the first world countries do not actually work in the developing world settings owing to the high cost of both the devices and consumables, lack of expertise to operate them and other factors. Thus to improve access to standard healthcare in such areas, innovations must be tailored to meet the specific needs at a cost most affordable to that specific population.
iDrain was developed to meet this need. On average, 10 patients every week are diagnosed with pleural effusion at a major referral hospital in Uganda. The ideal water under seal chest drainage devices aren’t available at these hospitals.
Progress & Results
Ideated in 2016, the iDrain device has undergone several prototyping stages. With funding from UNFPA under the first edition of the UpAccelerate program, we were able to develop the first prototype with help of consultants from Uganda Industrial Research institute.
The team also conducted an end user needs finding study and results showed a great need by doctors for the product. The team also applied for intellectual property rights (utility model) with URSB.
Further funding from the CAMTech Accelerator program enabled a partnership with Kasp3r Technologies in Nairobi-Kenya where a clinical trial ready product was developed. The testing at laboratory level with Kasp3r gave promising results.
Challenges and Lessons Learnt
A challenge in controlling pressure efficiently emerged from the first prototype. The challenge has been solved. However, challenges in realizing a working prototype increased costs of production which will affect the final cost of the device.
Among the lessons learnt, it is important to engage a wide range of consultants in developing medical devices. This helps in reducing the failure rates and reducing the costs involved during prototyping.