New €1m innovation partnership formed to transform wound care

Consortium seeking to develop smart technology to improve patient outcomes

A new €1 million innovation partnership aimed at transforming compression wound care therapy has been announced.

Researchers from the Tyndall National Institute at UCC and the Royal College of Surgeons will team up with industry partners DeRoyal Global Healthcare and Henkel. Enterprise Ireland will also be involved in the collaboration.

The consortium, supported by Bray design consultancy Design Partners, expects to significantly advance the treatment of non-healing chronic wounds through the development of smart wound care technology.

Non-healing chronic wounds affect more than 5 per cent of people globally with numbers rising due to growing elderly and diabetic populations. These wounds cause significant morbidity and mortality, leading to €12.5 billion in worldwide healthcare costs annually. In some regions of the world, a patient loses a diabetic foot to amputation every 12 seconds.

Reduce swelling

Compression therapy that involves squeezing of the limbs using elastomeric bandages can reduce swelling and aid in the recovery of venous ulcers, deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and chronic ulcers. However, treatment is a manual process that requires healthcare professionals.

The consortium is hoping to address this by developing technology to assist specialists to significantly improve patient outcomes by bringing together Tyndall’s deep-tech ICT for Health strategic programme, RCSI’s clinical validation, Henkel’s flexible electronics and materials, Design Partners’ design thinking, and the commercialisation drive provided by DeRoyal.

"With the application of microelectronics, software and connectivity, the team expects to deliver a full end-to-end digital health solution that will radically change how and where we manage compression wound care therapy in the future," said Carlo Webster, senior strategic business development executive at Tyndall.

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor is a former Irish Times business journalist