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Institutes of Technology Ireland
Research & Innovation

Pressure Sore Prevention

VascoCare Medical Ltd. is a start-up company based at the Enterprise and Research Incubation Centre at the Institute of Technology, Carlow (IT Carlow). Established in 2008, Vascocare’s mission is to develop innovative products for the prevention of pressure sores. Pressure sores are caused by an obstruction of blood supply to the skin after prolonged pressure. Left untreated, pressure sores can quickly become ulcers. Up to 4% of the UK healthcare budget is spent on aftercare of pressure sores.

Pressure sores can be prevented through the use of cushions or gel pads. These “patient-positioning products” relieve pressure on vulnerable areas of the body. However, products currently available on the market have limitations such as the uneven redistribution of pressure, leaking of the gel contents or hygiene risk.

VascoCare Medical Ltd. was working on the identification and development of new materials and novel designs for improved treatment of pressure sores. As part of the enterprise support service provided by IT Carlow, the company was given access to a range of state-of-the-art industrial design research facilities and equipment. This allowed the company to develop a range of lightweight, hygienic prototype patient positioning products. The prototypes were shown to distribute pressure evenly from the affected area in patients. They hatve helped the company to identify a wide range of medical applications such as in hospital and trolley mattresses, wheelchair cushions and operating tables. In addition, the technology has potential applications beyond the prevention of pressure sores, including use in veterinary, dental and beauty environments. The enterprise support provided by IT Carlow enabled VascoCare Medical Ltd. to access private investment that is supporting the development and manufacture of new, innovative patient positioning products. It is anticipated that the production of these innovative positioning devices will contribute to the future sustainability of the company and lead to a number of employment opportunities for industrial design graduates.

Testimonials

“There are huge benefits from setting up your business in the Enterprise & Research Centre at the IT Carlow, knowledge base and information you have access to in expert personnel, information technology and specialised resources goes a long way to achieving excellence in your business model.”
Michael Lawler, Director of Design & Business Development, VascoCare Medical Limited

Client: VascoCare Medical Ltd.
Institution:
Institute of Technology Carlow
Industry: Medical Devices
National Priority Area: Medical Devices

External Services Manager
Brian Ogilvie
Enterprise & Research Incubation Campus
Institute of Technology, Carlow
Kilkenny Road
Carlow, Ireland
T: +353 (0)59 917 5223
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