H.9 Creating of an external urinary collector for women
The options for external collection of urine for children and adults are limited. External devices are needed to enable sanitary collection of urine from people in a variety of circumstances when usual toileting is impossible or inconvenient.
The current technologies include indwelling catheters (although available in most clinical settings, these devices are uncomfortable, can cause permanent functional and cosmetic deformity when used chronically and increase the risk of urinary tract infection) and the PureWick, a device useful for bedbound adult females only. There is a practical external collector for men, the condom catheter. This is not practical for children, women or most elderly and obese men, however, because a sizable penis is necessary to enable the device to adhere to the body. Unfortunately, absorbent products are used in many such situations. These products are expensive and not sustainable, as they use a great deal of paper that may not be immediately biodegradable. As such, such products are not widely available outside of rich countries. Specific cultural preferences and taboos may limit the use of available products, as well.
There are many circumstances where this device can be used: military use (while on bivouac, while in space), use for individuals with chronic incontinence (for example, after stroke, spinal cord injury and for certain institutionalized individuals), acute care (individuals unable to toilet after having severe injuries or after surgery) and recreational (camping, endurance sports).
The materials used would need to be hypoallergenic. The design would need to be adaptable to a variety of body types and levels of physical activity. A sustainable product could be adapted to meet the needs of a planet with limited resources. Cultural awareness would enable adaptability of this product to an international market.
- Biology/Pre-Health Experience