Incontinence places a huge burden on healthcare systems and has a major impact on quality of life for thousands of patients of all ages in the UK. It receives little attention within the medical research sector and current technological interventions are limited in their function and effectiveness.
A few weeks ago I started a project funded by the Wellcome Trust through its Institutional Strategic Support Fund (ISSF). The aim is to improve understanding of incontinence assessment, treatment and management, using an engineering perspective to help identify, interpret and ultimately address the clinical and patient challenges. I’ll look to provide a detailed view of incontinence across the patient pathway encompassing patients, healthcare professionals and industry representatives. This will centre around visits to shadow clinicians at St James’s Hospital in Leeds to experience first-hand the practices involved.
Reporting via this blog, a regular Twitter stream (@PeteCulmer) and articles in medical and scientific journals and magazines, the project aims to share its findings and raise the profile of incontinence within the scientific and engineering communities. Ultimately I hope to reach a broad audience, boost awareness of this critical area of need and encourag interest in research to address it’s challenges