I've shared a lot of sweet and heart-warming medical devices and their stories here on Med Device Monday. But make no mistake: the less sexy devices out there are just as important as those that help babies hear and fathers see their kid's drawings. Today I'm featuring one of those devices: the Ostom-i Alert.
Perhaps you've seen this post floating around Facebook: a young woman shares her experience with Crohn's, resulting in an ileostomy bag, in order to shine a light on invisible illnesses. Aimee Rouski says that she has Crohn's disease, which almost killed her, and resulted in surgery that left her with "...a permanent ileostomy, no large intestine, colon, rectum, anus, or inner thigh muscles as they were used for plastic surgery on my wounds." As of publishing, her post has nearly 23,000 shares, and more than 92,000 Likes. Clearly she's struck a chord.
Ostomy bags are important medical devices, and what I want to highlight today is the Ostom-i, a device that helps make life a little easier for people with ostomies. It monitors output, and alerts the wearer when the bag needs to be changed: doing so helps people avoid both accidents and infection. Additionally, monitoring the volume of output is a key part of managing a stoma, as it indicates how well the bowel is functioning. The way this is normally done is to empty the bag into a vessel, measure it, and add it to a chart. The Ostom-i eliminates this step, as it clips to the outside of the bag, measures the volume, and sends the data to the cloud, where both patient and doctor can access it. One of the many things I love about this device is that it is using wireless technology to help improve a patient's quality of life. So many devices are incorporating wireless functionality, mobile medical apps, and the elusive 'cloud' to help patients live their day-to-day without added stress about their device. It's exciting to see medical devices evolving!
Hear more from the inventor - himself a sufferer of Crohn's:
Hear from patients: