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New biodegradable anal plug to manage Faecal Incontinence

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - My-qup (New biodegradable anal plug to manage Faecal Incontinence)

Reporting period: 2017-01-01 to 2017-06-30

It is estimated that 10.8% of the Spanish adult population is suffering from faecal incontinence (FI). FI is a multifactorial condition with several possible causes and different levels of severity. Even after undergoing different treatments most of the patients will suffer from eventual FI. The conservative management of FI is a key part in its treatment, and it can condition in a huge way the patient's quality of life (QoL). The most common solutions to manage FI are disposable pads and diapers, which are difficult to recycle due to their characteristic composition in layers. These solutions do not cover the basic needs of the patient: odour control, comfort, safety and discretion.
People with full FI can use from 2 to 6 diapers (or pads) a day. Contributing to the expected growth of a 50% by 2020 of the adult diapers market with 2.190 diapers (or pads) per year per user. Making this an important social and environmental problem.
The main point that My-qup wants to address is the recovery of the patient’s confidence to go out again in order to avoid sick leaves and depression while reducing difficult-to-recycle waste.
During the action, a technical feasibility study and a business plan, including commercial and financial viability, have been analysed.
The technical analysis concludes that it is possible to manufacture the anal plug. The functional prototype is being manufactured at a design studio and it is expected to be tested by the end of the year with real users.
The commercial and financial analysis suggests that it is a valid option to enter the market and start selling instead of licensing. The projections show that in the beginning of the second year the company will be able to break even and have profits. A return on investment of 45% is expected in year 5.
The inability to control an important bodily process, as bowel function, results in a loss of confidence and self-respect. These consequences are compounded by the social stigma and the secrecy attached to FI. The possibility to enable otherwise healthy people to participate fully in social and work life, prevent social exclusion and anxiety and improve the QoL, helping to reduce medical leaves and depression is a very relevant point in a society where the cost of health is increasing and the working force is decreasing.
The environmental impact to change from diapers to new products will be huge as diapers and pads have absorbent agents, different material layers and therefore, are items difficult to recycle.
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