The programme is helping lone inventors bring their products to market, working with clinicians and patients to uncover real areas of clinical need and helping industrial partners commercialise their products and reach the people those products are aimed at.
Devices for Dignity specializes in three focus areas:
Assistive Technology - which broadly means any device or technology that helps a person to perform tasks more independently, regain some control over certain aspects of their lives and assist them with daily living.
Urinary Continence Management - It is estimated that up to 30 per cent of women by the age of 65 will have needed treatment for incontinence or related storage symptoms - sometimes these can be as a result of damage from childbirth. Men often develop increased difficulty in passing urine which may require intervention as they age.
Renal technology - One of the goals in the renal theme is to bring other disciplines and expertise much more into the field of renal treatment. At present haemodialysis patients are treated regularly to remove the build up of fluid and toxins normally lost in the urine. However, dialysis units offer little or no rehabilitation.
Professor Dame Sally C. Davies, Director General of Research and Development at the Department of Health said:
"The Devices for Dignity Healthcare Technology Co-operative (D4D-HTC)brings together collaborators from industry, NHS Trusts and Universities across England to develop innovative treatments and technologies that will reduce morbidity and improve the quality of life for a large population of patients.
Working on the chosen themes of assistive technology, urinary incontinence and renal dialysis, D4D will be a national resource as it addresses dignity and utility and improves the healthcare quality and well-being of patients with long term conditions."
Devices for Dignity is based at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Sheffield and is launching the site www.d4d-htc.org.uk as part of the Dignity Action Day.
The programme is a recent initiative by the Department of Health to fund a pilot which will help clinicians, patients, academia and industry work together to develop equipment and treatments which preserve patients dignity.
The website aims to give people more information about the initiative to encourage them to get involved and help to produce suitable treatments or equipment in that area.