How believing in yourself can change the lives of others and revolutionise an entire industry
Medical Doctor Cecilie Ammitzbøll is one of those people who is driven by an urge to find a solution – a smarter way to do things if they don’t work. Or at least could work better!
A fellowship in health innovation fueled that drive. Through a fellowship she was on a clinical stay at the gastrointestinal surgery department at Rigshospitalet and met a number of patients with stoma.
What many of them had in common was issues with the ostomy bag.
Needless to say, Cecilie decided to invent something smarter. Nothing less.
But she wasn’t alone on that mission.
During the fellowship she had met her perfect match in terms of drive and creativity, Marie Parslov, and Ampa Medical became a reality.
Today Ampa Medical is well on their way to launch a discrete alternative – the InterPoc™ – to the stoma bag, designed for people with an ileostomy.
And when Ampa Medical was admitted to the BioMedical Design Fellowship through Novo Nordisk it couldn’t be more evident that there’s a need for better solutions for patients with ileostomy in order to improve their quality of life.
More about that later. First a real life story that gives a little peep into what the users – or potential users go through.
A Real Life Potential User
Let’s fast forward to this week’s Community Breakfast at Republikken for a second. The scene was set for for the morning talk as always and the subject of the day had ben announced too. As always.
And as always, Republikken members showed up in large scale to support the speaker and ask relevant questions about a subject that one could expect to be difficult to talk about given the somewhat graphic content and taboo subject.
A new member was one of the first to show up. And when she left, her hopes for the future were much brighter than when she came. With an intestinal disease, she is in the risk group of ending up with a stoma. Hearing that Cecilie Ammitzbøll and Marie Parslov are so devoted to developing an alternative to the well known bag, was a huge relief!
So let’s find out what’s so special about the InterPoc™.
A Game-Changing Idea
Understanding Stoma and Ileostomy
An ileostomy is a surgical procedure that reroutes the small intestine through an opening in the abdomen. This redirection creates what is known as a stoma, a small opening resembling a strawberry on the skin’s surface. Ileostomy patients experience a continuous flow of liquid waste, leading to several issues.
Current Ostomy Bag Challenges
Traditional ostomy bags are the prevailing solution for managing ileostomy waste. These bags are attached to the skin around the stoma, collecting the waste as it exits the body. However, this method presents several problems:
- Skin Irritation: The constant contact between feces and the skin often results in skin irritation and complications.
- Leakage: The adhesive used to attach the bag can fail, leading to leakage onto clothing and causing embarrassment and discomfort.
- Stigma and Social Isolation: Many individuals with ileostomies face social stigmatisation, impacting their self-esteem and quality of life.
The alternative: InterPoc™
Ampa Medical’s groundbreaking product, InterPoc™, is a two-part solution designed to alleviate the struggles faced by ileostomy patients.
- The Internal Tampon: Similar in appearance to a female tampon, this component is inserted into the stoma. It absorbs and retains the liquid waste within the intestine, keeping it away from the skin.
- The External Cover: The tampon is enclosed in a protective plastic sleeve that prevents contact between the waste and the stoma. When it’s time for a change, the sleeve unfolds to encase the used tampon, making disposal clean and hygienic.
Key Advantages of InterPoc™
- Improved Comfort: Users of InterPoc™ experience a higher level of comfort compared to traditional ostomy bags.
- Reduced Skin Irritation: By keeping waste away from the skin, Interpack minimizes skin irritation.
- Enhanced Confidence: The discreet and efficient design of Interpack helps individuals regain their confidence and social life.
- Potential Health Benefits: Interpack’s prolonged use may contribute to better hydration for ileostomy patients as fluids are kept in the intestine.
The Need For Fresh Eyes
Cecilie Ammitzbøll and Marie Parslov met during the Health Innovation Fellowship at the gastrointestinal surgical department at Rigshospitlat.
Medical doctor Cecilie had a background in neurology, pathology and lots of research. Marie, a nurse, with a background in cardiology. All in all not exactly areas related to the gastrointestinal area.
So why were they there?
One of the purposes of the fellowship was to gather professionals from other areas in medicine to get fresh eyes on the specific gastric area. And the plan worked, one can say, as Cecilie and Marie teamed up with four fresh eyes and identified a problem that needed to be challenged.
Talking to stoma patients the idea for the InterPoc™ started taking form. There was no doubt the idea was so good they had to go through with it.
Cecilie had no doubt the solution could become a reality.
And being who she is, she doesn’t give up if she believes in something.
Lucky patients to have you and Ampa on their case, Cecilie! And lucky Republikken to have you in the house.
However, there was one uncertainty.
Denmark And The Rest of The World
How could an idea that was that good not be out there already and patented? We’ll never know why but it wasn’t. Until now, by Ampa Medical.
In Denmark there’s an estimated 15.000 patients with a stomae. Of those around 5000 have the ileostomy. The numbers are fortunately relatively small but imagine the worldwide number of users.
In our humble opinion Ampa Medical, InterPoc™, Cecilie Ammitzbøll and Marie Parslov have the potential to revolutionise this industry. With the growing awareness and demand for innovative solutions, Ampa Medical is poised to make a significant impact worldwide.
And judging by the reaction of the stakeholders both in Denmark and outside the willingness to help and inspire and to get the product on the market is enormous.
What the fellowship taught both Cecilie and Marie was the importance of a good network and real life research away from the computer to get the best empirical information. But just as important, to have ambassadors that are open to the new product. Nurses in particular, as they are the ones that show the patients how to use it.
Meeting both Cecilie and Marie on this Thursday morning, listening to Cecilie explain and answer questions, we do not doubt that they are capable of creating the best possible relations to pave the road for the InterPoc™ to become the number one stoma care product worldwide.
The Road Ahead – Getting The Product Out There
Cwcilie Ammitzbøll Ampa Medical has made significant strides in the development of InterPoc™ and at this point they have functional prototypes of the internal tampon part, which have undergone human testing.
The external cover is also in the prototype phase.
Next step is to conduct a larger clinical trial within a year to gather more data and feedback from users.
Developing, testing, correcting and getting a medical product approved is obviously a long process, and we’ll follow your progress and cheer you on from the side lines.
And forever wish there were more like you with the ideas and confidence to change the life quality for the better.
Get more information about Cecilie Ammitzbøll Ampa Medical and the InterPoc™ here: