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Ostomy medical device

The revolutionary pouch cover, Ostique products are designed with the unique needs of every ostomate in mind.

Mentoring | Research and development |

The need

Motivated by family members who had personally experienced Crohn's disease, a typical condition that precedes stoma surgery, Stephanie believed that Crohn's patients delay having stoma surgery that could significantly improve their quality of life (sometimes for years) as the products they were using to manage their condition could be innovated. As a result, she started researching the medical devices used by patients with stomas. As part of her study, Stephanie conducted research with a group of ostomates to better understand the psychological and practical effects of the condition. In order to address some of the visual restrictions and consequent psychological effects of current ostomy devices, she worked on the prototype for an externally worn device to cover the stoma bag. This effort resulted in the foundation of her firm Ostique in 2017 and the introduction of Ostique Sk.ns in 2022. Ostique has worked closely with Sk.ns since the beginning of the company to develop their line of stoma bags, addressing the demands and common complaints of patients head-on. They are currently getting ready to launch their product later this year.

When she needed some additional expertise to handle the company’s research data analysis, Stephanie contacted Brunel to find out what was available. 

The solution

A conversation with Dr Michael Joseph in the Research Support and Development Office introduced her to Dr Fotios Drenos, a senior lecturer in genetic epidemiology who specialises in computational medicine and statistical genetics of common complex disease. The plan is Dr Drenos to support Ostique for six months as their development of a stoma bag progresses into mass manufacturing, and further validation.

In the same conversation, Dr Joseph offered Stephanie a place on the 2022 RIEm programme, to equip her to apply for future rounds of funding for innovation. The Research, Innovate and Emerge (RIEm) support is available to UK business owners like her whose ideas need rigorous testing, refining, as well as development funding. The programme begins with a review of the firm’s activities which leads to the development of a strategic plan for the business.  The Brunel team help to identify sources of funding and explore the practicalities of putting the firm’s plan into action. When ready, the experts help with drafting the Research and Innovation (R&I) concept paper, and then create a joint R&I proposal ready for submission to funders.

The outcome

  • Successful development a product that could reach 2 million ostomates worldwide with a market worth around £2.6 billion.
  • Successful achievement of the relevant accreditations.
  • Planned availability of stoma bag range to market via prescription later in 2023, to accompany Ostique Sk.ns which are already available via Ostique’s website.
  • Strengthened knowledge about funding opportunities and proposal writing.
The RIEm Programme and mentoring came at a time when I was exploring how we might collaborate with new partners like Brunel. I already have strong relationships with relevant charities such as Bowel Cancer UK and with NHS partners, but knowing I have access to the academic rigour of my university is fantastic. What is also apparent is that many of the lecturers come from industry so have experience of how businesses operate. I enjoyed meeting and discussing business matters with other small companies, and the notes I took about how to apply for funding are ready to pull out when the time is right.

Stephanie Monty, Founder of Ostique

Stephanie was very focused on RIEm programme to achieve maximum positive impact on Ostique. We are delighted to help Ostique to optimise their innovation, the company founded by a Brunel University Alumna.

Dr Michael Joseph, Business Development Manager (Healthcare and MedTech) & RIEm Lead

Get in touch with the project team member(s) for this case study

Dr Michael Paratharayil Dr Michael Paratharayil
Email Dr Michael Paratharayil Business Development Manager
I have managed large partnerships for 15+ years in private sector, in over 25 countries including for a large Consultancy Group in senior management role. I have led capacity strengthening programmes in the UK and overseas on resource mobilisation and funding diversification. I have secured large funding and investment in health, education, research and innovation. I manage research and innovation and knowledge exchange partnerships with businesses and health sector actors in the field of Health and Med Tech innovation. I conceptualised and lead Brunel's award winning Research, Innovate and Emerge (RIEm) Programme to strengthen the capacity of businesses to optimise innovation and access funding to take the solution to the market. I am a member of Brunel’s Business Innovation Board and contribute to Early Career Academic Capacity Development Programmes and South Asia Regional Working Group in addition to innovation ecosystem management with businesses. I previously successfully led the delivery of Brunel’s Business Resilience Fund. I am a Vice Chair of UK Public Administration \Association (UKAPA). Reuters named me as one of the top 10 influential international programme managers in 2010. I speak at national and international conferences on innovation funding systems. I completed my PhD in Public Health and am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (UK). Connect with me on LinkedIn

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Case study last modified 12/06/2023

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