Prise winners list

Development of a stoma appliance equipped with cutting-edge technological items such as a smudge prevention cover, breathability recovering filter and faceplate containing a skincare medicine

Sumida-ward, Tokyo
Alcare Co., Ltd.
Other award winners
Hiromi Kutsukake, Takafumi Kubo, Reiko Sasaki, Yoshie Namiki, Satoru Numata
Recommended by
Mr. Katsuhisa Sindo, Health Management Center, Kinki University
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Kanbara, Noriyuki  (38)
Development Dept.
Stoma Group Leader

Product must not be detached accidentally while it must be gentle to skin. We could not develop a new product that could make users happy unless we solved this conflicting problem
summary

Many ostomates (users of artificial anus), who use a stoma (artificial anus) appliance, suffer skin injury such as rash because they have to attach and detach a stoma mounting faceplate repeatedly. If the adhesive force is lowered to decrease a load to user's skin, the faceplate may be accidentally detached easily. This is a crucial problem for a stoma appliance that pools bodily waste. This company solved these two conflicting problems by providing the proper adhesive force and skincare medicine "ceramide", which effectively improves skin's barrier function, for the faceplate. In addition, the new stoma appliance is equipped with a filer, which can exhaust gas smoothly and recover its breathability very easily even if its meshes are clogged, and a cover, which prevents the joint between the faceplate and the pouch from getting dirty with bodily waste.

summary

Users wished to keep their skin healthy and fresh even if they attached and detached it repeatedly. Therefore ceramide was selected

The number of colon cancer patients is increasing in our country as our food culture is westernized, and will exceed that of stomach cancer patients in the near future. When a patient cannot defecate because his or her bowel is removed in an operation, a hole is opened in his or her abdomen and the tip of remaining bowler is connect to the hole to defecate. And the stoma (artificial anus) receives his or her bodily waste and gas. The number of ostomate (person who has an artificial anus) is 150000 to 200000 and is increasing by 15000 in Japan annually. 
Alcare Co., Ltd. is the pioneer in this field, who developed a stoma appliance for the first time in Japan in 1965 at the request of the National Cancer Center. The company developed a new product "Cellcare 2", in which a faceplate (water-absorbing adhesive sheet) called "skin barrier" is attached to the skin around the stoma and a stoma pouch is attached to it. The pamphlet says, "We developed this product while considering patient's skin carefully…"
"When a faceplate is attached to human skin for a long period, it was easily detached and user's skin was damaged in such an injury as rash because it got wet due to perspiration and other reasons.
Especially if a faceplate is attached and detached repeatedly many times, user's skin was injured and this was the biggest problem. In fact, ostomates have been complaining of this problem for many years since the first stoma appliance, which was attached to human skin, was developed. Therefore this is an old and new problem. We conducted research hard to solve the user's discomfort and developed this new product. It has very good water-absorbing property and so does not damage user's skin although it is closely attached."
"In designing, however, if we tried merely to improve the water-absorbing property, the adhesive force decreased. On the other hand, if we enhanced the adhesive force, user's skin might be easily damaged when a faceplate is detached" In development, we had to solve these two conflicting problems at the same time. Ceramide was very useful to solve the problems. 
"Ceramide is a fat filled among the corneocyte and protects human skin from getting dry. Fresh skin contains ceramide abundantly but rough skin contains it slightly. If this barrier function works well, skin can contain moisture, but if not, moisture gets out of skin. Then we thought that if a faceplate should be adhesive and we could not avoid stimulating user's skin when it was detached, we should use ceramide to keep user's skin healthy."
We assessed the health degree of skin by measuring the moisture amount that was dispersed into air, conducted many monitoring tests and completed a skin barrier containing ceramide.

We will continue research to improve

Human skin is very delicate and complicated, and so nothing can replace it. They had to use live bodies to check the skin conditions before and after a faceplate was attached and how users felt when it was detached. In the midst of their development, Mr. Kanbara and his coworkers attached faceplates to their own bodies so often that they said, "We attached it to our bodies almost everyday." There was such a failure that one of them shouted "Ouch" when he detached a test product from his body. They tried more than one hundred compositions of skin barrier. 
For the new stoma appliance, they used a new skin barrier, a new filter, which could exhaust gas smoothly and regain its breathability quickly even if its meshes were clogged, and a cover to prevent the joint between the faceplate and the pouch from getting dirty. Users responded, "My skin is kept healthy" and "My skin feels good". 
"I felt really happy when one of users directly called me and said, "I can have good sleep thanks to your new stoma appliance." Users used to feel pain with the conventional product when they were in bed because the edge of faceplate contacted their skin. We used a soft material for the faceplate so that it fitted user's skin smoothly and received unexpectedly higher evaluation from users than we had expected."
Mr. Kanbara says, "There are so many things we have to do to improve 'quality of life'."
"A stoma is not only for receiving user's bodily waste. Whether it is good or not decides the very life of ostomates. Their life relies on it. We have many additional things to do." 
"Our ultimate goal is producing such a good stoma that users forget the existence of it on their bodies and can have a quality life that is the same as before they receive an surgical operation. Our goal is high, but certainly many users are looking forward to a day when we achieve that goal.

Alcare Co., Ltd.

http://www.alcare.co.jp/index.shtml

Established:
May. 1973
Capital:
90 million yen
Employees:
500 (as of Dec. 2009)
Brief information:
With the basic concept of "integration of engineering and medicine", the company develops products for medical care, home health care, sports and self-care.

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Image2

The upper ring (containing skin barrier) is attached to a stoma and a pouch is connected to it.

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Quantity of water that is dispersed from the mounting section is measured. The smaller the quantity is, the healthier the barrier skin is.

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