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A low cost ambulatory acute postoperative pain relief infusion system

ID5: Distribute the Product

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Executive Summary

A low cost ambulatory acute pain management system that has proven to relieve postoperative pain for patients following several types of surgery, especially hip and knee replacement. Using patent pending components it is a proven, safer means of avoiding wound infection, faster surgical application and a key factor in patient enhanced recovery programmes whilst reducing the use of opiates.

Quick Detail

Innovation Owner:
Agnes Crutchard
Development stage:
ID5: Distribute the Product

Project Detail

Identifying needs

The total number of knee replacement procedures entered into the National Joint Registry during 2010 was 81,979, an increase of 5.7% compared with 2009. In 2010, 76,759 hip replacement procedures were recorded on the NJR, representing a 6% increase compared with the same reporting period the previous year.

"The number of hip and knee replacement has increased rapidly over the past ten years in most European countries. On average, the number of hip replacement increased by one-third between 1998 and 2008. The growth rate was even higher for knee replacement, which more than doubled during this ten-year period. For example, in the United Kingdom, hip replacement rate increased by 40% since 2000, while knee replacement increased by 112%.

Proposed Solution

The underlying technology of the current design is in the laser based production of a highly efficient drug delivery catheter.   The system is currently driven by a disposable elastomeric pump and is used in the infusion of local anaesthetic into a variety of surgical wounds before closure. The present device is still in its launch stage and aimed primarily at NHS hip and knee replacement procedures given its merits in offering pain free early mobility.

However, a much more sophisticated version [project PEXIS] is being planned, incorporating cutting edge, patented pumping technology that will offer the opportunity to infuse medications intravenously, be based on a portable, low energy system that uses low cost disposable elements  and will benefit a worldwide community.

Since the unit is 100% ambulatory in its use, the appeal is allowing patients greater mobility and independence and to return home within a short time of having surgery and continue their recovery in the home environment - as part of an enhanced recovery programme, for example. The transmission of patient biometric data through advanced Wi-Fi technology and integration into a centralised medical surveillance network are key features on the project team’s agenda.

The device will be designed so that the administration lines involved will be 100% disposable whilst the pump is retained for repetitive use [up to 500 patients] before refurbishment is required. Sophisticated software will permit the automatic recognition of drugs to be infused, upper and lower limits and patient tolerance etc. matched against a continuously updated drug library

Intended benefits

1)     A reduction in length of stay following this type of surgery reduces acute care facility costs and reduces exposure to potential nosocomial infections.

2)     Early rehabilitation following arthroplasty in particular, has distinct therapeutic advantages and early adoption of range of motion.

From a financial point of view the savings on patient bed nights is enormous.

Key Facts


  • Clinical outcomes
  • Patient experience
  • Patient safety
  • Service quality
  • Service efficiency/productivity
  • Operational costs

Healthcare Areas

  • Acute Care
  • Social Care

Health Problems

  • Cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Trauma and Orthopaedics
  • Gastroenterology (inc Liver)
  • Musculoskeletal


  • International