Case Study | Ostique

Ostomy innovation improving usability and visual appeal

The challenge

It’s estimated that 1 in 500 people in the UK lives with a stoma, an artificial opening in their abdomen which excretes bowel waste. Having a stoma means needing an ostomy appliance attached to your stoma to collect the waste.

People with stomas have become more open about having them and discussing the challenges they present to an active life, for example, changing their ostomy device after use, securing and supporting it for exercise, and making it less disruptive to intimacy.

Start-up Ostique aims to transform the market through ostomy product innovation. Their new ostomy appliance sets out to improve daily stoma management and help ostomy devices become things that can be celebrated, with aesthetics inspired by lingerie and tattoo design.

Our approach

We helped Ostique develop their concept for an ostomy device, including functional improvements over existing products. Working collaboratively with Ostique, we looked to understand the social, emotional, and functional needs of people with stomas, and explored current ostomy products available.

We supported Ostique through the ideation of their ostomy appliance concept. Our emphasis was on the user experience in terms of activities it should enable and whether it should be a single-piece device or a two-piece design with a cover. Other elements we considered included skin adhesion, the handedness of users, and the size and weight of the container.

Once a more focused concept was arrived at, our workshop team created silicone prototypes of the ostomy device using mold tools machined in-house, enabling Ostique to take the prototypes to their user research group for feedback.

We also developed a roadmap of the steps the start-up needed to go through – including regulatory approvals – to be able to produce, market, and sell their ostomy product as a commercial medical device.

Building on our collaboration, Ostique’s products have since developed further, so the images here aren’t of the final products.

The value we created

Over four months, we supplied the technical rigor for the Ostique team to develop a concept for a unique ostomy appliance. We helped our client refine and focus their ideas and build prototypes of the device for thorough user feedback.

We provided a roadmap for Ostique to follow to get their new ostomy product to market and put them in touch with venture capital investors, giving our client the foundational blocks to make their revolutionary concept a commercial reality.

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