Katherine Wang, PhD | University College London
Competition Sponsor: United Kingdom Research and Innovation
Awardee Year: 2022
Lymphoedema is a chronic, debilitating, and incurable disease, caused by damage to the lymphatic system (the “plumbing” of the body), resulting in excessive swelling from fluid build-up to the affected area. This causes huge lifelong physical, psychological, and socioeconomic burdens that significantly lowers the patient’s quality of life. Lymphoedema patients face a lifelong struggle to manage their symptoms.
Current treatment of lymphoedema rely heavily on compression therapy to reduce swelling, delivered by certified therapists, or compression devices at specialised clinics, several times a week. There is a severe lack of resources both in the UK and globally to deliver lymphoedema treatment, despite affecting over 250 million people worldwide. These existing approaches are costly and non-portable; meaning access to effective, affordable, and sustainable treatment is a significant burden for patients. Long waiting lists and overstretched NHS services cause delays in patients receiving the critical treatment they require, and the patients’ needs are often overlooked and neglected, causing disease progression.
The aim of this project – “LymphMotion” is to develop a proof-of-concept prototype of a portable and lightweight compression garment, using a co-creation process with lymphoedema patients. The end goal is to 1) provide a sustainable, safe, effective, affordable, and convenient at home/away treatment, which 2) alleviates pain and prevent disease progression, and 3) improve quality of life by allowing the patient to self-manage their condition, whenever and wherever they need, giving patients a higher sense of self-autonomy over their disease.
To learn more about this proposal, email firstname.lastname@example.org.