All our products are designed and constructed with performance and safety in mind.
One of the challenges for visualisation of the site is ensuring a clear, well illuminated field of vision. The majority of the products we reviewed before designing the ‘LUX’ range either lacked any illumination or relied on external power supplies connected to bright light sources at the proximal end of the device. While such sources produce strong illumination at the user end, the actual light delivery can be much reduced before it makes it to the examination site. Worse still, stray light from some sources further interfered with a clear view of the site. Other devices offered no light source – possibly a free penlight which was intended to be used repeatedly case after case.
We found that traditional light sources can be the cause of much frustration in use, wires for power supplies can be inconvenient, sometime dragging on the device, also the light sources and cables need to be cleaned and disinfected before reuse to avoid the risk of cross contamination, taking costly time, and generally requiring investment in a number of light sources/cable sets to minimise downtime but adding further capital costs. Penlights provide less illumination, and require intensive cleaning and disinfection to avoid cross contamination hazards.
All of our products include a self-contained light source and delivery system. Light is generated in the device handle and then transmitted up a light guide to ensure maximum delivery at the site of interest. The light source is an intense LED guaranteed to maintain maximum brightness for 30 minutes – far longer than the procedures the products are designed for. There are no cross contamination issues, the entire product, including the light source can be safely disposed of in the clinical waste. This also removes the need to duplicate costly light sets, and the need to clean and disinfect wires and light sources between cases. Our light source, has a stated shelf life of three years making this an ideal product for situations where immediate and consistent performance is required – even after a couple of years at the bottom of a medical pack, making all our products suitable for all use environments, conventional examination and procedures, doctors’ surgeries, A&E, ambulance home visits.
For our proctoscope and sigmoidoscope we were faced with a further challenge. Our light guide design brings the light to the distal end of the device. However we needed to ensure that the end of the light guide remained clear of bowel content, faecal matter etc. The answer is the patented ‘Clear View’ system. This consists of a shutter built into the obturator which occludes the light guide end, which as the obturator is removed lifts over the light guide ensuring that 100% of the light makes it to the target site. Brilliant.
We’re often asked whether 'everything' can be thrown away, with a level of disbelief that it’s OK to throw anything with batteries inside away as waste. The light pack in our product contains batteries to power the LED, however these batteries are alkaline only – they don’t contain any of the heavy metals that you’ll find in most batteries in your local store. As clinical waste the applicable directive allows these batteries to be incinerated along with other contaminated waste – thus the entire product is indeed fully disposable.
We’ve also been asked about potential fire risk from shorting batteries. Part of the design brief included short circuiting the battery packs and monitoring the effect. Short circuiting fully charged cells only increased the battery case temperature from ambient (2° C) to 44° C. We also ran a series of scenarios with conductive liquids (as you might find in a waste bag) without seeing any significant temperature increase.
Irrespective of the above, and based on local waste disposal policies you may not wish to dispose of batteries in the waste stream. The light pack can be separated from our products manually if required.
For the operator and the patient. With the number of recorded incidents of specula shattering in use on the rise it’s worth considering the value of superior materials that minimise such risks. The upper beak of all of our specula are made of biologically inert PMMA (Poly(methyl methacrylate)) 'Acrylic glass', chosen for its clarity and strength, with the lower beak made of inert Polystyrene resulting an highly transparent product with an extremely low friction surface. Our product hinges use a dedicated design approach with hinge pins designed to release under extreme force, such that, rather breakage occurring the beaks simply close together.