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October 03, 2012

Stewartville manufacturer rolls out new catheter

Building upon an innovation it first introduced in 1990, Rochester Medical Corp. is rolling out a new product that is unique in the catheter industry.

The Stewartville-based catheter and medical equipment maker has created a product that is designed to make long-term use more comfortable for patients.
The new product, called Spirit, is an enhancement to the male external catheter, also known as a sheath or condom-style device worn by men with incontinence. The catheter is held on with an adhesive and connects to a collection bag worn under the patient's clothing.

Rochester Medical introduced the first silicone external catheter in 1990, a time when catheters were mostly made with latex.

Silicone has proven to be popular with patients and doctors for a variety of reasons. The breathable nature of the material, in particular, makes it more comfortable for the patient. However, prolonged wear can still be damaging due to trapped moisture in the skin, somewhat like wearing a band-aid for a long time.

To address the issue, Rochester Medical has developed a "hydrocolloid" adhesive that wicks moisture away through the silicone.

Acknowledging the awkward nature of their products, CEO and President Anthony J. Conway points out that this enhancement could mean a lot to a patient's quality of life and ability to go about their daily activities with as few limitations as possible.

"If you need to wear something like this, this a big deal," he says. "We feel really good about this."

While this is an enhancement on Rochester Medical's standard external product, Conway points out that the direct cost for the patient is expected to remain the same. Both catheters are covered for the same amount by Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance plans.

Rochester Medical contracts its products through medical supply companies and networks of medical centers and hospitals as well as marketing directly to urologists.

From the company's experience with introducing products in the past, Conway expects sales of the Spirit to increase slowly.

"Most of our growth with new products comes from new patients," he says. "It will take some time, but we believe this will do well."


This is not be related to this specific story but I noticed Paseo Del Rio (formerly Dos Amigos) on 4th street is no more.

It's now El Loro. Is this under new ownership or simply a name change?

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