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Building upon an innovation it first introduced in 1990, Rochester
Medical Corp. is rolling out a new product that is unique in the
The Stewartville-based catheter and medical equipment maker has created a
product that is designed to make long-term use more comfortable for
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."