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Why Single Use Endoscopes are the Future

27th November 2018

In November 2018, Collins Dictionary named ‘single-use’ as the word of the year, reflecting the importance of the term in modern society. This term is sometimes cited in a negative light, however, there are some circumstances where single-use is associated with wholly positive traits, for example, in respect of NASA’s Insight lander, which successfully landed on Mars yesterday. And of more relevance to us, the undeniable positive attributes associated with single-use endoscopes.

Whether it’s a Mars lander or an advanced medical endoscope; single-use means sterility, reliability, and innovation

Traditional, re-useable endoscopes are expensive pieces of equipment, dictating a massive capital outlay just to have access to the scope. Furthermore, it is impractical to fully sterilise these re-useable scopes, and as such they require a robust cleaning process between patients to limit the risk of cross infection. However, the cleaning equipment is also costly, and both the scopes and the cleaning machines are liable to mechanical failures, which can again be expensive and time consuming. There are therefore many failings associated with the use of re-useable scopes, with them potentially causing delays in patient diagnosis and treatment, not to mention the risks of infection due to a less than failsafe cleaning process.

Single-use endoscopes however, negate the need for cleaning machines, minimise the risk of infection, and are significantly cheaper than traditional scopes. All of these benefits make it impossible to deny their place in modern healthcare, considering their positive impact on patient safety, and the time and financial efficiencies that can be achieved through their use.

In developing our innovative single-use endoscope we have been working towards achieving a number of positive outcomes, these include:

• Sterility
• Reliability
• Accessibility

Sterility is achieved by a sterilisation process at the point of manufacture. The scope is then packaged in a sterile barrier system so that it is held within its sterile environment until its point of use.

Reliability is achieved through robust design and testing in the development phase, as well as the knowledge that the scope cannot be damaged during a cleaning process, something that is currently an issue within endoscopy services worldwide.

Accessibility is a natural response to the low cost of the scope, and to the fact that there is no requirement for a cleaning machine or vast quantities of pure water when being used. This means that those in less developed countries, and those with limited capital can utilise our endoscopes. The resulting outcome is that more people around the world can undergo endoscopy procedures, and the all-important early detection of gut diseases and malignancies can be achieved.

Our work in developing innovative single-use technology has been spurred on by a desire to lead a real shift in the availability of effective diagnosis and treatment options for patients across the globe. As such, we at IQ Endoscopes are working towards our affordable single-use endoscopes becoming the go to scope of choice on a worldwide scale.

If you are interested in hearing more about our work, then please do contact us.