Durham Professor invents new test for men with prostate problems
(2 October 2006)
The UFlow Meter could help to reduce the number of people dying from prostate problems.
Developed by former patient Professor Douglas Newton, the UFlow Meter (Urine Flow Meter) can be used without the need for expensive equipment or the presence of nursing staff and will help diagnose a variety of urinary tract disorders. The device is the brain child of Professor Doug Newton who has had prostate problems himself. A lecturer in Science and Technology Education at Durham University, Doug has been working on the development of his idea for three years. He said: "Like most men, I was uncomfortable visiting the doctor about these kinds of problems and found the process surrounding diagnosis embarrassing. It really motivated me to do something about it. "By developing this device and raising awareness of the facts surrounding prostate issues I can hopefully encourage more men to visit their GPs and thereby start their treatment sooner." Prostate disorders affect 50% of the male population over 40 years old and there are around 10,000 deaths from prostate cancer each year. Early diagnosis will improve treatment and a patient's quality of life. For many prostate problems a warning sign is a restricted rate of urine flow. A lack of awareness regarding symptoms, diagnosis and treatment means disorders often develop in to more serious conditions. By measuring the height to which the funnel like device fills, men can quickly identify whether they have a normal, abnormal or severely restricted rate of flow. Doug worked with the NHS Innovations North team based at technology consultancy RTC North and researchers at Newcastle University to patent his idea, develop the prototype, perform trials and find a manufacturer. The device is being manufactured and marketed by MDTi based in Wolverhampton and is now available through GPs and NHS hospitals. The device is predicted to be on prescription this October. Chairman of Newcastle Upon Tyne NHS Hospitals Trust, Professor Sir Miles Irving said: "This simple but ingenious innovation will not only give early warning of the onset of urinary outflow obstruction but will help monitor the response to treatment. As such it will contribute to improving the quality of life for older men as well as reducing costs to the NHS." Craig Mackerness is head of research and development at Newcastle Upon Tyne NHS Foundations Hospitals Trust. He added: "This is a really exciting product. The UFlow Meter is a simple idea but is going to be a major improvement in the way we treat male prostate problems." For more information regarding the UFlow Meter contact Martin Levermore on 01902 778 353 or email firstname.lastname@example.org