As a trainee medical doctor 20 years ago, one of my least favourite duties was chronic wound management.
Patients languished with sore, weeping wounds, robbing them of mobility, dignity and independence. As a doctor my first instinct was to try to intervene to help my patients. But in this case, often all I was told I could prescribe was time. I was left frustrated with how little I could do to help them.
Wound healing is a lengthy and extraordinarily complex set of biological processes. If a patient with a wound has underlying chronic diseases, their reparative, restorative biological mechanisms are compromised, resulting in wounds never healing on their own.
Increasing costs of healthcare, an aging population, and the continued growing threat of diabetes and obesity worldwide make chronic wounds a substantial and growing clinical, social, and economic challenge. Chronic wounds are a massive global problem with more than 40 million people suffering worldwide. According to a 2017 report, the annual NHS cost of managing wounds and associated comorbidities is £5.3 billion. This is around 4% of all healthcare expenditure.
Motivated by the potential for disruptive new technologies to change lives, I decided to pivot from practising medicine to entrepreneurship. Having launched several successful medical ventures, one area that continued to stand out was the unmet need in cleaning chronic wounds.
My medical knowledge and experience meant that I had witnessed first-hand the disruption and pain caused by lengthy treatment of wounds. My interest in this treatment grew as I was introduced to the scientists at BRAIN Biotech in Germany. Their typical investigations involved the use of enzymes found in nature for industrial purposes, but they were now researching the potential for an enzymatic solution to address the huge social and economic problems associated with chronic wounds. I knew this was a cause I had to take up and help bring to patients.
In 2017, I founded SolasCure with a mission to support healthcare professionals and improve the health and wellbeing of patients with chronic wounds.
At SolasCure, we are leveraging BRAIN Biotech’s initial research to develop an alternative, disruptive technology for wound debridement which is based on biomimicry, echoing what the medical maggot has the potential to do for chronically infected wounds. This technology aims to provide safe and effective debridement to all wounds that don’t require surgical debridement. We expect it to allow caregivers to effectively re-initiate the wound healing process, potentially sparing chronically unwell, frail patients the necessity of traveling repeatedly to hospitals, and thereby reducing overall treatment costs, pain and social isolation of patients.
Find out more about the work we’re doing at SolasCure and how you could be part of the journey: https://solascure.com/about/