DiaNia Medi-tech products spark worldwide interest

DiaNia Technologies

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It was while on maternity leave with her second child that Sinead Kenny, a former design engineer with the Galway-based medical technology firm Creganna, decided to take a leap of faith and start her own business.

''In May 2012, I took my redundancy and a few months later set up DiaNia Technologies. Of course it was daunting, but I knew the devices I had in mind were exciting and would be well-received,'' said Kenny, who is originally from Cork.

In the course of her work with Creganna, where she had been for eight years, Kenny experienced frustration working with PTFE liners (used in medical stents and catheters), and decided to develop an alternative product.

''They are basically like a straw, but they can be hard to put into the body and often need changing. I wanted to design a series of products where I could build components onto them, but make sure they maintain a low profile so they are easy to fit into the anatomy,'' she said.

Kenny is working with the assistance of her husband Mark - a financial controller at another medical device company - and is now based at the National University of Ireland, Galway's business incubation centre. She has already had her designs tested, with promising results.

''We proved technically that we can improve the surface of a device both inside and outside without effecting the bulk properties of it,'' said Kenny.

Three prototypes have already been made, and she hopes as many as eight will be designed once tests yield anticipated results. The breakthrough could have massive implications for health-service providers worldwide.

''It could change the way surgeons in the fields of cardio-vascular and urology medicine work. These devices could be a lot easier to insert, carry more functions and need less frequent replacement,'' she said.

As testing continues, Kenny is in talks with a number of companies worldwide about her products, though it may be two years before revenue is generated. ''We will licence our technology out, not manufacture it ourselves. We want to stay innovating and creating new products.''

She was able to invest in the set-up of her company from personal savings, but the Galway Enterprise Board did grant €20,000 for feasibility studies and vital testing. She is also on Enterprise Ireland's New Frontier's Programme and has received innovation vouchers from them.

''The support is very impressive from validation of the idea to mentoring and networking. Galway has a proud tradition of medi-tech success, and we hope to add to that,'' she said

 

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