Technological advancements in enteral feeding devices have minimized clinicians’ hands-on time and eliminated the need for additional devices or costly equipment to facilitate placement. The devices’ unique designs help prevent kinking and migration into the stomach. Rigid-core silicone internal bumpers keep tubes in place better than the soft bumpers currently in use, which are meant to be removed along with the tube. A special tool detaches the tube from the bumper, which then breaks up and is eliminated naturally from the body, removing the tube. Hence there is no need for anesthesia or endoscopy. Also, polyurethane is soft and can easily bend, preventing kinking and allowing the tube to travel smoothly through the gastrointestinal tract without damaging internal structures. Cilia-like flaps, an innovation in feeding tubes, aid in reducing the risk of dislodgement and eliminate the need to reposition the patient. Even companies are focused on innovation to make enteral feeding more convenient and safer. For instance:
- In February 2021, Amsino International Inc. (U.S.) received U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s 510(k) clearance for its Puggle Enteral Feeding Pump and Set. This set can be used for both pediatric and adult patients. The pump has a large color LED screen and user-friendly interface with nineteen language options for the international market. The feeding sets are provided with a pre-attached transition connector.
- In June 2020, Applied Medical Technology, Inc. (U.S.) launched the G-JET gastric-jejunal enteral feeding tube designed to promote flow and reduce clogging. It is available in French sizes 14F, 16F, and 18F, with jejunal lengths ranging from 15 cm to 45 cm.
- In 2019, Protolabs (U.S.) announced MedStar Health (U.S.) and Cleveland Clinic Innovations (U.S.) as joint winners of the Cool Idea Award: Healthcare Grant, which focuses on innovation in feeding tubes. MedStar Health’s gravity feed syringe holder simplifies the feeding of newborns. This invention alleviates the need for a nurse to hold the syringe above the baby during the feed. The compact device can hold four varied sizes of syringes. Also, Cleveland Clinic Innovations designed a molded part that protects the stoma by forming a wide seal around an enclosed hole into which the tube is inserted. This eliminates issues with friction where the tube rubs against the skin. In addition, it provides a more focused opening that enhances the seal surrounding the tube and allows limited motion of the tube. The device increases comfort, reduces irritation, and significantly improves the long-term quality of life.
- In September 2017, Fidmi Medical Ltd. (Israel) received an investment of $2 million from B. Braun Melsungen AG (Germany) to complete clinical trials and preparation for the market entry of its advanced low-profile enteral feeding device. The Fidmi PEG (percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy) device has a replaceable inner tube that keeps the feeding line fresh and prevents clogging.
Some of the other advancements, including bright orange or purple tubing (striped and solid), enteral-only labels, and manufacturer-specific enteral-only or non-IV compatible connectors, have increased the adoption of enteral feeding tubes. The Global Enteral Device Supplier Association (GEDSA) has introduced new enteral connectors (EnFit), conforming to ISO standards to improve patient safety and reduce the incidence of medical device tubing misconnections.
Thus, technological advancements have expanded the use of enteral feeding devices, thereby accelerating the growth of the enteral feeding devices market, and hence, the market is expected to reach $4.72 billion by 2029 at a CAGR of 6.5%, according to Meticulous Research®.
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