Stomasense: A New Route to the Proactive Detection and Management of Leaks within Ostomy Pouches

Research head:

Prof James Davis, Ulster University

Every stoma patient will experience a leak from their disposable pouch at some point and it can be almost impossible to predict when such events will occur. The possibility of leakage has long been recognised as a prime contributor to patient anxiety and, especially when occurring in public, can cause immense distress. The research team have developed a sensing system that can detect the early onset of stoma pouch failure – providing an alert that allows the patient to replace the pouch before catastrophic seepage of bowel/bladder content. They have demonstrated the proof of principle of the system with a limited 10 patient human trial.

The aim of the research development would be to improving user accessibility/acceptability and demonstrate its capacity to accurately detect early onset of leakage thereby preventing seepage. Ultimately, it would be hoped that the system would serve to improve the confidence of the wearer to re-engage with everyday activities without fear of uncontrolled leakage. The research team also seek to expand the capabilities of the device from a personal vibration alert to one which could exploit wireless connectivity for institutional use (care home/hospital) or by family members / community carers tending the immobile.

The solution to this issue, considered by the research team, relates to a prototype sensor which can be used with any pouch/wafer system. It is applied as a separate unit and sits between the pouch and the skin adhesive layer. The sensing unit/detector regularly scans for the presence of a potential leak and provides a discrete vibration to the wearer. The second embodiment of the technology involves the generation of an alert on the carer’s smart phone or nursing station via a wireless signal.


If you are interested in finding out more about this research, please contact [email protected]