Graduate shows 2016: this prototype ostomy device by Brunel University graduate Stephanie Monty has been created as a more attractive alternative to traditional colostomy bags (+ slideshow).
Monty has tailored the pouch towards "intimate occasions", inventing a less obtrusive and more appealing design.
Users can decide between a range of tattoo- and lingerie-inspired patterns, which are embossed on the appliance's silicone cover.
"Inspired by my family's own struggle with Crohn's Disease, this appliance empowers people to feel more confident with their body and provides some freedom from an ostomy pouch," the designer explained.
The flexible device adheres to the wearer's skin, and is covered with a waterproof membrane that creates a "natural, skin-like feel". The silicone can also be colour-matched to the user's skin.
Monty designed an anti-bacterial flange to protect the user from inflammation and infection, and included integrated vents that release gas while containing odours. The appliance has been designed for short-term wear but is washable and reusable.
Colostomy bags are required by those that have undergone bowel surgery, and are used to collect waste that has been diverted from the colon or bladder through a hole in the stomach. Pouches are often ill-fitting, and skin infections are a common complaint as a result.
"There are over 250,000 ostomates in the UK alone and despite a wide range of highly advanced appliances, outstanding issues with their functionality and especially their aesthetics merely compound the social stigma surrounding this subject," she said.
Several students this year have tackled the challenges of intimate health, with graduate shows including everything from home-grown sanitary pads that balance vaginal flora to implants that would let users listen in to their own bodily wellbeing.
The pouch was included in the 2016 New Designers exhibition in London, and Monty is currently looking for collaborators and investors to further develop the prototype.