Expert comments

Comments on this technology were invited from clinical experts working in the field and relevant patient organisations. The comments received are individual opinions and do not represent NICE's view.

Three experts were involved in the production of this briefing. One had used the technology before in an ex-vivo demonstration model. One was familiar with the technology.

Level of innovation

Two experts agreed that the technology is innovative; 1 said the technology has the potential to prevent significant complications from urethral catheterisation. One expert described the technology as entirely novel. This expert also noted that current standard care depends on the clinician's experience and use of guidewires or endoscopic methods. All experts noted that the TUC Safety Valve is not used in the NHS. Another expert felt there was not enough research data on the technology. No similar devices were mentioned.

Potential patient impact

Two experts believed the technology offers an opportunity to avoid complications resulting from accidental balloon inflation within the urethra. One expert felt men with chronic indwelling urethral catheters will benefit the most. Two experts said the technology is likely to most benefit men who need catheterisation. Another expert noted that recommending the technology for all patients will have a substantial cost impact, considering the low incidence of incorrect balloon inflation. One expert noted that the incidence and prevalence of the clinical problem is under reported.

Potential system impact

Two experts noted that using the technology could potentially avoid the costs associated with urethral injury. They agreed that the resource impact will be greater than standard care, with 1 noting that the cost of the device for all patients and the cost of training would be significant. One of them also said that it may be costly to use the technology for repeat or long-term catheterisation. Another expert noted that cost saving linked to reduced morbidity would likely outweigh the cost of the early version of the technology. This expert noted that the technology is intuitive to use and that it can be used in primary and secondary care by trained healthcare professionals.

General comments

One expert said that clinical trials are needed to show patient and system benefits. This expert also noted that using the technology may support best clinical practice.