Understanding pelvic floor muscles
Novuqare’s MAPLe: A solution for accurate identification and treatment of pelvic floor problems.
npk design was commissioned by Novuqare to assist in the development of the MAPLe®. This system allows pelvic physiotherapists to measure the activity of the pelvic floor muscles in a simple manner (EMG registration) and to perform treatment using electrostimulation.
One of the components of the MAPLe® system is a probe that is inserted via the rectum or the vagina. It goes without saying that the shape of this probe is very important for the patient’s comfort. Using 3D PCB technology in combination with measurement points on the probe means that we did not have to compromise on comfort. The shape allows the patient to be examined and treated whilst lying down, seated or standing. A low cost price for the product allows pelvic physiotherapists to give each patient their own cleanable probe.
Important starting points in the development of the MAPLe® system were patient comfort and low production costs. npk design examined which options in the field of design and technology most closely matched these preconditions. The MAPLe® system is based on research by the Leiden University Medical Centre. When npk design started working on this project, a number of experimental instruments were available.
“Prototypes play an important role in the development of products such as the MAPLe® probe. At npk design we have our own workshop to develop models and prototypes. We use them in verification processes, tests and presentations. This offers valuable support in making the correct decisions.”
Marlies van Dullemen
Wireless transmission was not a feasible option for the transmission of the measurement data. Therefore, the physiotherapist connects the probe to the test and treatment device. In order to make the distance between these two components as small as possible, the patient wears a light and easy-to-handle device around the neck. Measurement data are read out using a special iPad app.
A special form of cooperation has delivered the ultimate result. Our knowledge of modern technology and design experience are perfectly suited to the results of medical scientific research. This has resulted in the availability of a system that really makes a difference to both pelvic physiotherapists and patients.