"Never in my dreams did I think I’d have my own product design business!’’
Earlier in June 2018, David Barton Managing Director of Kaydiar was awarded The ESTnetNG Tech Prize. The ESTnetNG Tech Prize aims to help young people who have shown outstanding commitment, enthusiasm and interest in the technology field to fulfil their talent and ambition. David specialises in the design of an offloading (anti-pressure) device that prevents and manages pressure-induced skin lesions, with particular focus on pressure wounds and ulcerations. His initial product is in the form of an insole, medically known as ‘orthoses’, named ZeroSole. The device is primarily designed to aid the healing of diabetic foot ulcerations.
We have been in touch with David to follow up on his progress since winning the award.
In 2014, David began his degree in podiatry medicine, during his second year he began to design and develop an offloading (anti-pressure) device for diabetics.
‘’I had a massive interest in devices, I would draw designs in my sketch books whenever I was studying. I wanted to bring these drawings to life’’
David decided to take a gamble and invest in a 3D printer and 3D modelling software for the purpose of breathing life into his design for his dissertation project at university. For what started as a competitive university project, soon spiralled into a fantastic business opportunity.
Having tried and tested his product at university, the results were promising and did not go un-noticed. A university doctor approached David and expressed interest in David’s product and inspired David to pursue his own business and take ‘ZeroSole’ to the commercial market.
Cardiff Metropolitan University’s entrepreneurship centre, later connected David with Business Wales’ Accelerated Growth Programme (AGP), who helped him secure business expertise. Through the centre, David learned of the ESTnetNG Tech Prize.
Since winning the award, David and his business partner Heather Smart, have secured international IP (Intellectual Property Rights) and are currently working with a project research design facility at the university. Through the ESTnetNG Tech Award, David has been able to accelerate his products development by investing the £2,000 in a new 3D Printer and is now working on its route to manufacture.
David is planning to launch ZeroSole in Wales with all the Welsh health boards and he is confident that the product will appeal to several different market applications.
When asked about his future aspirations, he replied: ‘’A year from now I would like to have my business up and running while also making my first deal with the NHS. If not, then I would like to have started production to infiltrate the commercial market.’’
It was immediately apparent that David has a passion for what he does and has the determination to achieve his goals. The device itself is believed to be the first of its kind, and the first of many other devices which David is working on currently. The product is made of a unique geometry of ‘cells’ which integrate within a silicon mesh and is placed within the shoe, to provide an offload for the ulcerated area. As it is made from silicon, it is non-adhesive and can therefore be cleaned using a washing machine or even a steriliser.
ZeroSole can provide instant, short term and more importantly long-term preventative care. The devices’ life span can exceed over two years and can be instantly prescribed by medical professionals. Due to its unique design and engineering it can be used in conventional footwear with breathability, comfort and ease of use. Future developments could include an app.
David’s advice for young people who are currently choosing academic studies or thinking of becoming an entrepreneur, said;
‘’For those people about to choose their A-levels or a university Degree I would strongly recommend doing a STEM based qualification. In my opinion there’s a lot of opportunities and potential as technology will drive the solutions in many markets. So, all STEM subjects just open those doors’’
‘’If anyone has any ideas that could have potential IP, bring it to life. Never in my dreams did I think I’d have my own product design business. So, I’d say pursue every avenue, don’t give up and see if you can secure IP, that would be amazing’’
We will be following David’s progress in the coming months, he and Kaydiar are a fantastic example of the talent that we have here in Wales.