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Intestinal Infusion System Wins NZ Medtech Innovation Award

The Insides™ System, a Kiwi-developed therapeutic intestinal contents (chyme) reinfusion system for intestinal failure (a severe condition where the body is unable to maintain adequate nutrition via the intestines) has won the James & Wells Medical Technology Association of New Zealand (MTANZ) Innovation Award for 2021, presented at the Health Tech Week Gala Dinner in Auckland last night (June 22).

The MTANZ awards are open to both imported and locally-developed medical devices.

The Insides Company developed The Insides™ System, which is distributed in NZ by Obex Medical, to enable patients, health professionals and caregivers to perform chyme reinfusion in a safe and efficient manner.

Enterocutaneous fistulas and high-output enterostomies are common causes of intestinal failure, where patients present with high-output losses of chyme, via an opening onto the abdominal wall (1,2). Chyme is a valuable source of nutrients for the body and losing large volumes over time results in malnutrition, renal impairment, and intestinal atrophy.

The Insides™ System is now gaining fully reimbursed use at New Zealand DHBs and has the potential to save $74M in healthcare expenses in New Zealand over the next 10 years for intestinal failure patients.

In 2018, The US FDA granted The Insides™ System a Breakthrough Device designation, the only New Zealand medical device company ever to gain such recognition.

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Before the development of The Insides™ System there were no devices available to return fistula/stoma losses to the distal gut. Manual reinfusion of chyme involved sieving the chyme and reinfusing manually via a syringe. This process was unpleasant and time consuming, and seldom performed.

Clinical studies have demonstrated the device’s safety and The Insides™ System has received regulatory approval in 29 countries.

Hamilton-based, ESPlastics NZ, received the James & Wells MTANZ Manufacturing and Export Award for its VC Pandemic Ventilators at the awards last night.

The VC Pandemic Ventilator is a mobile ventilator designed for the volume controlled mechanical ventilation of adults, and children weighing under 10kgs with Respiratory Insufficiency. The VC Pandemic Ventilator is intended for use in a professional healthcare environment and in portable applications including field hospitals and spaces converted to deal with patients during a pandemic environment.

The features of the VC Pandemic Ventilator include ease of use with minimal training, compatibility with non-proprietary consumables and accessories, simple design with no unnecessary features contributing to lower manufacturing costs and a low-cost ventilator.

The developers believe their ventilator is a robust and effective respiratory therapy solution, suitable for use in a field hospital or in developing nations that do not have access to infrastructure such as consistent medical gas or are subject to power outages or load-sharing. They add that there are no locally designed Covid-19 Ventilators in New Zealand that are fully commercialised.

The VC Pandemic Ventilator concept was developed days before the nationwide lockdown by ESPlastics director, Jeff Sharp and his two neighbours Dr Martyn Harvey and Dr Giles Chanwai, both emergency doctors at Waikato Hospital. The idea came from the growing concern around New Zealand’s capacity to deal with a COVID-19 outbreak experienced around the rest of the world, and a sense of anxiety that NZ would not have enough ventilators to deal with a pandemic.

“New Zealand patients and clinicians can access some of the best medical devices available in the world, as shown by these award-winning devices. Our members are always looking to deliver better outcomes for patients and to put NZ one step ahead in the world market,” says MTANZ chief executive Faye Sumner, CNZM.

The awards were judged by Steve Hamilton Vento Consulting, Diana Siew CMDT and MedTech Centre of Research Excellence and Professor John Windsor on the product’s significant contribution to improving patient outcomes by enhancing quality of life, as well as evidence of technical excellence and innovation.


About MTANZ: The Medical Technology Association of New Zealand (MTANZ) ( is the national association representing companies in the medical technology industry. MTANZ aims to ensure the benefits of modern, innovative and reliable medical technology is delivered to the community for a healthier New Zealand.


1.Bhat S, Sharma P, Cameron N, Bissett IP, O’Grady G. Chyme Reinfusion for Small Bowel Double Enterostomies and Enteroatmospheric Fistulas in Adult Patients: A Systematic Review. Nutr Clin Pract [Internet]. 2020 Apr;35(2):254– 64. Available from: 2. Picot D, Layec S, Seynhaeve E,

2. Dussaulx L, Trivin F, Carsin-Mahe M. Chyme Reinfusion in Intestinal Failure Related to Temporary Double Enterostomies and Enteroatmospheric Fistulas. Nutrients [Internet]. 2020 May 11;12(5):1376. Available from:

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