Green Cross Medico have collaborated with Edinburgh Napier University School of Engineering and the Built Environment for the development of the Airglove Leg unit and cradle. This is part of the Airglove R&D for patients who suffer with Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD), working with Professor Philip Stather, Consultant Vascular and Endovascular Surgeon, Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. Airglove Leg will utilise the same core patented product design and technology for the controls/timing cycles/ temperatures/nozzle and leg gloves. Heat therapy can induce vasodilation and increase blood flow with a potentially interesting role in the management of PAD. Airglove is a limb warming device already in clinical use with difficult intravenous access patients, modifying the device for PAD has potential benefits for this cohort of patients.
Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is a disabling condition with predominant symptoms of muscle cramping or pain on exertion which can substantially reduce quality of life. As the disease progresses it can lead to pain at rest, ulceration and gangrene, termed critical limb ischaemia (CLI). A significant proportion of patients undergo either amputation/palliation with a mortality as high as 20% within 6 months from diagnosis. Data from the UK National Vascular Registry identified over 3500 major lower limb amputations with over 18000 lower limb bypass procedures as well as approximately 4 times as many angioplasties annually in the UK.
The first treatment for PAD is to improve the collateral circulation naturally. NICE guidelines recommend supervised exercise therapy (SET). All patients with intermittent claudication should have 2 hours of supervised exercise per week for a 3-month period. Unfortunately, the provision of supervised exercise is somewhat lacking with less than 40% of hospitals in the UK providing therapy, and less than 10% of all patients able to attending exercise classes due to osteoarthritis, respiratory disease or unable to walk.
Airglove Leg heat therapy for PAD has significant advantages of being a home-based programme as it is cheap, suitable for all patients regardless of mobility and has potential to save legs, reducing surgical intervention. There is no other product in the market place that changes the physiology of a patient with PAD.