For many years, Åsa Söderlind saw how patients were affected by fungus and skin irritations, caused by moisture in hard-to-reach places. She got an idea that, together with the Entrepreneurship Arena in Uddevalla, Sweden (where Åsa work and lives), was developed, tested and then became the unique product Dry Pad.
There is a wealth of experience and knowledge of health and care on Åsa Söderlind's résumé. As a young teenager, she was a caregiver for her father. Even if she did not originally plan on working within healthcare, she took the step to join the profession. An internship at a service accommodation in Uddevalla was her introduction and in 1994 she trained as an assistant nurse. She has never wanted to leave that role since.
- I’ve received many questions about whether I should further my education as a nurse or become a manager. But I want to be there for others and it is on the hospital floor that I feel that I can change people's lives and contribute to their well-being, says Åsa Söderlind.
Same routines as always
During the years that Åsa has worked in care and nursing homes, aids and equipment have developed over time. But there is one area in which she has never seen any change, and it has always been handled in the same way - the problem of moisture and fungus in skin folds, armpits and similar places on the body.
- I’ve worked in this profession for over 30 years and things have always been done the same. These areas have been powdered with potato flour or had compresses or torn sheets placed between toes, under the bust and in armpits, to get rid of moisture. And fungus has been treated, but in a way that does not absorb moisture.
Idea from the floor
Åsa had an idea for a moisture-absorbing product that would be easy and comfortable to apply on hard-to-reach areas of skin. It would also work preventively by creating an environment on the skin where fungus cannot thrive. When a project in Uddevalla municipality appeared, she got the chance to take her idea further.
- They wanted new ideas from us on the floor and my idea gave me the opportunity to work with the Entrepreneurship Arena and through them meet a product designer who helped me with further development. When we were going to present the product to different companies, I came in contact with Finess Hygiene.
From handmade to launch
After the first presentation, Åsa gained access to material that she and her colleagues cut by hand for their own product tests. She then successfully tested these on some of her patients and then the product development really took off. The product's unique, banana shape was a key factor that resulted in it being well suited to place in skin folds, as it follows the body's contours. When Finess, together with the sister company Abena AB, then performed their own tests in the surrounding area, the reactions were very positive. A new solution to an old problem was a fact and Dry Pad was launched on the market.
- With Dry Pad you reduce the risk of getting skin fungus, itching and burning, or have it hurt when you wash. And it really is something that improves patients' quality of life, says Åsa Söderlind.