Prototyping the Gutsy Port, an empowering solution for ostomates

The Gutsy Port, created by Charlotte Böhning, is a revolutionary medical port design that enables bag-free moments for ostomates.

By Rachael Pasini, senior editor at Medical Design & Outsourcing sister publication Design World

Charlotte Böhning won the 2023 U.S.A. James Dyson Award for her invention, the Gutsy Port. [Image courtesy of Dyson]

About one million people in the U.S. and nearly 14 million globally are ostomates, relying on a plastic bag connected to a stoma in their abdomen to eliminate bodily waste. Ostomy surgery is life-saving and necessary, and it takes time to adjust to the new way of living. Though the ostomy bag provides an enormous quality-of-life improvement, and people can live wonderfully happy lives, the design originated in the 1950s and hasn’t evolved much since.

Charlotte Böhning, an industrial designer in Brooklyn, New York, recognized the need and desire for ostomates to g…

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