Dr. Glen House: Improving the Catheter User’s Experience with Adapta Medical

No, he’s not the Dr. House you know from TV. But he IS the Dr. House who’s changing the world for catheter users worldwide. He understands because he uses one himself. Dr. Glen House is also the medical director of Penrose-St. Francis Health Services Rehabilitation Hospital in Colorado Springs, CO.

Glen House, MD, MBA launched Adapta Medical in 2009 with the goal of “Improving the Catheter Experience” for people like him who have limited hand dexterity and want to self-cath. “The initial reason I created the original product is because I’m a C7 tetraplegic with limited hand dexterity,” Glen explains. “I had difficulty using any of the closed system catheters that were on the market back then. So I created a closed system catheter with that in mind to allow individuals with limited dexterity to be able to self cath as well.”

Dr. Glen House founded Adapta Medical with the goal of helping catheter users like himself.
Dr. Glen House founded Adapta Medical with the goal of helping catheter users like himself.

Before intermittent catheters like those available from Adapta Medical were on the market, there was a limitation to the number of people who could self-cath due to the level of their injury. That’s a concern because intermittent self catheterization offers two things to those who opt for it – a level of independence and a preferred method of bladder management.

“The alternatives to intemittment catheters are foley and suprapubic catheters,” Glen says. “Side effects and complications from using those types of catheter can lead to repeated surgeries, bladder stones, repeated infections, additional medication, and foley catheters can also cause urethral erosions in men. All of that can cause much more serious complications.”

Here’s a quick tutorial from Dr. House on C5, C6, & C7 Spinal Cord Injuries

An Exciting Day on the Ski Slopes Changed Glen’s Course in Life

illustration of flying snowboarder in the mountain“When I was a junior in college at Texas A&M, I went home on a break to where I grew up in Idaho so I could go skiing with friends. We had had a drought that year, and there wasn’t a lot of great snow in Idaho because of it, so instead we went to Snowbird in Salt Lake City, Utah searching for good powder.

You could say that I was a ski freak.  I began skiing at age 5, started racing downhill at 6, and I was a self-described extreme skier by the time I was 20 years old.

So there we were at Snowbird ski resort, taking the gondola up the mountain in search of some great runs. Right as we got off the gondola, there was a sign to the side that warned about cliffs, and said ‘Don’t go there’.

As a 20-year-old guy, that was irresistible. I immediately headed in that direction, went skiing down a chute, and that’s the last thing I remember.

I woke up as complete c7 tetraplegic – also known as a quadriplegic, and learned I would be one for the rest of my life,” Glen shares.

Glen with his family, enjoying a sunny day in Colorado Springs.
Glen with his family, enjoying a sunny day in Aspen.

One Bad Ski Run Didn’t Stop Glen from Soaring

glen-house-md-headshot“I was a biomedical science major in college at the time of my accident. My plan was going to go to dental school and being an oral surgeon after graduation. With my hand dexterity being affected by my spinal cord injury, I thought that would be a bad plan to continue.

I asked my doctors if they knew anyone who had gone to medical school to be a doctor while using a wheelchair and they said they knew of someone who had.  So I had my school books shipped to my rehab hospital at the University of Utah, and I immediately started studying for the MCAT medical school entrance exam.

I went back to college four months after my accident.

After graduation at Texas A&M, I went to medical school at the University of Washington in Seattle.  Then I spent a year of internal medicine doing my internship in Salt Lake City, and I did my residency at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.  After my residency, I did a spinal cord injury fellowship at Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation in New Jersey.

Today, I now practice as the medical director of rehabilitation at Penrose-St. Francis Health Services Rehabilitation Hospital in Colorado Springs.”

It was there that inspiration struck Dr. House to create a catheter that helped both him and his rehab patients.

That’s where it started, and I didn’t know what I was doing at the time,” he said. “That was 14 years and 14 patents ago. I spend about 30 hours a week on Adapta Medical today.”


He met his wife, Nikki, during medical school, getting married between graduating from the University of Washington and before beginning his medical school internship. Together, they have two daughters, Bentley and Hadley, and they live in Colorado Springs.

Glen says that as Adapta Medical grows, he won’t quit his day job as director of rehabilitative medicine at Penrose-St. Francis Health Services Rehabilitation Hospital.

“I enjoy both tremendously,” he said. “There’s nothing like helping an individual coming from the depths of despair with a spinal cord injury. On the other hand, leading Adapta medical is unbelievable. It’s one of the most fulfilling things I’ve ever experienced.”

Adapta Medical: Catheters Made in Colorado Springs

Building a company from scratch, based on a passion for helping wheelchair users, isn’t cheap and it isn’t easy. The Colorado Springs Business Journal recently did a feature story on Glen, spotlighting his business achievements and the challenge of creating a company from the ground up. Here’s a summary:

The costs of manufacturing caused the catheter assembly process to be housed in Mexico, and later in Nicaragua. House began exploring other locations, including others in Mexico and in the United States. During one of those trips, House put the numbers together and discovered he could manufacture the catheters in Colorado Springs for about the same price.


The foreign manufacturer’s costs included profit, overhead and the cost of managing inventory and orders. House figured, “We can take that, put it into our employees and keep the jobs along with the manufacturing in the United States.

“We can manufacture here with higher quality and controls than we could do it in Mexico, which was cheaper than Nicaragua too.”

The company now employs eight people, including six assemblers. Read the full story: http://www.csbj.com/2015/07/21/catheters-made-in-the-springs/

The Adapta Medical team demonstrates their new hydrophilic catheters at tradeshows nationwide.
The Adapta Medical team demonstrates their new hydrophilic catheters at tradeshows nationwide.

Try Adapta Medical Catheters for Yourself

Glen says, “We are currently launching our new PerfIC Cath Hydro and the new mPower Hydro. The key there is that both of these hydrophilic catheters are super easy to use, and well lubricated with no mess. It’s completely enclosed and touchless. It’s simple to use regardless of your dexterity level. ”

Adapta Medical catheters are available at major urology suppliers nationwide. Contact Adapta to request a sample and they’ll put you in touch with a dealer who accepts your insurance. 



Glen Gives Back to Catheter Users Through His Own Sweat and Incredible Effort

Glen works two jobs everyday as a doctor and a business owner,  helping people like him who use wheelchairs, but that’s not the only thing he does to raise support and awareness for the disability community.

The Pikes Peak Challenge Charity Hike is an annual 13-mile ascent to the 14,115 foot summit to benefit the Brain Injury Alliance of Colorado (BIAC). On September 10, 2016, one man among the hundreds of participants stood out — because he was sitting in his wheelchair.  That man was Dr. House, and here’s his take on this amazing accomplishment:


“When I became the Medical Director of the Penrose-St. Francis Health Services Rehabilitation Hospital in 2003, I learned about the Pikes Peak Challenge, a fundraiser for the Brain Injury Alliance of Colorado (BIAC).

pikes-peak-glen-house-summitEvery year, about 500 people climb 14,115 feet over the course of a 13-1/2-mile trail to raise money for the organization. I was interested in participating to help support the mission of the BIAC.

I can’t deny that I was drawn to the thrill and challenge of climbing over 14,000 feet in a wheelchair!

I’m also passionate about educating and inspiring others who face similar mobility challenges. Participating in the Pikes Peak Challenge gives me an opportunity to highlight the advancement of wheelchair technology, especially the Tailwind Power Assist that I used to get to the summit, so that more people know about all of the options available to them.

Also, I did train all summer to do it, so it wasn’t just “jump in the chair and go.” It was more endurance training because you’re constantly pushing the wheel. On the day of the event, I had a team with me to cheer me along the route, comprised of 6 people in two cars who carried all of the equipment and supplies we would need.

Many people have driven up Pikes Peak in a car, and it almost seems difficult to drive up it’s so steep. It’s so amazing up there and to think that I can actually push up it in a wheelchair.

My daughter Bentley walked with me the whole time up the mountain. We climbed approximately 7000 feet over 13-1/2 miles to reach the summit at 14,100 feet. And I made it the whole way in 4-1/2 hours, thanks to the Tailwind power assist, my family and my team.


Learn more about Glen’s Adventure to Pikes Peak here. 

About Adapta Medical
Adapta Medical was created to improve catheter technology for all users.  Founder Glen House, MD is a C7 quadriplegic with limited finger dexterity who realized he could not perform intermittent self-catheterization with the limited products on the market. As a practicing physician, Dr. House had many patients who shared his limitation and FRUSTRATION. The design of the Adapta Medical’s products like the  Perfic Cath™ and the mPower Cath was the result of over 10 years of research and development, along with an enormous amount of user feedback from patients and friends about what they most needed in a product we all depend on daily.adapta-medical-logo

If you have a spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, stroke, spina bifida, or other conditions that require you to catheterize, please contact Adapta Medical for what they feel is the best catheter in existence.
If you have limited dexterity that makes catheterization difficult or impossible, Adapta believes they have created the perfect catheter to help you.  If you have normal dexterity, you will appreciate how much easier the Adapta Medical products are to use compared to your current product.

Adapta Medical is now introducing two new hydrophilic catheters. The PerfIC Cath-Hydro and mPower Cath-Hydro are: 1. Super Easy-To-Use  2. Super Lubricated  3. Mess-Free.  At Adapta, we design, build, and market with you, the catheter user, in mind. Learn more or request a sample at www.adaptamedical.com or call 855-329-8355.


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