The device, called DFree (pronounced Dee-free), will help elderly and disabled people who suffer from incontinence by predicting and notifying the right timing to go to the bathroom. As a result, they no longer have to worry about accidents and can often forgo the embarrassment of wearing diapers. According to a report released by the CDC, more than 50 percent of elderly Americans struggle with incontinence. Incontinence occurs when muscles controlling the bladder are too weak or too active. There are other causes of incontinence, such as prostate problems and nerve damage.
A sensor is secured to the lower abdomen using medical tape and uses ultrasound to monitor the change in bladder size. The notification is then sent to a smartphone or tablet used by the patient or caregiver to inform them when it is necessary to go to the bathroom.
Atsushi Nakanishi, president and CEO of Triple W, commented: "Our goal is to help millions of people suffering from incontinence so that they can continue to live actively without worrying about having accidents." DFree is currently used in over 500 senior care facilities in Japan and Europe, including trials.