Incontinence is not an inevitable part of ageing, but incidences of urinary and faecal incontinence are very high in aged care facilities.
Failing to change a continence pad can result in a number of health issues including UTI’s which can have devastating consequences, but there is also an emotional element that rarely garners attention.
Failing to change a continence pad comes at the expense of an elderly person’s dignity, which goes against the kind of values that most aged care staff pride themselves on.
There have been a number of tech-innovations within aged care in recent years, but the new ‘Smart Diaper’ is completely changing the perception of what a continence pad could, and should, be able to do.
Developed in Miami by a company called Smardii, the Smart Diaper can alert staff to the presence of urine and stool and can be used to help keep both infants and seniors clean and dry – among other things.
A small white disk called the ‘puck’ operates as the brain of the Smart Diaper, and this sensor has the ability to monitor body temperature, perform a real-time urinalysis, analyze sleep, and track how long it has been since the wearer has moved.
This small disk can be attached to any disposable diapers and then communicates it’s reading to an app which can be viewed on a device.
The app gives carers the ability to track the continence pad status of up to 12 people simultaneously, alerting them to any pad soiling and tracking the times between pad changes.
The Smart Diaper is currently slated for trials in three French healthcare facilities and is planning to expand into other countries including Italy and the United States.
Much like baby’s nappies, continence pads are designed to hold a certain volume of urine.
Individual aged care residents are assessed and allocated pads based on the voiding patterns to ensure they have the right pads in place.
The app stores a patient’s data for long periods allowing caregivers to track and detect any shifts in long-term body function.
Having solid real-time data on hand regarding an individual’s pad usage will help to ensure that changes are quickly detected, while instant notification of pad soling will ensure that a resident’s dignity is being upheld at all times.