Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Smart pads monitor urinary tract infections

Steve Rogerson
May 9, 2017

A Class I medical device that uses a patented sensor and software platform to monitor unobtrusively incontinent seniors for an analyte commonly associated with urinary tract infections (UTIs) has completed FDA registration. Pixie Scientific’s Smart Pads have begun shipping to early access customers. .
New York-based Pixie Scientific is a healthcare platform technology company focused on improving outcomes by connecting populations at risk with unobtrusive health monitoring. The platform consists of a biosensor, a mobile app and secure cloud architecture which uses machine learning for analysis and disseminates information to remote care teams.
Clinicians can use this information, along with other symptoms, to order additional patient evaluation or more specific diagnostics in a timely manner, which could lower the rate of co-morbidities and hospital admissions due to UTIs and improve antibiotic stewardship.
For incontinent seniors, particularly those with dementia, communicating the early symptoms of UTIs is problematic and symptoms may only be manifest after a senior becomes agitated, disoriented or falls. Monitoring for UTIs, in addition to making clinical observations, may help caregivers keep incontinent seniors safe and out of the hospital.
According to the Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality, more than 850,000 seniors in the USA annually receive the primary diagnosis of UTI in the emergency room. A third of them are hospitalised with UTI as the primary reason for admission. At an average cost per hospitalisation of $25,000, this is a $7bn problem.
Additional hospitalisations due to falls, dehydration and delirium caused by the infection, as well as cost of rehabilitation care, pose a further burden on families and the healthcare system.
"We started Pixie Scientific with a big idea, to unobtrusively monitor health conditions," said Scott Meek, head of research and development at Pixie Scientific. “To see our first product achieve registration with the FDA and begin shipping to our early access customers is truly amazing. No other technology platform is focused on meeting the significant unmet need of UTI monitoring in seniors."
As part of the Aging 2.0 Alliance, Pixie Scientific is committed to innovating to improve the condition of seniors. Katy Fike, gerontologist and co-founder of Aging 2.0, said: "Screening for UTIs is particularly important for older adults, especially those with latter stage Alzheimer's disease or other dementias. Smart Pads that enable caregivers to continuously monitor seniors have exciting potential to improve the quality of life and quality of care."