Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Wearable predicts correct time to go to toilet

Steve Rogerson
July 24, 2018



Japan-based Triple W is taking pre-orders in the USA for a connected wearable device that can track the progression of bladder movements using a non-invasive ultrasonic sensor.
 
The DFree device can help elderly and disabled people who suffer from incontinence by predicting and notifying the right time to go to the toilet. 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 half 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 toilet.
 
"Our goal is to help millions of people suffering from incontinence so that they can continue to live actively without worrying about having accidents,” said Atsushi Nakanishi, president and CEO for Triple W.
 
DFree is used in more than 500 senior care facilities in Japan and Europe, including in trials. It is a portable device that can be worn all day indoors or outdoors to monitor bladder activities. The device communicates directly with a compatible smartphone or tablet using Bluetooth.
 
The DFree application that runs on the smartphone or tablet shows current status of the bladder and also provides a notification to let the wearer know they need to go to the toilet soon. The application can be downloaded for free from the Apple App Store; an Android app will be released in September.
 
DFree is designed to help seniors, children (six and older) and people with disability that feel insecure about overly active bladder or have difficulty sensing when they need to go to the bathroom. 
 
DFree will retail for $500 for US customers.
 
Triple W, founded by Nakanishi in 2015, has offices in Tokyo, Paris and San Diego.