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New Device Helps Users Get to the Bathroom in Time

The wearable ultrasound aid can detect when the bladder is filling

Dfree bladder sensor device

Triple W Japan

The device monitors the bladder and spots small changes that indicate when the bladder is filling up.

A new wearable electronic device, which will hit the U.S. market this year, is designed to help people with urinary incontinence get to a bathroom in time and reduce the need to wear pads or diapers.

Tokyo-based technology start-up Triple W’s new device, called DFree, is worn on the lower abdomen. According to the company’s website, the two-and-half-inch-long battery-powered ultrasonic sensor continuously monitors a person’s bladder, spotting small changes in size that indicate when the bladder is filling up.

The device sends data to a cloud-based computer server, where the information is analyzed using an algorithm that predicts when the person will need to urinate. When it’s time to head to the bathroom, DFree sends an alert to a smartphone or tablet app used by the wearer, a caregiver or nurse.

“As your bladder becomes bigger, the sensor detects the size and converts that to a percentage of fullness,” said Ty Takayanagi, Triple W’s U.S.-based vice president of marketing and business development.

The device is being used in 150 senior-care facilities in Japan, said Takayanagi, adding that older people have been able to reduce the number of times they use the bathroom because they don’t have to worry about being caught with an unexpected urge to urinate.

Triple W will exhibit DFree at the Medtrade trade show and conference for the home-health-care industry in Las Vegas, March 27-29. The company plans to market the device to senior-care facilities and consumers this fall. The price has yet to be determined.

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