A groundbreaking advancement in elderly care technology – smart diaper monitoring system, is changing the way caregivers address incontinence issues in nursing homes. The innovative system, developed by DriQ Health and led by a pediatric urologist turned entrepreneur, Gregory Dean, MD, CEO and founder of DriQ Health, utilizes sensor technology and an artificial intelligence (AI) system to detect moisture states in adult diapers, alerting caregivers to the need for timely changing.
Traditional approaches to monitoring incontinence have often fallen short, leading to prolonged discomfort and potential health problems for elderly residents. Caregivers often "predict" whether someone is going to have a wetting event based on their own experience or conventional humidity measurements. However, without technology, it is challenging for caregivers to detect the right timing for the wetting event.
"In the US, one resident usually has to wait for 1 and a half hours in a wet brief. On average, people will use 4 to 6 briefs a day. So, that means the resident might lay in or sit in a wet brief for up to 9 hours a day. Then, there come many serious health problems like irritation of the skin, skin breakdowns, pressure ulcers, or accidents like falls," said Dean.On the contrary, if the brief is changed before a wetting event has occurred, it will increase the overall expenses of briefs.
With technology to accurately detect the timing of "meaningful" wetting events, it will largely improve the working quality of caregivers and the living quality of the resident. DriQ Health fulfills the unmet demand for advanced technology by creating a battery-free, intelligent IoT diaper monitoring sensor for detecting urinary incontinence in senior living. This platform works with all adult briefs and provides real-time information using an app, added CT Lin, GM of AG-EC, DriQ’s strategic partner for Taiwan and other parts of Asia.
"We're not just detecting wetness;we're sensing when the diaper or brief is actually full. This ensures that caregivers are alerted at the right time to provide timely assistance," he said. The system focuses on identifying meaningful wetting events and avoiding false alarms, leading to efficient and effective caregiving. Since the system detect liquid volume, it mitigates issues related to high humidity in certain regions, such as Taiwan.
How the smart diaper monitoring system works
The system operates through a combination of sensor tags and a hub device that communicates over Wi-Fi. Each resident wears a small,flexible sensor tag on the outside of their diaper or brief. The sensor tag detects moisture levels and wireless communicates with a hub device that is connected to the cloud. This hub, or reader, processes the data received from the sensor tags and employs AI algorithms to
determine whether a resident is wet or dry.
The notifications can be received through various means, including smartphone apps, tablets, email alerts, and text messages. This flexibility ensures that caregivers remain informed, regardless of their location within the nursing home facility. The plug-and-play system with a user-friendly interface allows for easy customization and monitoring, making it accessible to both tech-savvy caregivers and those less familiar with technology.
Central to the system's mission is its potential to free up caregivers from routine tasks, allowing them to focus on providing personalized and compassionate care. By efficiently monitoring incontinence, the system can anticipate issues, such as dehydration or urinary tract infections, providing caregivers with early warnings. This proactive approach to care can have a profound impact on the overall health and
well-being of residents.
The system is registered with the FDA and deployed in several states in the US. "We have a mid-sized nursing facility where we have over 30 devices," Dean said.
A testament to the transformative power of this sensor-based solution comes from a family in New Jersey, who attested to its life-saving impact. The patient was taken care of at home, initially with stage two and stage three skin breakdowns, and the family was very worried. They had been monitoring the situation closely and were concerned that it might worsen.After they started using our monitoring approach, within two to three weeks, there was a complete resolution of the skin condition.
Partnering with AG-EC for Asian nursing facilities DriQ Health partners with Taiwan-based All Good Electronic Components (AG-EC), a professional electrical components distributor, solution provider, and FAE support for healthcare electronics products. AG-EC sales functions spread high-precision personal health management measurement with a good understanding in medical electronics industry, introducing DriQ's solution to senior living organizations in Asian markets.
"The combination of long-term care and technology is the reason why AG decided to introduce DriQ's technology, which is connecting people and daily needs, improving efficiency by managing infection risks and the cost of supplies," said Lin.
As the smart diaper monitoring system continues to gain traction, it signifies a significant step forward in improving the quality of elderly care. By providing timely and accurate information to caregivers, this technology empowers them to deliver a higher standard of care, promoting the well-being and comfort of residents in nursing homes and beyond.
Gregory Dean, MD, CEO and founder of DriQ Health