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Photo Credit: Kyle Flood
Photo Credit: Kyle Flood

‘Smart Diaper’ to Alert You Via SMS When Soiled

Recently news of smartphones soon being able to detect diabetes and pregnancy surfaced the world. It was a fascinating discovery of how sensors in smartphones can detect bodily fluids to inform of diabetes or pregnancy. But if you got intimidated by this finding then hold your breath as Singaporean scientists have made an interesting discovery too.


The IBN researchers who developed the diaper wetness monitoring system. From left: Dr Min Hu, Prof Jackie Y. Ying, Dr Rensheng Deng and Dr Guolin Xu. Photo Credit: Institute of of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (IBN)

A research team from the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (IBN) raised hope on the arrival of sensor diapers that can inform caregivers via a SMS when they are dirtied.

They created an “intelligence continence management system” consisting of a fine throwaway sensor sheet, a solid wireless transmitter, a receiver and software that has the ability to recuperate the situations of elderly care and bedbound persons.

Those who are in charge of changing the diapers of the wearers – children or bedbound patients who have aphasia or loss of speech from brain injury, find it difficult to learn when the diapers are dirtied and needs to be changed. Therefore, this new technology will be of immense help to them.

Emphasizing the need to make well-timed diaper changes, Jackie Y. Ying, the lead researcher and Executive Director of IBN, said that remaining in dirty diapers for extended period of time is causes skin rashes and infection, besides being uncomfortable and unhygienic.

IBN’s system follows the wetness level of the diaper through the sensor and when the wetness touches a summit point, the sensor will convey a wireless signal to the caregiver’s chosen interface – most likely a SMS.

For the research, IBN performed a clinical evaluation of the sensor on 20 old inmates of St. Joseph’s Home between November and December of 2013. The outcomes gave away green signal to IBN’s system as it was reliable and easy to use. In fact, most chiefly the individuals who wore the sensor-diaper spent nearly 90 percent of the time without wet and dirty diapers in comparison to those who wore normal diapers.

Philip Yap, also associated with the research said that “physically frail and cognitively impaired patients” who spent most of the time, wearing wet and dirty diapers are deprived of the care and attention the caregivers want to provide them, therefore; the “smart diaper sensor” will help them to “truly provide care” that will be in line with the esteem of the patients as well as reduce their skin complications.

Ying informed that the research team is now working with “Wet Alert,” which is IBN’s eighth spin-off company to recuperate the diaper’s “user friendliness and reducing the production cost,” additionally.

In fact, the diaper can easily be incorporated into the normal diapers that are easily accessible in the markets.

This invention won an award as well. In 2014, at the Long-Term Care Quality Festival Poster Competition, it bagged the Bronze Medal for itself.

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