Loss of bladder control or the urge to pee is a more common phenomena most especially with the elderly.
According to the CDC, over half of American adults at the age of 65 and over are affected by incontinence—but it can happen to anyone, male or female, young or old. And there are few options for managing this bladder incontinence – that is to use adult diapers or opt to get a surgery done.
However, the brilliant mind of Jean Rintoul wants to provide an innovative way for people having this condition. Jean Rintoul is the CEO of Lir Scientific, maker of a new wearable device called Brightly, which aims to turn the $17 billion adult diaper industry on its head.
The belt-like device carries biosensors that non-invasively “see” the bladder expanding. Using Bluetooth, it can then send a discreet alert to a person’s smartphone to preemptively let them know it’s time for them to take care of their business.
The idea is to give people back some dignity and independence,” says Rintoul, who has worked at several wearable companies, including Intel’s Basis and Emotiv, an Australian startup that develops brain-computer interfaces based on EEG technology.
Rintoul came up with the idea of Brightly after she’d studied up on bioimpedance spectroscopy, a technique by which tiny electrical signals are sent through the body to non-invasively measure subtle changes in body tissue.
I realized the bladder is one of the easiest things to see with the technology because it’s this large balloon of conductive material which is expanding and contracting,” Rintoul says.
Brightly is tentatively priced about $400, which might seem expensive at first glance but looks like a bargain compared to ultrasound devices currently used in hospitals, which cancost tens of thousands of dollars. These devices are also much bulkier compared to Brightly.