Sensassure, an early stage start-up that helps caregivers know when seniors need incontinence care, could be a geriatric gamechanger and a real money saver.
The United Nations recently released some thought-provoking numbers that show the number of older people worldwide (aged 60 years or over) is expected to more than double, from 841 million people in 2013 to more than 2 billion, in 2050.
And, there will be 392 million people aged 80 years or over by 2050, more than three times the present. The UN also says older people will exceed the number of children for the first time in 2047.
Attacking the adult incontinence market
No wonder a couple of ingenious entrepreneurs from Toronto who are young enough to be my sons are capitalizing on our aging population by helping seniors who are incontinent stay clean, dry and dignified.
Their new connected adult brief, Sensassure, has a sensor that tracks whether seniors who struggle with incontinence need attention. The sensor is built into a disposable pad that can then be inserted into your favourite brand of adult briefs. The sensor then immediately alerts nursing staff or caregivers when their patients or family members need care.
Sensassure was incubated by The Next 36, a Canadian non-profit accelerator that provides funding, mentorship and resources to early stage companies.
During a recent trial at a nursing home in Canada, one resident explained how awful it is to sit in a wet brief hour after hour, a situation that Sensassure prevents.
You’re getting colder and sorer as the minutes go by. And you know you’re soaking wet because you’ve emptied your bladder two or three times and still nobody’s come to change you. – EquisiCare Resident
The nursing home owner says the trial was a complete success.
The biggest thing we found was the nighttime. [By wearing Sensassure], it enabled our clients to get a better quality sleep because they weren’t being woken up every two hours when the nurses came in just to check. So we actually knew when the client was wet and we changed them appropriately based on that threshold, so it was huge. [The question is] are we preventing falls because they’re not waking up in the night and are we preventing episodes of aggression because they’re not being woken up in the night? – EquisiCare Owner
Sensassure’s CEO Sameer Dhar recently explained the difference between their adult briefs and Sensassure’s during a recent interview.
Sensassure provides a continuous monitoring solution. Simavita and SCA have both developed solutions for the initial 72 hour period when a resident is first admitted to a care home. The companies create a customized care plan and after this period, the check and change process is manual again. Sensassure's product works 24/7, around the clock.
Sensassure is providing a complementary device that works with any commercial brief whereas the competitors have solutions that are fully embedded diapers. This is a differentiator because it doesn't require residents to switch over to a new diaper brand and it prevents Sensassure from competing in the low-margin diaper business. – www.connectedly.com
What do you think?
Do you think perhaps these companies are onto something? I do. Entrepreneurs are known for their forward thinking and for capitalizing on trends. And if you believe the numbers around adult incontinence these days (which is also expected to rise in the next 20 or so years), the market potential for elderly care connected briefs is huge.
Consider these fast facts from the National Association for Continence via www.diaperbuys.com:
- Adult incontinence affects 200 million people around the world and 25 million in the United States experience transient or chronic urinary incontinence problems.
- One third of men and women ages 30-70 have experienced loss of bladder control at some point in their adult lives and some may still be living with the symptoms.
- Many adults in the country experience signs and symptoms of having urinary incontinence problems.
- More than one third of people aged 30-70 years old awaken twice or more to urinate each night, which fits the clinical diagnosis of nocturia.
- Two-thirds of men and women aged 30-70 have never discussed bladder health with their doctor.
- Only one in eight Americans that have experienced a loss of bladder control have been diagnosed.
- Men are less likely to talk about their incontinence problems with friends and family members and are usually less informed about these conditions than women.
- Women on the other hand wait 6.5 years on average from the first time they experience symptoms of incontinence to see a doctor about their problems.
- In 1995, the societal cost of incontinence for people who were 65 years of age or older was $26.3 billion, which amounts to about each person with incontinence issues spending $3565 on doctor’s appointments, treatments, adult briefs and other incontinence products.
Kudos to all of these companies working in the area of elderly care, aging and connected briefs. From the sounds of things, we’re going to need them sooner than later (at least folks my age LOL).
Isn’t it nice to know these youngins’ out there have our backs—and our bottoms?
The nuviun blog is intended to contribute to discussion and stimulate debate on important issues in global digital health. The views are solely those of the author.