From tracking to treating, mobile device technology offers inventive ways to help meet the challenges incontinent people face every day.
Technology is a potent ally of people who are incontinent. For example, advances in fabric engineering have resulted in comfortable, reusable protective products with unprecedented levels of moisture and odor control. A prime example is Salk, Inc.’s CareFor™ line of underpads, men’s briefs and women’s panties, with state-of-the-art, odor-destroying HaloShield™ technology. Salk products illustrate how profoundly science has transformed the day-to-day management of incontinence, compared to only a generation ago.
In addition, information technology is now aiding those who are incontinent with mobile apps that help monitor, manage, and in some cases, even improve the condition. Covering a surprising range of relevant topics, these apps generally are available both for Apple’s iOS operating system for iPhones, and for Google’s Android system, used by Samsung and other device makers. In most cases, they are free to download, or available at a modest cost. Here are some that might prove useful to you:
Bladder Pal. Keeping careful track of your bladder habits is widely recommended as an important step in understanding and managing urinary incontinence. Among other things, doing so provides insights into how your diet and other activities affect you as an individual. Bladder Pal was developed for that purpose. It contains a voiding diary with which you can track and measure fluid intake and output, and includes a “symptom score” questionnaire, developed by the American Urological Association, to be assessed in conjunction with your doctor.
Bladder Diary; Bowel Diary. For a lower-tech approach to tracking both urinary and fecal incontinence, the National Association for Incontinence offers bladder and bowel diaries, along with a third version for adult bedwetting, each of which can be downloaded as a pdf. Find them here https://www.nafc.org/diaries/.
Sit or Squat. Although not meant exclusively for the incontinent, this app from Procter & Gamble’s Charmin brand charts the location of thousands of public restrooms across the nation, even rating them for cleanliness. It can be a life-saver for anyone with incontinence, overactive bladder or, for that matter, anyone, period.
iDry. Created with the involvement of the National Institutes of Health, iDry provides a broad range of logging, reporting, forecasting and research tools, according to its primary developer, Three Ten, LLC. It shows how one’s incontinence “is affected by various interventions such as exercises, behaviors, diets, drugs, devices, and medical procedures.” There is a basic, free version, and a premium version with advanced features, available at cost.
Kegel Trainer and Kegel Kat. These are two of the most popular apps devoted to pelvic floor exercises – often referred to as “Kegels” – which are designed to strengthen the muscles that, among other things, close the urethral and anal sphincters, preventing unintended discharge of urine or fecal matter. Both apps guide the user through a variety of workout sessions and offer reminders when it’s time to do the exercises.
Tät. This app provides another take on Kegel training, but only for Android devices. Developed at Umeå University in Sweden, it is specifically for women with urinary stress incontinence. Its distinction is that it underwent a successful clinical trial and obtained a CE Mark (the European Union’s equivalent of an FDA approval in the U.S.), qualifying it as an approved medical device. Tät contains six basic and six advanced levels of exercise.
Water Your Body. Fluid intake, especially of water, can pose a tricky issue when you’re incontinent. There often can be an inclination to avoid or restrict water consumption to minimize urine discharge. That is a mistake. Inadequate water intake risks dehydration and concentrates urinary waste, thereby, intensifying urine odor and increasing the threat of urinary tract infection. Water Your Body was created to help you stay properly hydrated and manage water consumption for optimal results.
Healthy Out. Good nutrition is important for everyone, of course, but for those managing urinary and fecal incontinence it is absolutely essential. Covering restaurants across the nation, this app helps you find dishes that match your dietary needs and preferences at establishments in your city or neighborhood.
These constitute only a sampling of what’s available. Search online for other apps that might be of assistance to you.