According to the National Institutes of Health, more than 25 million Americans suffer from some form of incontinence. In many cases, patients dealing with incontinence can’t feel bladder fullness, resulting in accidents. A device called the DFree is an ultrasound sensor that hopes to solve that.
The DFree has been around since 2019 but the company is announcing a new version that will ship later this year. The new version builds on the company’s compact ultrasound technology to signal when it’s time to go to the bathroom.
The new version, announced at CES 2021, will be much smaller than the first-gen model—about the size of a matchbox—and will offer more “freedom and independence,” said CEO Atsushi Nakanishi.
“The sleek design improves wearability and promotes confidence allowing users the ability to predict and plan ahead, taking charge of their health needs,” he said.
The device straps to your lower belly and senses, via ultrasound, the expansion of your bladder. When things get full, it will notify you via a phone notification, giving you a moment to relieve yourself. It’s a fascinating technology, and this new version announced at CES 2021 could be even more effective than prior models. The $400 product lasts for a day on a single charge and straps to just above your pubic bone. Look, it’s not the most discrete or attractive device, but it does solve a pain point for many.
The company also offers a Pro model for hospitals and nursing homes that sends a signal to a central notification board so nurses and caregivers can tell when their patients or residents are in need of some help.