Medical Fair Asia 2018: Digital “smart” underwear to aid incontinence

September 3, 2018

Innovations from European companies have been given support to expand into Asian markets through a programme known as EU Business Avenues in Southeast Asia, an EU-funded initiative for several markets including Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Philippines and Thailand. The programme promotes collaborations with local companies, in the form of joint ventures, distributorships, or licensing agreements, to facilitate the process of breaking into the local markets.

Dutch wearable technology company, LifeSense Group, embraced this opportunity a year ago and recently the company launched its “smart” underwear, Wil (for men) and Carin (for women), in Singapore as part of a study to assess the efficacy of an app-based programme for patients with mild to moderate stress incontinence. The study will be conducted at the National University Hospital (NUH) and led by Associate Professor Tiong Ho Yee (Senior Consultant, Department of Urology) and Dr Fiona Wu (Associate Consultant, Department of Urology). They will analyse the effects of the Carin and Wil programmes, and the progress rate and symptoms of patients who suffer from urinary incontinence.

LifeSense CEO DrValer Pop says he was inspired to design this product to break the taboo surrounding incontinence and to start a dialogue about it. Statistics show that incontinence is quite a common problem, especially for women after pregnancy, yet many people are embarrassed to talk about it.

Based in Eindhoven in the Netherlands, Dr Pop has two big strengths: Technology and Innovation, and Design. Therefore, he has aimed to merge fashion and technology together in a product that is both a wearable IoT and a medical app.

Carin and Wil are said to be the only wearable, non-invasive pelvic floor trainers designed specifically to help women and men to regain control of their bodies while improving their pelvic health. The small Bluetooth sensor slips discreetly into the inside of the underwear’s absorbent fibres, where it can detect and record leaks in real time while also helping the users to stay dry. The app allows patients to view and share their data with their health provider and track their progress. Based on the data, the app can also recommend certain exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles.

“Pelvic floor exercise is a conservative treatment for mild to moderate stress incontinent patients. However, many patients fail to practice it regularly, leading to minimal improvement of their condition. We look forward to seeing how this new technology can help these patients improve their condition,” says Dr Wu.

Patients who are interested in the study can contact NUH Urology Centre at or (65) 6772 5087.

Category: Features, Top Story

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