This project investigates the feasibility of wireless sensor inserts for managing incontinence. Incontinence is an issue for well over a half of hospitalized patients. Up to a half of these patients are afflicted with incontinence-associated dermatitis (IAD) which increases their risk of developing microbial skin infections and pressure ulcers. While several approaches and technologies are available for managing incontinence, none provide guidance for knowing when an incontinent episode has occurred. Delays in changing a soiled brief is the most cited cause for IAD. Small, disposable inserts placed in a patient's brief or diaper can alert the caregiver of an incontinent event. Our work focuses on integrating resistive sensors that are highly selective and sensitive for urine and feces with LC-circuits for wireless communications. Three different circuit designs are pursued with a range of performance and cost. Effective management of incontinence can reduce the length of hospital stays, treatment costs, and the associated risks of nosocomial infection. The two main goals for the project are: 1. Integrate a PANI/CB sensor into a resonant, telemetry, and digital LC-circuits. The sensor circuits offer a range of performance and cost. The sensor inserts must not pose an economic barrier and should be convenient for the caregiver. 2. Evaluate the performance of the sensor inserts hard wired with an impedance analyzer and remotely using transponders. This task is charged with demonstrating the effectiveness of the sensor inserts at detecting and relaying the presence of urine and feces.
Over half of hospitalized patients suffer from incontinence. Up to a half of these patients are afflicted with incontinence-associated dermatitis which increases the risk of microbial skin infections and pressure ulcers. Successful demonstration of the sensor inserts to respond to urine and feces promises a new and effective approach to incontinence management and lower rates of incontinence related skin issues.