IoT revolution presses forward with new ‘texting nappy’

A new SMS-based system could revolutionise the lives of caregivers, as it texts them when their patient’s nappy is wet and needs changing.

A team of researchers from the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (IBN) created the system, believing it to be particularly useful to carers who struggle to change their patients’ nappies in a timely manner, such as those who look after people with speech disorders, reports

The system is not that complicated either, as it is made up of a compact wireless transmitter, receiver, sensor strip and software. Its sensor, which is made out of plastic, paper and metal, is disposable and can send an SMS once the nappy reaches a set wetness level. This is another example of how devices using the Internet of Things, combined with SMS, can revolutionise modern lives.

Indeed, a trial of the device in a care home with 20 elderly patients revealed just how big an impact it could have on patients and caregivers alike. IBN found that the system meant that caregivers were changing soiled nappies within minutes of receiving an alert. As a result, patients spent 90 per cent less time in discomfort.

Jackie Y Ying, IBN executive director, said that wearing wet nappies for long periods of time can cause skin rashes and infections, as well as discomfort.

“While increasing the frequency of diaper checks and changes may help to reduce this problem, it would also add to the workload of caregiver,” she explained. “Clearly, there is a need for an alternative solution.”