Urinary Incontinence (UI) is a common and embarrassing condition affecting people of all age groups, especially women, aged population, patients with certain neurologic diseases, children born with spinal cord disorders, spinal trauma and other diseases of spinal cord, after certain pelvic and prostatic surgeries, etc., and they cause significant emotional impact on their quality of life. In this paper, we proposed a novel design of an assistive device for managing UI. We have also designed and developed a system for real time monitoring of urinary bladder and a control system for wirelessly triggering the opening and closing of an artificial sphincter by patients. One of the major requirements is on selecting a suitable electrically activated polymer that provides maximum deflection for minimum applied power. In this work we have studied and analyzed existing polymers and selected the most suitable Ionic Electro-Active Polymer (EAP) based on the results from the analysis. For continuous operation of this assistive device, one of the major challenges is to optimize the power usage. To achieve that goal, we have proposed and implemented a state transition algorithm for real-time optimization of power usage. The complete system is designed to be scalable to monitor multiple patients using one external device. Use of this device will provide an opportunity for the patients to engage in regular activities and also provide assistance and support for caretakers in old age homes and hospitals. A prototype of the complete system is developed, tested and results are described in this work.
Dr. Maneesha V. Ramesh, Raj Dhanesh, and Dilraj, N., “An Assistive Device for Managing Urinary Incontinence”, Proceedings of the 6th IBM Collaborative Academia Research Exchange Conference (I-CARE) on I-CARE 2014. ACM, New York, NY, USA, pp. 1-4 , 2014.