Monday, 12 January 2015 14:01

PeriCoach: OZ world first women’s device & app for Urinary Stress Incontinence

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PeriCoach isn’t designed to help you cope with Nando’s sauces, but is a world-first Australian manufactured device and app designed to help women treat the condition of ‘bladder leakage’ through regular pelvic floor training.

Peri Peri sauce is hot, but what might be even hotter is a solution for a serious women’s problem: Urinary Stress Incontinence causing ‘bladder leakage’ when sufferers do something as simple as running, laughing, sneezing or coughing.

Being hassled by this problem is no laughing matter, but a new Australian innovation and accompanying smartphone app that acts like a personal trainer could well bring smiles to many women’s dials.

UPDATE: 16 February 2015 - I have recorded an interview with Analytica CEO, Geoff Daly, on the Pericoach, which you can see at my new article here entitled 'Video: Pericoach interview with CEO Geoff Daly on a women's medical marvel'.  

Original article continues:

Apps for women are clearly nothing new, there are apps to track ovulation, baby’s sleep and feed cycles, fitness apps and plenty more - which could easily be used by members of either sex - even if an app to track ovulation would be to track your partner’s (if you're a man).

The thing is, despite the 'first-line medically recommended treatment' to help solve this issue is 'pelvic floor muscle training', we're told that 'few women do these exercises because they don't know if they're doing them correctly and often have no idea if they're improving.' Instead of fixing the problem, it is often covered up with cumbersome pads.

Now, Australian designed technology is coming to the rescue with an accompanying 'personal trainer' app designed to 'help you with the muscles on the inside – the ones in your pelvic floor.'

It's called the PeriCoach, and it is a 'new training device designed to be used by women at home for just a few minutes a day.'

Discreet, with an in-built sensor, it links to a smart phone app via a wireless Bluetooth connection.

Its makers explain that, 'by harnessing the availability of personalised technology, each woman has access to real time visual feedback as she performs each exercise. This can then be shared with a healthcare professional, such as a physiotherapist, who can analyse and make recommendations, helping them to stay motivated and most importantly, get the results they are looking for. It’s a compliance device too – you can receive reminders via the app to ensure you stay on track.'

This is serious stuff, with PeriCoach exercise programs having been 'specifically designed by leading pelvic floor specialists.'

And, as an Australian first, 'PeriCoach is being launched in Australia before any other country in the world.'

The device is even manufactured in Australia - which you could even say is 'down under'.

A video showing how the device works can be seen here. 

Here's some more detail on how it works.

Three biosensors are built into the PeriCoach device to detect the strength of each muscle contraction. The app collects and analyses the readings and gives a picture of how the user is doing over time.

PeriCoach is also the first system that can send reports from the smartphone to a clinician or pelvic health specialist.

Why is all this necessary? Because urinary incontinence (UI) is characterised by an involuntary leak that often occurs while running, coughing, laughing or sneezing or even during sexual activity, or not being able to “hold it” when feeling a sudden urge.

Pelvic floor muscle training is recommended as first-line treatment for an analysis of literature from 1990 through 2013 recently published in Annals of Internal Medicine.

Yet, many women who could benefit from training do not stay with it because they are unsure if they are squeezing the right muscles or making progress. As a result, they give up and resort to using panty-liners or cumbersome pads to manage, rather than address, the problem.

The PeriCoach device is for women who regularly follow doctor-recommended treatment for urinary incontinence (UI). It is an embarrassing and often debilitating problem millions of women.

In fact, it affects around four million Australian women, a number predicted to increase to five million by 2030.

The PeriCoach device is meant for home use and is available directly to women as well as clinicians and physios. It has been designed with help from healthcare rofessionals in the pelvic health field, to ensure the programs are beneficial in the privacy of your home or with assistance from a clinician.

The PeriCoach device can be used at any time.

You'll find plenty more information at the PeriCoach website

PeriCoach has an 'introductory price' of $298.

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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