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A sensor for detecting faecal incontinence

29th April 2021

Oxford Optronix Ltd is delighted to announce that it has received a UK government grant from the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) to help fund the development of the world’s first device for reliably detecting and reporting adult faecal incontinence.   

Commenting on the award, Dr Andy Obeid, CEO of Oxford Optronix said, ‘Faecal Incontinence occurs when someone is unable to perform normal toileting behaviour; it is a devastating social and hygiene problem that affects 2-3% of all adults - particularly those living with dementia and other neurodegenerative diseases.  Faecal incontinence undermines dignity, damages skin, risks infection and is distressing for individuals, nurses, care-home staff and relatives alike.’ 

Oxford Optronix has developed a unique (and recently patented) technology that can reliably detect when a person has passed a stool in an incontinence pad. It uses an optical sensor to detect small quantities of fluorescent light produced by the bacteria present in faeces. The device distinguishes faeces from urine. The sensing technology can be easily inserted or woven into the manufacture of a standard incontinence pad which is then simply connected to a thin, lightweight, wallet-sized, re-chargeable wearable monitor. When a patient passes stool, the device promptly alerts a nursing station or caregiver’s mobile phone.

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