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Game-changing Incontinence Startups

These incontinence startups are shaking up the industry

The world of incontinence products is growing, and Pixie is excited to be in the company of other great startups in this space. NearHealth, INNOVO, Willow, Because, and Icon are just a few of the incontinence startups that are making an impact.

NearHealth, also known as near, has developed SmartBriefs and bed liners equipped with sensors that detect wetness. This helps the wearer or caregiver know when to change one’s briefs. NearHealth brings with it many benefits to both individuals and assisted living communities. For communities, NearHealth is especially helpful because the staff can know when incontinent residents need to be changed, which may lead to a reduction in rates of infection. Residents benefit from improved health, a greater sense of dignity and the ability to live their lives with more ease.

 

INNOVO is a different type of incontinence startup. It is a wearable, non-invasive device that helps people treat their bladder leaks by strengthening the muscles of the pelvic floor. INNOVO is specifically intended for people with Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI), which means that urine is leaked from the bladder when stress is applied suddenly on the bladder. It re-educates the pelvic floor by painlessly stimulating the bladder muscles. The device itself consists of a pair of pants that look like bicycle shorts, with the top part or band of the shorts equipped with the device itself. The conductive pads are attached to one’s upper thighs and buttocks. The device is to be used for half an hour per day, five days per week, for approximately three months. INNOVO does not just focus exclusively on women or on older adults, but can work for people of any age.

Willow is yet another incontinence startup that is increasing the quality of life for many people. Its founder, Will Herlands, was a Ph.D. student at Carnegie Mellon studying machine learning who was consulting for e-commerce startups when he came across the idea of creating adult briefs. He had spoken with a urologist about the problem of bladder leakage in older adults and considered the market for existing products that aimed to tackle this problem. He discovered that existing products were too thick or did not absorb enough liquid.

Willow makes disposable incontinence underwear, which functions the same as incontinence briefs. However, Willow products are shaped like and feel a lot more like regular underwear. Willow makes sure that its underwear isn’t bulky and that it can be worn comfortably underneath pants or a skirt. It offers a subscription that gives users 60 pairs of incontinence underwear for $49.99, but users can customize the frequency of the shipments.

Because also offers a subscription service that provides both incontinence pads and briefs. They customize the type of incontinence briefs you would wear based on a fit quiz they provide on their website. They offer free samples for 21 days for beginner users so that you can identify what exactly is your perfect fit. Once you know what that fit is, they will send you monthly packages, which you can also customize if you don’t want to commit to a monthly schedule. Because products have fewer chemicals than other incontinence products and are 25% more absorbent than other incontinence products, according to the company.

Icon also makes what they call “pee-proof undies.” Icon offers many different cuts that emphasize both functional and fashionable aspects of their underwear. These cuts include “hi-waist,” “hip-hugger” and “french waist.” It also categorizes its underwear depending on levels of incontinence, such as “light” and “moderate.” The company also donates some of its proceedings to surgeries for fistulas, which essentially cause incontinence from childbirth. Additionally, Icon promotes sustainable manufacturing practices.

While incontinence may bring with it difficulties, many companies strive to make the lives of incontinent people far more manageable. These startups are taking an otherwise uncomfortable topic, normalizing it, increasing awareness, and creating high-tech and fashionable products.

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