Henkel Qhesive Solutions reveals promising trial results for Smart Adult Care


In the face of an ageing population, smart technology will play a vital role in improving elder individuals’ quality of life and dignity, Henkel Qhesive Solutions (Düsseldorf, Germany) have demonstrated how innovation will be helping to address the challenge of caring for those affected by incontinence: A long term trial of Smart Adult Care recently run in a nursing home in Italy has shown that digital diapers can improve the patient’s wellbeing through more timely changes, while allowing staff to focus on delivering better care.

Smart Adult Care – part of Henkel Qhesive Solutions’ offering and developed in cooperation with Smartz AG – transforms conventional diapers into smart, connected medical devices by printing flexible sensors directly onto the back sheet of the incontinence product. The printed sensor components interact with a reusable pod enabling remote monitoring of moisture, movement and temperature on a web-based dashboard or app via the cloud. The system can also detect falls and provide urgent notifications to caregivers.

Smart solutions tackle one of the main challenges in managing incontinence. When individuals with physical or cognitive impairment find it difficult to communicate their needs, caregivers have to regularly perform checks and/or change diapers according to a set routine which does not always match up with the appropriate time for the intervention. Late changes can lead to health complications such as incontinence associated dermatitis and eventually bed sores, as well as the frustration and discomfort of leakages. Conversely, changing too frequently ties up valuable staff time and creates more waste and cost through excess diaper usage. Either approach to intervention can impact the comfort and dignity of the individual. A smart solution removes the guesswork through real time alerts that enable the right care to be given at the right time. Diaper manufacturers therefore can play a very big role in changing patients’ and caregivers’ lives for the better.

The trial at a 180-bed residential care home in Italy sought to test out the reliability of the solution and aimed to further develop practical insights and experience for implementation and maintenance. Twenty-five residents suffering from urinary incontinence participated over a three-months period. Although the facility already operated on a very efficient diaper usage level, Smart Adult Care was able to reduce diaper consumption and associated costs by 16%. Hence the estimation for other institutions will be even higher. Moreover, the solution is freeing up staff time so that they can focus on high quality care work as around 8 hours of incontinence management time was saved per resident per month. Reduction of leakages by 81% also delivered substantial improvements for residents' comfort and health, while caregivers additionally reported skin condition improvements.

Describing the impact of Smart Adult Care, one nurse involved in the trial said the solution “was extraordinarily good for the residents from a skin point of view, led to better sleep and prevented spending a long time in a wet diaper.” Participating staff also confirmed that they would recommend Smart Adult Care to other facilities, with one noting that it “allows for daily work to be organised differently” and was “especially [helpful] in these times of staff shortage.”

“Patients and caregivers can find the challenge of incontinence to be emotionally and physically overwhelming, but this trial indicates that smart products can bring essential relief,” explains Ulrich Wagner, business development manager Digital Hygiene Solutions, EIMEA. “In daily use, Smart Adult Care is delivering a practical solution to manage incontinence with greater sensitivity, while freeing caregivers to focus on delivering the best possible care.”

Smart Adult Care is an innovation by Henkel Qhesive Solutions. With its portfolio of trusted smart solutions, Henkel Qhesive Solutions is driving digital transformation in large scale production industries. From smart wearables like connected health devices to smart factories and smart home devices, this specialist division offers innovative solutions for a broad range of industries.

“Henkel Qhesive Solutions leverages megatrends like digitalisation and IoT devices to create solutions that are not only smarter but also improve people’s lives,” comments Stephan Buschhüter, market strategy manager Digital Solutions. “We combine Henkel’s long experience in material science and chemistry with intelligent analytics. At this point of convergence, we can elevate and improve existing products and processes to take on the problems of today and of tomorrow. Smart Adult Care epitomizes this philosophy.”

Caption: A trial in a residential care home states a promising outlook for roll out of Henkel’s smart incontinence management solution (photo: Henkel)

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