"bowel movements are only a software upgrade away."
Plus ça change...
ZigBee-equipped underpants are being used to detect incontinence in Australian care homes. The Smart Incontinence Management (SIM) System from Simavita connects a moisture detector with a ZigBee transmitter to log incontinence "events" for plotting on a helpful SIMchart while alerting staff with an SMS message, as RFID Journal …
This is likely to follow the trajectory of many other technology-led 'advances' in patient care.
20 years ago PEG (percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy - through a tube into the stomach) feeding was the hospital nutritionists' great new hope.
Now it's recognised that a) iPEG feeding is not indicated in many cases where it previously would have been urged, and b) it can actually diminish the quality of care a patient receives, because the attention of nursing staff can easily become focused on reading signals from the machine providing the feeding, rather than attending to the patient.
But until those lessons were learned, an army of medics and nutritionists wielding PEG equipment were convinced that what many of their patients needed most was to have it plugged into them.
In the less medicalised environment of a care home, which relies enormously upon the sensitivity of care staff to subtle signals from people who often can't express their needs at all, this could become a kind of barrier masquerading as convenience, and could be entirely at odds with the interests of those receiving care.
I was going to say "you're shitting me", but...
If nurses can't be bothered to take patients to the toilet (or simply don't have time due to understaffing), what does this accomplish? Seems to me the only folks who'll gain are medical-negligence lawyers who can say "my client spent 20 hours without a nurse seeing him/her". The client won't gain - at this point in their lives, chances are very high that either they are no longer aware of what's going on, or that by the time the case gets to court they'll already be dead. And if the nursing staff decide to wait for patients to wet themselves instead of regularly doing the necessary with toilet-visit/bedpan/catheter, that's not going to help patients either.
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Although there isn't an app for that yet, Apple can't exactly make one because a certain other software vendor has already released something which isn't a million miles away from diarhittic incontence.
I don't want to mention who it is but I'm sure there is some information available somewhere off the "Start" menu that'll tell you who made it...
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