A sophisticated incontinence pad developed for the aged care industry was one of three finalists in the prestigious Kerrin Rennie Award for Excellence in Medical Technology.

The Simavita Smart Pad is a remote monitoring device for urinary incontinence. It contains an electronic sensor that provides accurate, real-time information for continence assessments.

The CEO of Simavita, Philippa Lewis said the recognition of the Smart Pad alongside a hybrid cochlear implant and an artificial heart valve, showed that aged care was coming of age.

“Anything that gives aged care some profile is really exciting because we are not able to get a lot of profile in the public arena and when we do, it’s often negative,” she said.

“We are incredibly proud because we are an Australian company with an Australian technology.

“Like the cochlear implant, we have an international marketplace that is recognising what we are doing.”

Clinical trials of the Smart Pad have found that it halves the amount of staff time that needs to be devoted to continence assessment.

Data obtained from the device also showed that many residents in aged care were wearing pads that were too large of them.

Ms Lewis said that up to 10 per cent of high care residents were able to stop wearing pads after an assessment with the Smart Pad system accurately identified their toileting habits.

“With the pads you know exactly when a resident needs to be toileted but with a manual system you just can’t determine that level of detail,” she said.

The product has received approval from the Therapeutic Goods Adminsitration and Simivita hopes to start selling it to residential aged care facilities in November.

Providers have expressed a strong interest in the Smart Pad and Simavita has plans to export the product next financial year.

The company is currently talking to the government about ways to subsidise the Smart Pad.

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