On 16-17 November 2021, members of the NIHR CYP MedTech team presented our latest work on the “Toilet Talk” project, alongside our partners at the University of Leeds and HMA digital agency, at the Institute of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) Incontinence Challenge XIII. This event is Europe’s only regular international, multi-disciplinary conference on incontinence, and we were proud to feature in the event’s first session dedicated to “Apps for Incontinence.”
The “Toilet Talk” project began in 2017, with a series of workshops with children and young people with continence issues, as well as their parents and siblings, to identify unmet needs in this area. Through a range of creative activities and collaborative discussions, it became clear that primary-aged children would benefit from a reliable, customisable alarm watch to support self-management of continence issues whilst they were at school. This included reminders to visit the toilet, capability to record visits or accidents, and reminders to drink water.
Since these initial workshops, the TITCH network (an NIHR Devices for Dignity and NIHR CYP MedTech network) has supported further co-design sessions with families to develop a smartwatch app for this purpose. We were pleased to present the prototype app at the IMechE Incontinence Challenge, which is now fully functional and ready to be tested with families.
As well as the functionality requested by families (including customisable reminders to drink and visit the toilet, and capability for the child to record these actions in-app), we have taken care to create a positive, fun and rewarding experience through using the app. The parrot ‘mascot’ is based on a drawing from one child in our initial workshops, and the app’s new title, ‘Let’s Go!” aims to reflect the empowering but discreet nature of this self-management tool.
We thank the organisers and attendees of the IMechE Incontinence Challenge XIII for a fantastic conference and stimulating discussion!
For more information about the project, please contact Dr Gemma Wheeler through the link below.