WEARABLE DEVICE REVIEW – DFree Wearable Device for Incontinence
DFree Wearable Device Review
DFree, which stands for diaper-free, is a wearable device that uses a non-invasive ultrasound sensor to track how full your bladder is at all times. When the bladder reaches a certain fullness level, DFree sends you a notification through a smartphone app so you can go to the bathroom.
Why the DFree Wearable Device for Incontinence Exists
For people with incontinence, wearing diapers can be an embarrassing, uncomfortable, and expensive experience. It’s difficult to live an independent life when you’re constantly worrying about where the nearest bathroom is and whether you need to change your diaper. The damage to your confidence can lead to a lower quality of life.
The DFree wearable device empowers you with data that lets you predict when you’ll need to urinate next, so you can plan appropriately without needing to wear a diaper or pad.
Who the DFree is Meant For
DFree wearable devices help seniors, disabled people, and others who are incontinent and struggle with sensing bladder fullness. It comes in both Personal and Pro models, with the first intended for individuals and the second for caregivers. More than 500 senior care communities have implemented DFree devices since 2017. Organizations that have implemented DFree have improved their care efficiency and reduced care time by 30 percent, and diaper and pad expenses were lowered by up to 50 percent.
Benefits of the DFree Wearable Device for Incontinence
The DFree wearable incontinence prevention device offers many benefits for care receivers and their caregivers. They are:
- Provides much-needed, discrete support for people who struggle with making it to the toilet on their own.
- Reduces stress by making it easier to handle toileting needs for both the care receiver and the caregiver.
- Offers convenient USB recharging with an included cable.
- Guides care receivers in placing the device correctly through a LED indicator light.
- DFree operates for 24 hours on a single charge and sends alerts if the battery is low.
- The DFree Personal model has a 325-foot range based on a BLE signal. The DFree Pro model connects to Wi-Fi base stations that have a 160-foot range. You can check the strength of the network connection through the application.
- The companion DFree app supports a broad range of mobile devices. You can receive notifications and track urination data on Android devices running 4.4+, iPhone 5+, iPod Touch 6th generation, iPad 5, iPad Air, iPad Mini 2, and iPad Pro running iOS version 10+.
- Advance notifications through the DFree app allow caregivers to proactively help patients and nursing home residents with bathroom assistance, and individuals can plan their schedule around their toileting needs.
- Individuals can track their own data trends in the DFree application, which logs bladder changes and urination times.
- Caregivers can track multiple DFree meters on a single panel to easily plan toilet assistance for their care receivers. They can also use the app to record the time and types of care given.
- Caregivers gain remote monitoring access to this data through Internet-connected tablets, computers, and smartphones for on-the-go data.
- Individuals receive better quality of care as their caregivers can help at the right time based on the sensor data, rather than getting to care receivers too late during rounds.
Drawbacks of the DFree Device
While individuals will likely cover the DFree wearable costs by reducing their diaper and pad expenses long-term, it can be a significant upfront expense. In some cases, this device may be covered by insurance or eligible for payment from an FSA account.
The reliance on an application for notifications and data tracking may be challenging for people who are not technically adept. While this is not an issue when a caregiver is involved in the process, the learning curve could be difficult for those using it on their own.
Some patients may feel uncomfortable wearing the ultrasound sensor or have difficulties putting it on or taking it off.
DFree Wearable Device Pricing
The DFree Personal model is designed for individuals and family care providers, and has a $399 MSRP. With this device, the application sends notifications and tracks individual data.
The DFree Pro model is a subscription-based payment set at $100 per month per device. This subscription includes the device rental, connection to the cloud service for remote monitoring of patient urination statuses, and comes with two Wi-Fi base stations. This model is intended for nursing homes, in-home care agencies, hospitals, physicians, nurses, and other professional care providers.
Alternatives to the DFree
The market for wearable devices for incontinence is relatively sparse. Novioscan’s SENS-U Kids uses an ultrasound sensor like DFree, but it’s only intended for children between six and twelve. Lir Scientific’s Brightly is another similar wearable that was announced in 2015 and has been in development since then. It’s not commercially available yet.
The Innovo is a TENS unit designed to target urinary incontinence caused by stress and weakened pelvic floor muscles. People with uteruses can train their pelvic floor muscles in 30-minute sessions to reduce this type of incontinence.
The DFree wearable device provides a powerful tool for people suffering from incontinence and their caregivers. It’s an excellent piece of medical technology that quickly makes a significant difference in its users’ quality of life.