New app aims to help women with involuntary urine leakage
The free app URinControl with information on muscle and bladder exercises and drinking habits can help women with involuntary urine leakage combat this problem. Its use could also save another 160 euros per patient per year in healthcare costs, mainly through fewer visits to a physiotherapist to master the exercises. That's according to Anne Loohuis of the University Medical Centre Groningen (UMCG), who is involved in the app as a researcher.
URinControl has been around for some time, but has only been downloaded 10,000 times, while about a million women struggle with some degree of involuntary urine leakage. ZonMw, the funding organization for health research and care innovation, is supporting research to increase accessibility and awareness of the app with 250,000 euros. Starting in the fall, additional efforts for this should lead to increased use.
The app should then not only be easier to find but also recommended in general practices, pharmacies, drugstores, and even by suppliers of incontinence pads. According to Loohuis, even the latter group is already very fond of it. In addition, URinControl should be able to be used by people with low literacy skills and non-native speakers.
According to Loohuis, URinControl was developed in collaboration with Curavista, a platform that helps people monitor and improve their health. Therefore, the app would also have good data security. Expertise center Pharos is also collaborating on the app.
In general, involuntary loss of urine is common in people who are overweight, after having children, and later in life. Men can also struggle with it but causes and consequences are different and that is why the app is mainly intended for women. Men who end up on it are directed to other options to tackle their problem.
The app also includes a urinary diary, where women can note when they feel the need to urinate, when in fact there is little point in going to the toilet. In this way, they learn to extend the pauses between toilet trips and thus exercise the bladder.
Reporting by ANP