An Australian company on Friday announced the rollout of what it said were the world's first electronic underpants, saying its product was able to send text messages if the wearer became incontinent.
Designed for the elderly and infirm, the SIMsystem will be used in homes for the aged across New South Wales state to monitor incontinence after successful trials in Victoria, the company Simavita said.
"Incontinence management is a key area in which innovative technologies can benefit aged care," said chief executive Philippa Lewis.
"We developed SIMsystem to provide greater comfort and dignity to the elderly while aiming to significantly lower costs for aged care facilities."
Simavita said its underpants have a disposable element similar to a regular incontinence pad and include a detachable transmitter that relays readings from the pad's sensor strip over a wireless network to a central computer.
Alerts are sent via text message or over the institution's paging system.
More than 90 percent of Australians living in elderly care facilities are believed to suffer from incontinence -- a problem that currently requires staff to carry out frequent manual checks throughout the day.
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