New York City-based Pixie Scientific has developed adult briefs that can screen for urinary tract infections (UTIs). Called Pixie Briefs, these disposable diapers have undergone a lengthy pilot study and should hit the consumer market in 2015.
The company's original product, the Smart Diaper, made news in 2013 because of its novel way of screening for UTIs in infants.
The Pixie Brief contain reagents that interact with leukocytes (cells made by the body's immune system) and nitrites (the byproducts of bacteria), according to the company's website. The brief also contains reagents that measure electrolyte concentrations and determine the urine's pH.
Once the brief is wet, the caregiver scans the QR patch on the front of the Pixie Brief using a smartphone or tablet and a special app. The app automatically compares the new information to previous readings and sends an alert if there is a potential problem. If done once a day, this could detect a problem that may require a physician's attention, the company says.
The company's founders, Yaroslav Faybishenko and Jennie Rubinshteyn, say they believe the Pixie Brief will be especially valuable for residents with Alzheimer's disease because they often are incontinent and prone to UTIs.