SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – Imagine being able to predict the timing of your next trip to the restroom. It may not seem like a revelation, but to over half of Americans over the age 65, it would mean the world. Incontinence can happen to anyone, no matter of age or sex. It’s an issue with few options of management.

According to, one start-up is developing the “adult diaper killer.” Brightly is a wearable device that monitors and alerts the wearer of an impending urinary trip. Jean Rintoul, CEO of San Francisco-based Lir Scientific is looking to make diapers a thing of the past. The Brightly is a worn like a belt around the abdomen equipped with biosensors that detects bladder expansion. The wearer then receives an alert via their smartphone indicating that it’s that time to visit the loo.

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“The idea is to give people back some dignity and independence,” Rintoul tells


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Applications for this type of device are not central to bladder control. Rintoul believe similar applications can be utilized beyond incontinence. She sees Brightly at work on medical imaging, physical therapy, in hospitals assisting nurses when patients need to use the bathroom. The list is endless.

“This technology is intriguing and could have some important applications for long term care. It could be of value in memory care to assist staff in toileting and bladder training for residents. It will be interesting to see how the product is tested and developed.”
– Dr. Shirley Newell, Chief Medical Officer Aegis Living

Though currently, Brightly is for a small segment of the populous and may not be everybody. However, Rintoul believes that her work can have a wider reach. “We’re trying to take a broader perspective with our technology, especially by targeting an older population. After all, we all are getting older.” she says.

For now, Brightly is priced near $400. But compared to the bulkier and far more expensive ultrasound machines currently in use at hospitals, Brightly comes in as a bargain.

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