The development of a sensor system to measure the filling level of the urinary bladder


inContAlert is a portable sensor system for non-invasive measurement of the filling level of the urinary bladder. The device gives an alert to incontinence patients when a predefined and possibly critical level is reached. inContAlert thus minimizes the risk of uncontrolled loss of urine and allows a normal and jaunty life.

Patients with a neurogenic bladder dysfunction, such as paraplegics, suffer from both uncontrolled loss of urine and risk of backflow of the urine into the kidneys. The latter is caused by vesicoureteral reflux, in which urine flows back into the kidneys as a consequence of an overflow of the bladder.

To mitigate the consequences of uncontrolled leakage, patients wear diapers, pads, or urinal condoms. They then empty their bladders via catheterization if motoric limitations make it impossible for the body to initiate a controlled emptying of the bladder. Since they have no knowledge of the current filling level, they catheterize according to time intervals or based on a drinking protocol. Subsequently, patients catheterize themselves on average five to eight times instead of the required three to four times to prevent uncontrolled urine loss or the harmful backflow of urine into the kidneys. They must live with incontinence, which leads to an intolerable loss of life quality and humane dignity.

The non-invasive sensor system inContAlert digitalizes the current fill level of the bladder and sends a warning to the user’s smartphone if the level is too high. In the same way, patients or their assistants (e.g. in nursing homes) can monitor the level of the bladder and catheterize only as needed. Both unhygienic “under-catheterization”, which endangers the kidneys, and “over-catheterization”, which causes urinary tract infections and wastes material, could be avoided. Patients would thus be able to plan their everyday life and live with their handicap – for a self-determined, dignified life in our society.

Name inContAlert
Funding Medical Valley Award
Project Manager Project Manager Bavaria/ Bavaria Innovative
Funding program M4
Funding number as per notification M4-1906-0001
Start 01.11.2019
Ende 31.10.2021
Project duration 2 years
Project lead Jannik Lockl

Extended abstract of a study on inContAlert