Advosense: Streamlining Nursing Care through New Incontinence Solutions

By Mark Ogilbee posted 05-11-2023 06:45 PM

Erin Webb and Martina Viduka of Advosense

Advosense, an AgeTech Collaborative™ startup participant, is on a mission to develop intelligent solutions for older adult care. Starting with an incontinence care solution with a patented sensing technology, Advosense is dedicated to improving the lives of older adults and empowering caregivers to manage their care more effectively. 

In honor of the American Nurses Association Nurses Month, Advosense’s co-founder and CEO, Martina Viduka, spent time telling us about the company and its vision. 

This interview has been edited for clarity and length. 


Can you tell us a little bit about Advosense? 

We have a mission to transform care for older adults; we’re starting by developing an incontinence management solution to help caregivers in nursing homes and hospitals. Our product is an innovative sensor-based solution that provides caregivers with information about who is wet and how long they’ve been wet, so they can use that information to prioritize care. 


How does the sensor work? 

It’s a sticker with a sensor in it that you can apply to any adult incontinence brief. When a person has an incontinence event, that information gets sent to a bedside reader, kind of like a Wi-Fi box, which sends that information to the caregivers. It’s a passive solution, so there’s no battery. It’s very discreet and comfortable for patients, and easy to use for the caregiving staff and nurses. 

All this helps caregivers streamline care so they’re not checking on people when they don’t need to — for example, having to wake them up at night to see if they’re wet. 


Why did you choose incontinence as your first solution? 

Incontinence is in desperate need of innovation. From an older adult’s perspective, they must still use incontinence briefs that haven’t been updated in a very long time, and using those can lead to a lot of complications: urinary tract infections, pressure sores and even falls related to incontinence-acquired conditions. 

From another perspective, caregivers spend a large percentage of their shifts caring for and changing patients, so there's a huge need for improvement, streamlining and making the process more effective. When we talk to administrators and leadership in care facilities, they tell us they’re looking for solutions, so we see a real opportunity to make a difference and change the standard of care in this space. 


Many AgeTech founders discover that integrating new technology and workflows can be a challenge for care facilities. 

There are two aspects to that. One is about the actual care routine and workflow for the caregiver or clinician. It’s important for us to enable them to adopt our product without disrupting how they’re working. We want to minimize the impact of integration, and we’re developing something that’s quite seamless — with one extra step, it easily integrates into their routine. 

The second piece is with integration into a facility’s existing system — for example, understanding the appropriate time to introduce our data into an electronic health record and what that looks like, depending on whether it’s a large-scale health system or a smaller skilled nursing facility. 


You’re based in Germany. How did you find your way to AARP and the market in the U.S.? 

I’m from Canada, and my co-founder, Erin, is from the U.S. We met in the Netherlands, where we’d both gone to study for a master’s degree in healthcare management. We became best friends, and we ended up in Berlin working in health tech startups. We went to a hackathon to network and get involved with solutions around geriatric health. Over that weekend, we worked on a solution for incontinence — and we won the hackathon. After that, we looked deeper into the market and thought, “This could really change the lives of a lot of people.” So we decided to go for it. 

We’ve done development in Germany, but as we studied the market, we decided to enter the U.S. market first. We looked for potential partners, collaborators and networks, and that’s how we got involved with AARP. 


What was the AgeTech Collaborative™ accelerator program experience like? 

It was perfect timing for us because we were focusing on the U.S. market and trying to understand it in different ways. We wanted to go deeper, do more customer discovery and develop relationships to help us meet our go-to-market needs, and the accelerator gave us a lot of support and resources to help us build that out. It was awesome. 


What’s your personal journey been to founding the Advosense? 

I was involved in geriatric healthcare from the time I was young; I volunteered at palliative care units when I was in high school. Later, I went to nursing school because I wanted to make a change for older adults — I wanted to really understand the needs of our patients and how to improve their lives and how we care for them. I’ve always had a vision for the need to have age-friendly, dignified solutions, and to have a space where older adults can be heard and be safe. 


What’s on the horizon for Advosense? 

Now that we’re working toward entering the U.S. market, we’re looking to build more partnerships with age-friendly organizations like AARP and other thought leaders in the space. We are also getting ready to pilot, so we’d love to work with a pilot partner, especially skilled nursing facilities. 


You can learn more about Advosense at their website.