A local technology entrepreneur who specializes in projects for senior citizens has developed a free iPhone application that he says will help people manage urinary incontinence.
Addressing the loss of bladder control has personal meaning for Jeff Pepper, president and CEO of Touchtown Inc. in Oakmont. Mr. Pepper, 59, experienced incontinence after prostate removal surgery in 2009.
"After surgery, it's a dramatic thing. All of a sudden, you can't control it," he said. "I never thought of myself as someone who might be wearing Depends," a brand of adult diapers.
The Verona resident is doing better now, but an estimated 13 million Americans are dealing with urinary incontinence. It's a problem that is associated with aging, but it can affect younger people, too. For men, it's a common side effect immediately following prostate surgery. For women, it most often can be an issue after childbirth.
Because it's not a topic likely to come up in social situations, Mr. Pepper said he found help and support on Internet sites devoted to subjects such as recovering from surgery. He thinks his software, called iDry, can help others.
The software collects and analyzes data to determine the severity of an individual's incontinence, then charts progress in managing it through techniques such as exercise and monitoring food and drink intake.
It's much more sophisticated than simply keeping a journal, Mr. Pepper said. The software includes an incident log, charting, intervention reminder and a way to track progress as well as predict when another incident might occur. It has data for more than 200 types of pads and adult diapers.
Mr. Pepper said iDry will profile the person's condition based on the number of pads used and fluid volume lost over different periods of time.
"What people don't know is exactly how to quantify how bad it is or whether it's getting better or not," he said. With iDry, "even if you still have UI, the iDry will still give you some idea about how to make it as good as it can be."
Mr. Pepper said the software can be downloaded free from the Apple App Store for use on an iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad.
Steve Twedt: email@example.com or 412-263-1963.