Japan’s D Free, bowel movement and urination predictor, secures $1 million



See the original story in Japanese.

Triple W Japan, developer of wearable bowel movement predictor D Free, recently announced that they have been certified by Japanese governmental business promotion agency NEDO (New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization) to join its support program for R&D-oriented startups and venture businesses in the seed stage.

With this certification, Triple W Japan can receive up to 70 million yen (about $620,000) in subsidies. They also announced that they have secured 50 million yen ($450,000) from Hack Ventures invested by the City Government of Osaka, Hankyu Corporation, and others. The total amount of the two funds is 120 million yen (about $1 million). This follows their undisclosed sum of funding from Nissay Capital and iSGS Investment Works (formerly iStyle Capital) in April 2015.

D Free uses ultrasonic waves to measures the size of excreta in the intestine; it then estimates when the sacrum will be stimulated and when the user will begin to feel the urge to go to toilet. A user will then have sufficient time to find a toilet and be relieved from the stress of bowel incontinence. Parkinson’s disease sufferers, the physically handicapped, or the elderly who have difficulty to go to toilet will no longer need to use diapers, thus helping people regain their dignity.

Triple W Japan is conducting trials at nursing homes of the D Free Beta version, which predicts urination. Based on the results, they will mass-produce, and they plan to start selling as a package for excretion care service to nursing homes this spring or later.

Last year, the Triple W Japan team participated in the first batch of Heart Catch, the two-month mentoring program for startups to brush up products. During this program, they told that they aim to promote this product to women who take care of their inner body not only outside and suggest them natural way for elimination without laxatives or supplements, in addition to active seniors who have elimination problems.

Last March, Triple W Japan won the Tokyo preliminary round of the Pioneers Festival, a startup conference in Austria. Yusuke Kawada (diagnostic radiology specialist at Japan’s National Center for Global Health and Medicine), Shoji Fukuda (director of Japan’s leading healthcare staffing firm SMS), and Minako Makino (Tokyo metropolitan area bureau chief, Japan Continence Action Society) have taken up posts as advisers to Triple W Japan.

Translated by Minako Ambiru via Mother First
Edited by Kurt Hanson