An incontinence devices that combine a diaper with a personal bidet, removing waste before cleaning and then drying the wearer as they sleep was showcased by Japanese firms.
A number of companies taking part in this year's International Home Care and Rehabilitation Exhibition in Tokyo had their automatic toilet-cum-washlets on display, aimed at Japan's burgeoning senior care market.
AdvertisementSalespeople demonstrated how a U-shaped cup fits between the wearer's legs and contains a sensor that activates a suction mechanism when triggered.
Waste is moved rapidly away from the body before a bidet spray-cleans and then blow-dries the area.
The cup is connected to a duct which moves the waste into a tank.
"This machine is intended to ease the burden for caregivers, especially at night, and it also helps those in bed stay clean," said Daizo Igawa, manager of Muscle Corp, as he demonstrated the firm's "Robohelper" automatic toilet.
The demand for incontinence products in Japan is rising as the population ages, and a change in public insurance schemes now allows this kind of device to be rented.
Tokyo-based Mammary, which also markets gloves to aid breast self-examinations, sells its "Smilet" at 580,000 yen ($7,470), a price the company recognised was beyond the reach of many families.
"Now you can rent one under the insurance programme at 3,000 to 4,000 yen a month," salesman Yamato Ishitate said.