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Smart Diapers

Diapers that generate alerts when changing is needed

Hygienic disposable products currently on the market are well designed and highly absorbent. However, users must still check the status of the product in use to avoid prolonged contact with bodily fluids and to avoid the risk of getting leakage. These ad hoc checks can be time-consuming for caretakers and inconvenient for users. The Smart Diapers project will develop an effective smart diaper solution that relies on printable electronics and sensors and test the solution in real-life care environments.

Disposable hygiene products still fall short

In care settings, manual checks of disposable hygiene products take up valuable time and resources that could be spent on more meaningful interactions. When checks are scheduled, unused or underutilized, products are often prematurely disposed of, leading to unnecessary costs and impacting the environment. Test methods for disposable hygiene products are difficult to correlate with actual performance in real-life settings, complicating the design process. Production variance can often impact performance as well.

Driving personalized health care

To overcome these challenges and enable improved, personalized health care, the Smart Diapers consortium will develop a cost-effective, reusable and reliable smart diaper module that generates mobile alerts when changing is needed.

Reusable smart diaper module with printed sensors

The Smart Diapers consortium is made up of experts in electronics, sensors, raw materials, diaper production and nursing care. They will collaborate to design and validate a comfortable, inexpensive smart diaper system with several innovation goals:

  1. Develop new ink & printing/lamination technologies to reduce sensor system and disposal costs..
  2. Advance chipless radio frequenced sensor technology.
  3. Design a comfortable product that maintains sensor reliability and accuracy while ensuring wearers complete freedom of movement.
  4. A structural collection of data to improve care routines and provide personalized product selection

Unobtrusive, wireless and accurate

Current smart diaper solutions are expensive, inaccurate, bulky, and may require physical connections between modules and sensors. The project will solve these issues by creating a slim, completely wireless demonstrator capable of detecting the presence and quantity of liquid and solid waste accurately, reliably and safely.

“The Smart Diapers project will develop an effective smart diaper solution that relies on printable electronics and sensors and test the solution in real-life care environments.”

Smart diapers which can generate alerts when changing is required.

Smart diapers is an imec.icon research project funded by imec and Agentschap Innoveren & Ondernemen.

It started on 01.11.2019 and is set to run until 31.10.2021.


  • Henkel Belgium
  • Drylock Technologies
  • Connect Group
  • Vitra


  • imec – IDLab IBCN – UGent
  • imec – CMST
  • UGent- SKINT


  • Project lead: Tom Derycke
  • Research lead: Frederick Bossuyt
  • Proposal Manager: Frederick Bossuyt
  • Innovation manager: Annelies Vandamme