"The overarching goal is to both increase the identification of patients with urinary incontinence as well as shorten the time between diagnosis and appropriate treatment," says David Sheyn, MD.
In this video, David Sheyn, MD, discusses the EMPOWER study conducted by University Hospitals (UH) to study urinary incontinence. Sheyn was just named the Division Chief of Female Pelvic Medicine at UH, and he is also an assistant professor of urology and reproductive biology at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio.
The EMPOWER study is funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), and it's in partnership with the Primary Care Institute at University Hospitals. What we're doing is screening patients coming in for their primary care visits for incontinence, and then ones that are bothered by it, we are either randomizing to standard care and follow-up–which is what people are currently getting, sometimes that's medication, sometimes that's nothing–and to 2 other experimental arms. One arm is a nurse navigator that interacts with the patient at different intervals that are pre-specified by the study to help guide them through treatment, and if they're successful, to discharge them, or if they're not successful to increase their referral to urogynecology or female urology. The other arm is with one of our industry partners Renalis, which has a digital platform for urinary incontinence that is driven by the patient. So, the patient gets signed up for this app on their phone, and then they can interact with this device and it helps them manage their symptoms. If their symptoms are no better, then they also get referred to a urogynecologist.
The overarching goal is to both increase the identification of patients with urinary incontinence as well as shorten the time between diagnosis and appropriate treatment, either at the primary care level or at the specialist level, which currently the average amount of time it takes is around 4 years from diagnosis to treatment.
This transcription has been edited for clarity.