Femtech start-up Elvie has announced its strategic partnership with the NHS, to see its smart pelvic floor exerciser made available to women across the UK, at no direct cost to the patient. The device uses connected technology to help ease the symptoms of female urinary incontinence, which can be caused by giving birth or stress.
The commercial details of the partnership have yet to be disclosed, but a spokeswoman told TechCrunch that the main objective for this strategic partnership was to widen access to the Elvie Trainer and that the wholesale pricing reflects this accordingly.
This deal is the start-up’s first national reimbursement partnership and has the potential to be transformative for the company. Citing a 2004 study, Elvie claims that a third of women cannot exercise their pelvic floor correctly without help. Using biofeedback, Elvie has been proven to increase the success rate of pelvic floor training programmes 10%, which can in turn significantly lower surgery rates and reduce treatment costs.
The Deal Will Increase Access to Devices
The connected smart Kegel trainer, which is worn inside the body, has a companion iOS app that offers five-minute workouts, designed to help the user learn how to correctly exercise their pelvic floor muscle and built up its strength, tracking progress within the app via a personal LV score.
At the moment, biofeedback pelvic floor devices have only been available on loan via the NHS for at-home use, with device allocation dependent upon demand. The Elvie Trainer will be the first of its kind to be made available on the NHS and it is hoped that it will help the patients’ long-term motivation to continue with the exercises.
Clare Pacey, a specialist women’s health physiotherapist at Kings College Hospital, said in a statement: “I am delighted that Elvie Trainer is now available via the NHS. Apart from the fact that it is a sleek, discreet and beautiful product, the app is simple to use and immediate visual feedback directly to your phone screen can be extremely rewarding and motivating. It helps to make pelvic floor rehabilitation fun, which is essential in order to be maintained.”