Auckland Bioengineering Institute Collaborates with the University of Montreal on FemFit® Research

27 July 2017
See caption.
A group photo taken during Dr Jenny Kruger and Professor Martyn Nash’s visit to Professor Chantale Dumoulin’s lab at the University of Montreal. Pictured are Professor Nash, Professor Dumoulin and Dr Kruger (2nd- 4th from the left respectively) along with students from the lab, and Associate Professor Sophie Lalande (2nd from the right).

Despite the significant social, health and economic impacts of urinary incontinence and pelvic floor organ prolapse, these conditions are not widely discussed due to the stigma surrounding them. Therefore, pelvic floor health is often a neglected health issue, with decline in pelvic floor health accepted as the norm with ageing and childbirth.

However, this is not necessarily true and women will soon be able to better monitor and make a difference to their pelvic floor health through the FemFit®. The FemFit® is a device that is designed to measure pelvic floor changes in women and can potentially assist in both the treatment and prevention of urinary incontinence and pelvic floor prolapse. (Read more about the FemFit® here.)

One of the key collaborations fundamental to the development and advancement of the FemFit® is that between Dr Jenny Kruger of the Pelvic Floor Group (Auckland Bioengineering Institute) and Professor Chantale Dumoulin (University of Montreal, Canada).

Dr Kruger and Professor Dumoulin have worked closely over the past six years on research projects, workshops, conference presentations as well as this project, and ongoing work on the FemFit® is about to benefit from this close collaboration. Clinical trials for the FemFit® are about to begin in Montreal, where utility of the device will be assessed in continent and incontinent women.

Dr Jenny Kruger recently visited Professor Dumoulin’s lab in Montreal to check on progress for these trials. Professor Martyn Nash (also a member of the Pelvic Floor Group) and Associate Professor Sophie Lalande from University of Texas (an ex-colleague from Auckland who is involved in cardiac research) who were in the area also visited the lab. It was Professor Nash’s first visit to Professor Dumoulin’s lab. He shared his latest research on biomechanics of the heart, and gave an excellent overview of the ABI to Professor Dumoulin’s group. Students from the Montreal lab also did brief presentations on their research projects. It was a productive and fun day for all those present.