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Urology Practice Management - December 2015, Vol 4, No 6 - Urinary Tract Symptoms
Rosemary Frei, MSc

Inventive Korean researchers, led by Whi-An Kwon, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Urology, School of Medicine, Institute of Wonkwang Medical Science, Wonkwang University Sanbon Hospital, Gunpo, Gyeonggi-do, Korea, are testing an app that plays the sound of running water to help men with lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) to “let go and let it flow.”

The results of the study were presented at the 2015 Congress of the Société Internationale d’Urologie and were simultaneously published in PLoS One (Kwon W-A, et al. PLoS One. 2015;10:e0126798).

The concept is simple: when a person is ready to void, he pushes a button that starts uroflometry and initiates the iPhone app Relax Melodies, with the sound of running water relayed by speakers. Other studies have shown that the sound of running water helps people void.

The researchers conducted a preliminary study with 18 patients with LUTS who were prospectively enrolled in the study in March and April 2014. Patients were excluded if they had a hearing impairment, movement disability, recent history of urinary tract infection, or urethral stricture. The patients’ mean age was 58.9 years (range, 46-70 years); the mean International Prostate Symptom Score was 13.1. None of the patients had been prescribed any medications in the previous 3 months.

Study Results

Overall, 9 men voided with the app playing and the other 9 voided without the app playing. This was done once weekly for 2 consecutive weeks.

The results showed that the sound of running water significantly increased the mean peak flow rate, from 12.3 mL/sec to 15.7 mL/sec. Overall, the app increased the peak flow rate in 13 (72%) of the 18 men and decreased it in 5 (28%) of the men. No differences in other uroflowmetric measurements, such as postvoid residual urine, were observed.

The researchers concluded that the sound of running water “coming from mobile-phone application may be helpful for facilitating voiding function” in men with LUTS, noting that this is a “noninvasive…and inexpensive method” for helping patients with voiding problems, especially those with LUTS.

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Last modified: December 29, 2015
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