Sit Tight

Taking direct aim at the booming adult incontinence market, a new medical spa offers a breakthrough solution to life’s leaky moments

Photo: UroSpot founder Erin Craven and the ‘Kegel Throne’

ERIN CRAVEN OPENED UroSpot to address a problem most women struggle with, but few want to talk about: bladder leakage and incontinence.

At a time when women’s empowerment, women’s healthcare and technology are intersecting to fuel an explosion in fem-tech (technology focused on improving women’s health and lives), Craven believes the timing is perfect to open London’s first urology-focused medical spa.

“I’m an avid tennis player in my early forties, and I came home after playing one day worried that I might have to give it up,” Craven says, referring to her own struggles with bladder leakage.

As a former president of the Canadian arm of Graceway Pharmaceuticals, Craven had remained connected to research and trends in the pharmaceutical industry and was intrigued to learn about technology being used in Europe to strengthen pelvic floor muscles.

“I know how underserved this market is and I saw the potential to make it accessible to more women. I’ve never felt more passionate about anything” —Erin Craven

Specifically, the technology involves a high-tech chair that delivers focused electromagnetic waves to cause deep pelvic floor muscle stimulation. A user remains fully clothed in the chair, and the technology effectively produces 11,000 perfect Kegel exercises (also known as pelvic floor muscle training) in under 30 minutes.

“I tried it and it made a huge difference for me personally,” says Craven. “It’s efficacy and safety has been proven and the full course of therapy has been approved by Health Canada and the FDA. I know how underserved this market is and I saw the potential to make it accessible to more women. I’ve never felt more passionate about anything.”

In fact, Craven was so enthusiastic about the technology she left an executive position at 3M Canada and she and her husband sold their family cottage to get UroSpot off the ground.

Located at 200 Villagewalk Boulevard in the north-end Sunningdale neighbourhood, UroSpot opened this month with five staff, two active treatment rooms and space to expand as the business grows. All treatment staff are qualified professionals, and Craven says there is always someone with a nursing background onsite.

Craven ticks off the facts: two of three women over the age of 35 struggle with bladder leaks; incontinence is one of the top reasons older women are admitted to nursing homes; adult diapers will outsell baby diapers this year for the first time in Canadian history; and 45 percent of women report giving up intimacy and activity, which are important factors in remaining healthy, strong and mentally clear as we age.

UroSpot manager of client care, Kyley Van de Laar, and Erin Craven

“Once a woman decides to seek medical help it can take up to two years to see a urogynecologist,” says Craven. “The first medical line of therapy will likely be to strengthen the pelvic floor by doing Kegels.”

According to Craven, one session in a UroSpot treatment chair is the equivalent of doing 70 hours of Kegels. “There is a lot of invasiveness in women’s healthcare, but with this technology you remain fully clothed,” she says, adding that most women will typically need six treatment sessions as a starting point—twice a week for three weeks—followed by maintenance sessions every four months or so.

As an added bonus, Craven says the only side effect of using the technology is more pleasure during sex. “I’ve taken a lot of different medical products to market,” she says, “but never one with only one side effect.”

Even before the medical spa officially opened, Craven was receiving calls from women ranging in age from 32 to 94 who had learned about UroSpot through word of mouth and wanted to book appointments. She has since launched several marketing initiatives, including radio, digital and event marketing. “All of our marketing targets women, but this also works for men, especially if they have had treatment for prostate cancer,” she says.

With plans to open corporate locations in Oakville and Toronto next, and then expand across Southwestern Ontario, the business model calls for a mix of corporate and franchise locations. Craven has already had inquiries from people who are interested in UroSpot franchises.

While Craven won’t divulge UroSpot’s fee structure, saying she prefers to discuss it with clients on a one-on-one basis, she says, “Some women are spending $900 to $2,000 annually on adult diapers, so this offers significant long-term savings. But more importantly, it offers freedom and confidence.” Kym Wolfe

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