The CES tech show (formerly known as the Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas, the US, was full of health gadgets this year. Connected devices are headed everywhere, even to the toilet bowl.
French firm Withings is launching U-Scan, an at-home urine lab that provides nutrition tips and can tell women where they are in their menstrual cycle.
“It’s the first hands-free, at-home, connected urine analysis lab directly placed into your toilet bowl,” Withings Product Owner Inna Ndaw told Euronews Next.
The results are delivered via WiFi to a smartphone app, which then provides the user with analysis and recommendations on hydration and nutrition, or helps women track their ovulation.
This feature could come in handy for women struggling to conceive, and who may be tired of taking their temperature first thing in the morning or urinating on single-use ovulation tests.
However, Withings cautions that the main purpose of the product is not to help women get pregnant but more help track their menstrual cycle.
“It’s more to synchronise with your cycle and adapt your daily life and your daily routine to your menstrual cycle and the fluctuation of hormones,” Ndaw explained.
“We will adapt your workouts and your nutrition, so we can reduce your symptoms and give you tips to improve your daily life and help you experience your cycle in a more positive way”.
The U-scan device is just 9 cm in diameter and sits within most toilet bowls.
The company’s CMO Elizabeth Coleon says they’re planning two different use cases: one targeted towards hospitals and other healthcare settings, and the other for consumers.
“Urine actually has over 3,000 metabolites. So it’s a well of information that is typically not used very much because it’s very difficult to access,” she said.
“Most people do not like to go and have a urinalysis. Typically, people will go once a year to get tested instead of having that information tested over a regular basis and be given regular data, which can give much more insight on how to improve health”.
If the toilet and the U-Scan are used by several people, Withings says the device only analyses samples from registered users and is smart enough to detect whose urine is whose.
“We have integrated a feature called stream ID: we are able to actually recognise and identify the user who is urinating on the product, so we will only collect the urine when it’s you using the product,” said Ndaw.
U-Scan will be made available in Europe by the middle of 2023.
A starter kit – comprising the device, cartridge, and three months of in-app guidance – is expected to cost almost $500 (€469).
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