Researchers from Stanford University have designed a smart toilet seat that they claim can analyze your waste in order to detect certain infections and diseases as well as certain types of cancers. The findings from their 21-person study were published in Nature Biomedical Engineering on April 6 and they’re really encouraging.
- A smart toilet seat could be a game-changer. As Sanjiv “Sam” Gambhir, MD PhD, said in a statement, “The smart toilet is the perfect way to harness a source of data that’s typically ignored, and the user doesn’t have to do anything differently.”
- So how does it work? By attaching high-tech sensors to a normal toilet bowl, the user’s urine and feces are recorded and analyzed by algorithms that can do everything from determining the viscosity of stool to how much urine you’re producing.
- But that’s not nearly all. The smart toilet is intelligent because it can count the white blood cells in the urine and determine protein levels that may indicate bladder infections, diabetes, kidney problems, or even certain cancers.
- The data the smart toilet produces is uploaded to a cloud-based system. This is particularly useful because it would mean that doctors and other health professionals would be able to access the information the toilet collects for further action.
- It recognizes your fingerprints… and your butt. The other feature that’s remarkable about the smart toilet is that it can learn the user’s fingerprints AND the user’s anal print (and yes, everyone’s is different). “The whole point is to provide precise, individualized health feedback, so we needed to make sure the toilet could discern between users,” Gambhir explained. “We know it seems weird, but as it turns out, your anal print is unique.”
- Further studies are necessary but this is a promising start. Stanford researchers plan to widen the scope of their study by bringing in more people. They also hope to add molecular features into the toilet seat’s stool analysis capabilities to see what else it might be capable of.