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This futuristic toilet sensor wants to track your health with pee

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Imagine getting health data by performing a bodily function that you perform several times a day: urinating. Soon you’ll be able to do just that – with the U-Scan, a sensor that attaches to your toilet bowl and analyzes your urine every day you use it. Withings revealed the censor this week during CES 2023largest in the world consumer technology fair.

Anyone who has ever offered themselves a urine sample in a doctor’s office knows that urine can tell us important things About our health: if we are dehydrated, if we are pregnant, if we have an infection and even the health of some of our organs. Withing is focusing on some of these biomarkers with two different versions of its consumer device, available in Europe in the first half of 2023, with plans for US availability following US Food and Drug Administration clearance.

Read more: CES 2023 wonders: 3D laptops, wireless TV and shape-shifting screens

A cartridge designed for the U-Scan is intended to monitor nutritional and metabolic information by measuring ketone and vitamin C levels and testing the pH of your urine (low or high pH may be associated with kidney health and more).

The second is for people who want to better track their menstrual cycles by measuring LH surges, or luteinizing hormone. LH peaks when ovulation is fast approaching and fertility is likely at its highest. This cycle cartridge will also measure urine pH.

Home urine test strips are already available to track things like LH surges and ketone levels. And the urine tests like Vivoo’s Pair it with an app, too, to give people more insight into their health and education on what the metrics can mean. But these are more practical than the attach-and-go sensors developed by Withings.

“You don’t think about it and you just do what you do every day,” Withings CEO Mathieu Letombe told CNET.

A bathroom interior, all in white

The future of health tracking was in front of you from the start.

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To use it, Withings says the device works best if you attach it to the front of your toilet bowl (meaning people who normally pee standing up may also have to sit down, or at least do proof of creativity). Urine will drain into a small collection inlet, which the company says can differentiate urine from an external liquid, such as toilet water. A thermal sensor detects the presence of urine, and it is moved to a test module. When the analysis is complete, the waste is released from the device and disappears with a flush.

The results will be piped to your phone over Wi-Fi, and you’ll be able to read your health information daily on Withings’ Health Mate app.

The device contains a cartridge filled with test strips that will last you about three months. Oh, and the sensor will be able to differentiate your “flow” from that of visitors, as the U-Scan is able to differentiate based on “flow distance and speed,” Letombe said.

Because it is not yet cleared by the FDA in the United States, there is no price for the U-Scan at this time. You’ll be able to get the U-Scan Nutri Balance or Cycle Sync cartridges — or both if you want even more data — in Europe for 500 euros (currently around $527) later this year. Withings is convinced that the first two consumer sensors are just the start: the company hopes to see more medical devices in the future, adding to the long list of smartwatches, wearable sensors and other devices that channel our health into data points.

The information in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended to constitute medical or health advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have about a medical condition or health goals.

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