Smart toilet could help in healthcare

National

MADISON, WI (CNN NEWSOURCE) – Smartphones. Smartwatches. What’s next? Smart toilets?!

Yes, the future of flushing is almost here!

“So we got very interested in the toilet,” Josh Coon, a Biomolecular Chemistry Professor, said.

“Some people think we’re crazy but I think we’re on to something,” Ian Miller, a Staff Scientist, said.

In most workplaces, “toilet talk” is frowned upon.

“Now we need to put that technology in the toilet and we need to make it broadly available,” Coon said. 

For researchers at UW Madison, flushing is the future.

“Our toilet, our smart toilet will have a collection container in the front and then we can have pipes coming out the bottom which will pump the urine away for analysis in our mass spectrometers,” Ben Anderson, a UW Madison Student said.

Doctors say urine samples are non-invasive and can tell a lot about a person’s overall health. By collecting and processing this data, they’re calling a toilet revolution.

“The opportunity to revolutionize toilets once again by allowing it to not just dispose of waste but to give you access to your health information,” Anderson said. 

Data from the toilet can show caffeine or alcohol intake or how your body metabolizes certain medicines.

“But this way you could monitor that throughout the course of your life daily and we think that could really change healthcare and preventative medicine,” Coon said. 

Scientists are programming the potty to compile the information as a smartwatch would.

“I think the reason the watch is so powerful is because you don’t have to do anything different, people wore watches before but all of the sudden we have access to this data,” Miller said. 

Modernizing even the most private of places.

By being able to look at an actual bodily fluid with this sort of resolution, we can get a peek inside the body,” Anderson said. 

The team says they’re about three months from a working prototype.

They’re planning another study over the next year analyzing how the technology functions.

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