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article imageWant to assess your health regularly? The smart toilet is coming

By Tim Sandle     Jun 22, 2020 in Health
The latest smart technology innovation is the smart toilet. The objective is not with fancy technologies, such as flushing rates, but rather to take measures and to analyse the health details of the user.
The smart toilet concept is being examined at Stanford University. While the final concept nears construction, the current prototype is able to take pictures of the feces of the person using it for health assessment. The device can also take note of how often a person uses the facility and assess measure how long each defecation activity takes. (this itself is a health measurement).
In terms of the health measurements, an artificial intelligence algorithm can assess the consistency of the feces based on the Bristol scale (which has seven categories, acting as a tool to evaluate the effectiveness of treatments for various diseases of the bowel, as well as a clinical communication aid; including being part of the diagnostic triad for irritable bowel syndrome).
The toilet has also bee configured to assess the number of white blood cells and types of protein in urine. This type of data an indicate an infection of the urinary tract or bladder.
According to Seung-min Park is a biomedical engineer working on the project at Stanford, who spoke with Science News, the data can be transmitted to a secure computer where it is analysed and, depending on privacy settings, can be share with a medical service.
One question that comes to mind is with how the toilet knows who the user is. Here there is a form of identification: each person's anus has unique curves and patterns, much like a fingerprint. This enables the smart technology to identify who is sitting on the lavatory. This is based on infrared technology.
Also within the smart toilet model, Duke University is developing a toilet that can analyze human wastes as the toilet bowl’s water is flushed away. According to the researchers, urine and feces are data-rich and readily available specimens. Biochemical analytical methods can assess for key biomarkers, used to track different types of disease.
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