The Smart Toilet ’s Time has Come, Scientist Believes

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The Smart Toilet ’s Time has Come, Scientist Believes

Toilet design hasn’t changed much in 150 years – until now. Will people trade their privacy for the ability to know exactly what’s in their waste?Smart Toilet

“We’ve focused on analyzing the stool,” the Duke University research professor Sonia Grego says.

We believe there is incredible untapped potential for health data. And that information isn’t being used because there’s a general reluctance to have anything to do with one’s bowel movements.

As co-founder of Coprata, Grego is working on a toilet that uses sensors and artificial intelligence to analyze waste; she hopes to have an initial model ready for a pilot study within nine months.

The toilet you have at home hasn’t changed functionally since it was first introduced in the second half of the 19th century,

she says. Century. Of course, today there are toilets with genital-washing features or heated seats, but that’s very basic compared to what Grego has in mind.

All other aspects of your life-your electricity, your communications, even your doorbell-have expanded capabilities,

she says.

The Smart Toilet Time has Come, Scientist Believes

The smart toilet’s time has come, and it’s a potentially huge market-in the developed world, everyone who is capable uses a toilet several times a day. Grego adds that she “can definitely imagine a world” where a toilet that can do more than flush feces “is available to every household.” There are numerous companies working to bring this to market – a race to the bottom, if you will.
The smart toilet innovators believe the toilet could become the ultimate health monitoring tool. Grego believes their product – which analyzes, and tracks stool samples and sends the data to an app – will provide “information about cancer and many chronic diseases.” For the normal consumer, it will be reassuring, she says, by establishing “a healthy baseline. “A technology that tracks what is normal for a person could be an early warning that screening is needed. For people with certain conditions, such as inflammatory bowel disease, the device could provide helpful monitoring for doctors. “It’s very difficult to know when to escalate or de-escalate treatment,” she says. “Biomarkers from stool can provide that information.

At some point, she believes, a smart toilet could make lifestyle suggestions – advising you to eat more fiber or certain nutrients, for example, or figuring out what type of food triggered an uncomfortable stomach episode.

Nutrition science is really moving toward personalized nutrition,

Grego says.

Our technology will enable that because you have information about what you eat, but we can make getting information about what comes out seamless.

Author: Tim Cole
Image Credit: Pixabay

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