Smart toilets, explained

Manufacturers are adding cameras and ML to toilets… to monitor your urine and fecal samples.


September 9, 2021

In recent years, people have become very comfortable with persistent health monitoring.

Whether that’s an Apple Watch or a Whoop, having real-time stats on one’s vitals is big business.

This same consumer-focused health analysis is coming to a toilet near you, per The Wall Street Journal.

Patients regularly provide fecal and urine samples…

… to doctors as a way to monitor gut health or identify potential diseases.

One example: Stanford researchers souped up a toilet with cameras and used machine learning (ML) algorithms to study waste and urine (e.g., color, flow, volume).

To tell people apart, the toilet identifies individuals by their — we promise this is a real term — “anal print,” which are characteristics specific to their bottoms.

Stanford has partnered with Korean toilet maker Izen…

… and hopes to have a prototype ready for clinical trials by year-end.

Elsewhere:

  • Duke University’s Smart Toilet Lab has a toilet prototype that also uses camera/ML tech and extracts stool samples that can go to a lab.
  • Casana makes a toilet seat that can monitor blood pressure, heart rate, and oxygen levels.
  • Medic.Life’s toilet gathers 20 health metrics (e.g., sugar, sodium levels) from a stool sample.

Per WSJ, Google even issued a smart toilet seat patent in 2015 to monitor cardiovascular health. That’s some wild sh*t.

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