Smart Toilet Built To Identify Anal Print And Detect Early Signs Of Cancer
Some groups of researchers have developed a “smart toilet” technology which could be useful to individuals who are genetically predisposed to certain conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome, prostate cancer or kidney failure.
The gadget, which fits inside the bowl, uses cameras, test strips, and motion-sensing technology to analyse the deposits and sends the data to a secure cloud server according to The Mirror.
Dr. Sanjiv Gambhir, professor and chair of radiology at Stanford University’s School of Medicine in the US, and senior author on the study, said:
Our concept dates back well over 15 years. When I’d bring it up, people would sort of laugh because it seemed like an interesting idea, but also a bit odd. The thing about a smart toilet, though, is that unlike wearables, you can’t take it off. Everyone uses the bathroom, there’s really no avoiding it, and that enhances its value as a disease-detecting device.
According to the researchers, the data gathered from the samples can reveal biomarkers for 10 different types of diseases, from infection and bladder cancer to kidney failure.
The technology, which falls into a category known as continuous health monitoring, has been tested on 21 participants but the researchers say the potential health benefits of their toilet system will need to be assessed in large clinical studies.
The technology uses a combination of fingerprint scanning and, strangely, images of the anus to differentiate between users.
According to Gambhir:
We know it seems weird, but as it turns out, your anal print is unique. The scans, both finger and non-finger, are used purely as a recognition system to match users to their specific data.
He says this technology is no replacement for a doctor or a clinical diagnosis. The next step for this technology is to develop personalised tests tailored to the user.
The research is published in the journal Nature Biomedical Engineering.