Health-based consumer tech company Withings, perhaps best known for its smart scales, recently made public its newest gizmo at CES (formerly known as the Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas. The company has targeted a largely underserved market in its ambitions to become “flush” with cash, introducing the U-Scan urine evaluation system. The hands-free gadget, which is installed directly in the toilet bowl, does away with messy wastewater cups and pesky test strips, bringing actionable health insights and paired functionality with Withings’ formidable Health Mate app.
Though routinely used for health evaluation for in-clinic testing, urinalysis in at-home health monitoring is rarely tapped into. Withings reports that the more than 3,000 metabolites present in human urine render a comprehensive snapshot of the body’s chemical balances and overall health.
“The ability of U-Scan to perform daily urine analysis from home will allow Withings to take its mission to help consumers fully utilize urine data to an entirely new level,” said the company’s Chief Executive Officer, Mathieu Letombe. “We begin this journey with U-Scan Cycle Sync and Nutri Balance and look forward to announcing more cartridges on an ongoing basis as well as medical applications of the technology.”
The device’s U-Scan reader easily distinguishes between flush water and urine, only collecting the sample it needs. Urine flows into a collection inlet, where a thermal sensor-fitted pump detects it and guides a sample through a microfluidic circuit, where it is eventually injected into a test pod. Optical sensors then evaluate the sample and transmit a report to the Health Mate app. Regular flushes of the toilet essentially clean the system and leave it ready for the next sample collection.