How you use the bathroom may tell you a lot about your general well-being, including how hydrated you are, the health of your gut microbiome and more. At CES 2023, tech companies watched your trip to the bathroom at a different angle, showcasing devices that take your blood pressure, check for nutritional deficiencies and gather other data.
Tracking your health gets easier every year, with the catalog of wearables and smartwatches only getting smarter and less involved. If you're looking for health information that'll require even less work than strapping on a watch, toilet health tech is for you.
Here are the highlights.
Watch this: Withings U-Scan Analyzes Your Urine At Home
Toilet gadgets that test your pee right at the source
Home urine tests aren't a new concept. They've been around for a while, and might test for a variety of things including pregnancy, LH (the hormone that surges ahead of ovulation), UTIs and – in the case of app-paired company Vivoo – nutritional deficiencies. At CES this year, Vivoo turned it up a notch and announced a smart toilet seat that has a urine tester built right in.
In a clip-on seat that can attach to your regular toilet, Vivoo says its smart seat includes a sensor that moves with the user's urine stream and will provide results on a few different health parameters at a time, sent to an app on your phone. While the exact biomarkers are still to be determined, we can expect the seat to track hydration, urinary pH, ketones and nutrient intakes such as sodium, magnesium and calcium -- levels of which Vivoo already tests for in its hand-held urine test strips.
The smart seat isn't available yet -- Vivoo is still working on the manufacturing details and then has to submit details to the US Food and Drug Administration for approval to sell the device. The goal is to hit consumer markets in 2025, Vivoo said, and before then, the toilet seats will be available to nursing homes and similar industries that serve older adults.
If you're eager to buy an in-bowl urine sensor, the Withings U-Scan might be a safe bet and made our list of wacky gadgets this year. The small sensor easily slides into the front of your toilet bowl and fits one of two test cartridges: one meant for tracking the menstrual cycle and ovulation, and the other for tracking metabolic and nutritional information, like ketone levels and vitamin C.
The U-Scan has been submitted to the FDA for review, so it's not available quite yet. Withings says you should be able to get one in Europe starting mid-2023. Read more about it here.
A toilet seat that takes your blood pressure while you're sitting on it
By the end of the year, you could get a prescription for Casana's Heart Seat -- an actual toilet seat that can measure your heart rate, blood oxygenation and blood pressure through sensors.
That's right: a toilet seat that takes your blood pressure. The company says it requires a "standard sit" of at least 30 seconds on the john, which passively looks for health trends and information, and then beams it to your doctor or health care team. Then, the provider will have information if your blood pressure or heart rate falls outside of a normal or safe range, for example.
The FDA is currently reviewing the Heart Seat, which will be a medical device and therefore require a prescription to get one. But, if you need one, Casana hopes to have it on the market by the end of the year.
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.