Researchers from Stanford University developed a new smart toilet that helps detect early signs of cancer and other health conditions.
By getting rid of the long waiting time for traditional stool tests, the smart toilet involves a toilet, necessary gadgets to perform health-check tests, and a companion app that analyses the data. The device holds an upward-facing camera that sends over what it scans to an AI software which analyzes feces and urine as they pass through.
It’s undeniable that the smart toilet is a unique introduction to the healthcare technology industry, especially with its ability to identify a person’s unique “anal print” biometric data.
“We know it sounds weird, but as it turns out, your anal print is unique… The thing about a smart toilet 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,” said Sanjiv Gambhir, the Stanford professor behind the new project. While it falls into the tech category of continuous health monitoring, Gambhir wants to make it clear that the smart toilet isn’t meant to replace professional diagnosis. Ideally, the data will be sent privately to healthcare professionals to determine the right course of action.
The biggest challenge for Gambhir and his team is now is user acceptance, as a Stanford press release explains. Indeed, it might take some time before users get comfortable with the idea of a camera in a toilet.