A new toilet seat could help to passively detect a number of medical conditions, potentially saving lives
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Spotted: An Israeli startup has developed a hi-tech toilet seat that can scan urine for early signs of diabetes, chronic kidney disease, bladder cancer, urinary tract infections, and even dehydration. The company, Olive Diagnostics, describes its tech as the “world’s first AI and spectroscopy-based device to provide constant and non-invasive monitoring of urine output – an effective alternative to standard chemical or microscopic analysis.”
The toilet seat is fitted with a miniature spectrometer that measures the wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation. The sensor sends different frequencies of light through the urine stream while it is in motion. In this way, the sensor can detect protein, red blood cells, nitrates, pH, and the urine’s density, as well as volume, pressure, colour, and frequency.
The company points out that urine is a very good indicator of several issues in the body. For example, if there is too much sodium in the body, then there will also be too much sodium in the urine. Olive also says that its toilet seat is more efficient than the traditional testing method of using dipsticks in cups of urine because it monitors every visit a patient makes to the bathroom, rather than analysing a single sample.
The device, called the Olive KG, was born from a tragedy. The mother of the company’s founder and CEO, Guy Goldman, died from dehydration while suffering from ovarian cancer. Goldman, who had experience in data analytics, was frustrated that there was no way to objectively monitor her condition, so he decided to design technology to fill the gap. His late mother’s initials, KG, are incorporated into the name of the product.
There are a huge number of wearables on the market that are used to monitor body functions such as sleep and heart rate. These include a wearable glucose monitor for diabetics and a wearable that monitors asthma.
Written By: Lisa Magloff