Could a smart toilet help us understand our intestinal health?

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A group of researchers from Duke University, USA, has developed a smart toilet that could help us understand our intestinal health. In addition to becoming a support tool for doctors when it comes to analyzing their patients’ stools and offering a better diagnosis.

“Generally, gastroenterologists have to rely on the information that the patient reports about their stool to help determine the cause of their gastrointestinal health problems, which can be very unreliable,” says Deborah Fisher, associate professor of medicine at Duke University and one of the study’s lead authors.

In this sense, this technology known as “Smart Toilet” is presented as an alternative to help gastroenterologists to determine chronic gastrointestinal problems. These include inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome, and even monitoring the response to a medication. Obviously, it goes beyond the symptoms that the patient expresses having.

How does this smart bowel analysis toilet work?

A doctor showing a stomach

A doctor showing a stomach

Smart Toilet is portable, therefore it can be installed in the evacuation system of any toilet. That way, every time a person defecates and lowers the lever, the technology “will take a picture of the feces inside the pipes.”

Indeed, specialists will be able – based on the forms of evacuations – to adequately analyze the intestinal health of a patient and offer a treatment according to their condition. In this regard, Sonia Grego, founding director of the Duke Smart Toilets Laboratory and principal investigator of the study, expresses:

“We are optimistic about the willingness of the patient to use this technology because it is something that can be installed in the pipes of their toilet and does not require the patient to do anything other than flush. This could be especially helpful for patients who may not be able to report their conditions, such as those living in a long-term care facility. “

For now, Smart Toilet is simply a prototype. However, it is considered to be very useful to know our intestinal health and a support tool for gastroenterologists.

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