This Toilet Tells You If You're Sick

A new diagnostics device from a health startup can be mounted to a toilet and detects diseases and medical conditions by scanning urine. Smart toilets already exist and come with some interesting features such as heated seats, dryers, adjustable heights, built-in bidets, and automatic-open/shut lids. Some modern toilets even boast self-cleaning features.

While these toilets can sometimes cost a small fortune, smart toilet seats have become quite popular as a cheaper alternative. These boast some of the same features and can be easily attached to a regular toilet, making it easier to upgrade to a smart toilet without having to replace the actual toilet. While one that can tell if a user is sick is not all that common, it is not unheard of either.


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Olive Diagnostics' latest product is KG, an optical device that can be mounted to any toilet. With help from a cloud-based AI solution, it can accurately detect the biomarkers for a variety of medical conditions and diseases including prostate and ovarian cancer, and diseases of the urinary tract. A crucial feature of the device, as reported by MDDIOnline, is the ability to detect issues with someone's health weeks before symptoms occur. This can be very important in helping the person get early enough treatment.

How KG Works

KG works by identifying the biomarkers in urine. The device is designed like a toilet seat that's mounted to a toilet. It has an LED array on the front and a set of photodiode detectors inside (at the back). According to Olive Diagnostics, when the light from the LED hits a particular molecule in the urine stream, its energy changes which enables detection. It is said to be able to identify 3,100 molecules in urine such as creatinine, ketone, protein, and red blood cells. However, it doesn't stop there, as it can also record other important details such as color, frequency, pressure, and volume, all of which are also known to be important health markers. KG can also differentiate between the urine of multiple users.

The cloud-based AI tech calculates the concentration of the molecules present in the urine using proprietary algorithms. The data collected is analyzed and tracked, and changes or anomalies are reported to the user. A clinical trial to see how the device performs with respect to protein detection in urine was conducted. In comparison to a traditional urine stick that has a sensitivity rating of 80% and specificity of 95%, KG showed a sensitivity rating of 80% and specificity of 95.5%. The percentage increases for daily urinations - a sensitivity rating of 98.7% and a specificity rating of 100%.

With such impressive results, some may be wondering when they can buy one. The company is said to have completed its ISO 13845 certification and can now commercialize the technology and begin selling in the EU. It is also working on getting approval from the United States FDA. Considering this is a medical device, approval might take some time. For example, the Withings ScanWatch, capable of health measurements, didn't get FDA approval for almost one year after it was certified in Europe.

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Source: MDDIOnline, Olive Diagnostics

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