'Easy as 1, 2, Pee' — Withings' smart scanner puts a urology lab in your toilet bowl

To those who’ve always wanted to digitally monitor their bathroom health at home: you’re in luck.

Withings debuted a toilet bowl-based sensor that polls the biomarkers and metabolites released with daily urinations, to provide a picture of hydration, nutrient levels and wellness in addition to ovulation and cycle tracking.

“It’s one of the most exciting and complex products we have ever announced,” Withings CEO Mathieu Letombe said in the company’s announcement, during the annual CES tech innovation meeting.

After four years in development, the puck-shaped U-Scan hides a miniaturized, microfluidic urine analysis lab, equipped with a rotating cartridge-based system that forgoes the use of test strips and is cleaned with each flush.

Described by Withings as “Easy as 1, 2, Pee,” the rechargeable, automated device is capable of running dozens of tests, with modules that can be swapped out for different types. On a basic level, it’s a logical expansion of the idea that’s driven home health tech devices: to capture information on a regular basis that would otherwise only be examined by lab professionals perhaps once a year.

And for those who share a bathroom and worry about errant data, Withings came up with a solution—a digital fingerprint of sorts.

As put by the company: “U-Scan can distinguish between various users thanks to its Stream ID feature. Low-energy radar sensors embedded within the reader measure multiple variables to identify an individual's urine stream signature, by detecting movement and distance of the stream. Stream ID information can be affirmed in the app.”

The system is not yet available in the U.S.; Withings said its full feature set within the country will be unveiled after the device obtains an FDA clearance.

Meanwhile in Europe, a nutrition-focused cartridge will scan for pH, vitamin C and ketone levels, as well as its specific gravity, or the concentration levels that could be a sign of dehydration. A connected app will recommend workouts, dietary suggestions or recipes toward personal excretion goals.

The company said one cartridge can provide about three months’ worth of testing. Withings plans to make it available in Europe before the end of June, with a starter kit priced at €499.95.