Withings U-Scan puts urinalysis in your toilet and can recognize the signature of a stream

Measure the flow

We pee, on average, seven times a day, and we probably pay little attention to the act, aside from noting the color, or that particular smell eating asparagus gives it. However, urine is full of information that health-tech company Withings hopes to deliver to your phone via its new -U-Scan home urinalysis device.

Unveiled here at CES 2023, the puck-like sensor attaches to your toilet and uses a cartridge full of tiny test pods to sample and test your urine. According to Withings, it can, thanks to a thermal sensor, automatically detect when someone is peeing on it and even, using a low-energy radar sensor, identify individual stream signatures. Put more simply, U-Scan will know if it’s you or, say, your partner peeing on the puck. 

Of course, you still have to pee on it for it to know that, so take aim.

It’s not, by the way, the outside of the glass-fiber reinforced polymer-covered U-Scan that reads your urine sample. Instead, there’s a specially-designed collection inlet that pulls in just the right amount of urine for analysis.

Withings is currently seeking FDA clearance in the US, and U-Scan does look for many of the same urine markers as your doctor. However, Withing notes in the product release that the device is not designed to replace the advice, diagnosis, or treatment from medical professionals.

According to Withings, U-Scan Nutri Balance can read your urine’s pH balance (acidity). ketones (carbohydrate levels), vitamin C levels, and water balance (hydration). The Withings app will track these parameters and let you know if they’re, for instance ‘stable’ or in ‘optimal’ range.

U-Scan is not only capable of testing your nutritional balance, but it can also be used for female cycle-tracking, as well.

Withings claims that its U-Scan Cycle Sync is the first automatic hormonal solution. With the accompanying app, it can perform daily hormone and dietary biomarker analysis. The information derived from U-Scan’s urinalysis can, according to Withings, assist with menstrual cycle prediction and ovulation window determination for those trying to get pregnant.

All of this information is delivered to your iPhone or Android device via Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g/). U-Scan also Bluetooth-ready.

The device is rechargeable via a USB-C port, but don’t worry about grabbing it out of your toilet every day to charge it, as Withings claims it has a three-month battery life. And when you do have to charge it, or swap out the test-pod puck, U-Scan conveniently ships with a pair of gloves.

Automated, digital, home urine analysis doesn’t come cheap. U-Scan will start at $499.95 (which is about £410 or AU$730, although pricing for the UK and Australia has yet to be confirmed) for the device and one cartridge. After that, you need to pay a $30-a-month subscription. 

The product could ship as early Q2 in Europe, and will ship in the US pending FDA clearance.

By Lance Ulanoff

US Editor in Chief

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