Withings has launched a connected urine sensor, as the company brings more connected health features for consumers.
The company has been synonymous with its hybrid health watch line-up – but it has a strong consumer health heritage with its connected thermometer, blood pressure monitor, and smart scales.
The Withings U-Scan sits inside the toilet bowl, and aims to provide constant analysis of biomarkers in our pee. Withings claims that, on average, people only have one urine analysis done a year, when we urinate 7 times a day on average. So that’s a lot of wasted wee.
So what does it check for?
Well, the U-Scan comes in two flavors: Cycle Sync and Nutri Balance.
The Cycle Scan product focuses on the female menstrual cycle. It detects hormones in urine to make predictions about ovulation. That will sit alongside traditional logging within the Withings app. There is also data on nutrition and hydration levels.
The Nutri Balance looks specifically at hydration, ketone, and vitamin C levels, and makes dietary suggestions, including whether you need more iron in your diet.
So how does it work?
It’s a clever system. The U-Scan powers up when it detects urine. It collects the pee, and a motor fires up and injects a sample into the test cartridge. It then releases the sample back into the toilet – and cleans itself when the toilet is flushed.
The results are then sent to the Withings app over Wi-Fi – just like the company’s body analyzing smart scales.
Only one person can use the U-Scan – but it can identify who’s peeing by analyzing the unique movement and distance signatures of your individual urine stream. That means the wrong urine isn’t analyzed. Those are words we never thought we’d write.
The downside is that those cartridges need to be replaced every three months. That means fishing it out of the bowl for swapping the cartridges and also charging. Luckily, there’s a pair of gloves supplied.
The system is coming to Europe, but neither the Cycle Sync or Nutri Balance products are ready for the US yet. Those are subject to FDA approval, so it might not happen anytime soon. The Withings ScanWatch was held up by the FDA for years, although Withings has admitted to Wareable that dealing with US regulators was a learning curve.
Withings U-Scan will launch in Q2 2023 for €499 and you get three cartridges – good for approximately 9 months.