Smiling Toilet Flush

Innovative Health Tech in the Toilet

The future is in the toilet. Fitbits are passé. Smart watches have hit their peak. But real health tech innovation is coming to your toilet. Are you ready?

Toilet Bowl Metabolomics

This is no joke. In NPJ Digital Medicine, Ian Miller and colleagues describe the technology to bring metabolomics to your toilet. They propose a way to link your smartphone to your toilet. Then your toilet can monitor the effects of your lifestyle on your health. It send chills up our spine when they describe it:

This combination of molecular phenotypes with quantitative measurements of lifestyle reflect the biological consequences of human behavior in real time.

This is no pie-in-the-sky proposal. They have actual data from two subjects. Tech IPOs might have had a rough year, but it’s stuff like this that could reverse those problems. Surely venture capital will flow for this concept.

Privacy Risks?

If you’re one of those party poopers who see privacy risks, relax. “Security is definitely something we’re thinking about,” says Miller. They get it. This toilet could produce a huge pile of personal data that needs protecting.

Rewards for Those Risks

But hey. If you want to make progress in health tech, you better be ready to take a few little risks. With better monitoring, the possibilities for personalized medicine are great, says Stanford professor Michael Snyder. He was not involved with the toilet paper, but his own research shows big opportunities for big data fueling precision medicine. He says:

We measure people very infrequently, so the more information we can get with little effort the better. It’s kind of a no-brainer.

Remember. You heard it here first. The future of precision medicine is in the toilet.

Click here for the toilet paper and then here, and here for further perspective.

Smiling Toilet Flush, photograph © Korbib / flickr

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December 21, 2019

4 Responses to “Innovative Health Tech in the Toilet”

  1. December 21, 2019 at 8:01 am, David Brown said:

    This technology could be utilized to correlate food intake with markers of health and disease. Here are two examples of this sort of approach using cholesterol or blood sugar measurement.

  2. December 21, 2019 at 8:03 am, G Tarantino, MD said:

    Why should be surprised?
    Come back to the past!
    Old physicians did explore organic liquids and feces to find sign of some diseases…..seeing.. ..smelling…..tasting

  3. December 21, 2019 at 11:08 am, Allen Browne said:


    Define “Party Pooper”!