Withings has announced the U-Scan, a hands-free urine analysis device that you can use at home.
The pebble-like design means that you can place the U-Scan in the bowl of your toilet, allowing you to urinate on it so it can capture your sample and perform its analysis. You then just leave it in position in the toilet.
There's a range of tech involved - which you don’t have to worry about - so you just pee and the U-Scan takes care of the rest, sending the results to the accompanying app on your smartphone.
Getting more technical, there's a couple of different tests available at launch. There's Cycle Scan that will keep track of a woman's menstrual cycle and Nutri Balance, which takes a metabolic look at hydration and nutrition, with results reported in the app.
The device itself needs to be loaded with cartridges for the appropriate test and when it detects urine (it can tell the difference between urine and other liquids), it takes a sample and loads it into the test pod. Here the testing reaction takes place, with excess urine being expelled. The entire device is then rinsed through when you flush the toilet.
Cleverly, it can also tell the difference between users, so several people can take advantage of the system and get test results.
The cartridges are designed to last around 3 months, while the modular system means that Withings can continue to develop different tests to reveal different biomarkers, so this is a system that can potentially expand in the future to support different health needs.
The whole system is supported by the Withings app, which provides a convenient way to keep track of your results, interpret them and take appropriate actions. For Cycle Scan that can obviously give an insight into fertility, while the Nutri Balance looks at pH, vitamin and ketone levels to guide people towards a better lifestyle.
The Withings U-Scan will launch in Europe in Q2 2023 and will cost €499.95 for the starter kit including the device and a cartridge, after which you’ll be able to subscribe to get regular cartridge replacements, or buy them individually.
In the US, the Withings U-Scan is waiting for FDA approval.
Future medical cartridges for other tests will be subject to regulatory approval.