Your Toilet Could One Day Tell You How Healthy Your Poo Is

Picture this: you sit on the toilet to go about your business, wipe and flush. An image is then sent to your doctor’s inbox – or an app on your phone – with a delightful close-up of last night’s lasagne.

This could be the future of diagnosing bowel issues, as researchers at Duke University in North Carolina have developed an artificial intelligence (AI) tool that can be added to a toilet to analyse the health of a person’s poo. Information captured can then be sent to gastroenterologists, who will be able to diagnose any issues and provide appropriate treatment.

“Typically, gastroenterologists have to rely on patient self-reported information about their stool to help determine the cause of their gastrointestinal health issues, which can be very unreliable,” explains Deborah Fisher, a lead author on the study and associate professor of medicine at Duke University Durham.

“Patients often can’t remember what their stool looks like or how often they have a bowel movement, which is part of the standard monitoring process.”

The ‘Smart Toilet technology’ would allow doctors to gather long-term information needed to make a more accurate and timely diagnosis of chronic gastrointestinal problems, she adds.

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