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Withings accepts the challenge of selling you a home urine lab

withings u scan app
© Withings

Withings is showing a smart urine lab for the home at CES 2023. The U-Scan hangs in your toilet bowl and automatically analyzes various biomarkers in your urine. Applications include cycle tracking or nutritional analysis, such as for water balance, vitamins, and exercise.

By now, we've become accustomed to using fitness trackers and smartwatches to collect all sorts of body data—from activity levels and sleep to resting heart rate, VO2Max, and more. With its urine lab called U-Scan, Withings is now taking it a step further by measuring different biomarkers in users' urine.

The small 9 cm diameter UFO has an inlet for collecting liquids. A temperature sensor detects whether it is urine or water from the toilet flush, which is also used to clean the sensor. As soon as U-Scan detects urine, it is analyzed for various parameters in the test cartridge. The gadget then sends the measurement data to the cloud via Wi-Fi. The results can then be found in Withings' Health Mate app.

Withings U-Scan
Inside the Withings U-Scan is a rotating unit with the analysis cartridge. / © Withings

By the way, you don't have to change the sensor every time you go to the toilet. Based on the individual urine composition, Withings recognizes different users automatically. The battery in the housing is rechargeable and should last for three months. Incidentally, the measuring cartridge included in the box also lasts that long.

As mentioned at the beginning, there will be two different cartridges. U-Scan Cycle Sync is aimed at tracking the female cycle, while U-Scan Nutri Balance is intended to help track nutrition. According to the FAQ on the manufacturer's website, the following parameters will be tracked.

U-Scan Cycle Sync:

  • LH (luteinizing hormone) to predict the menstrual cycle and determine the ovulation window.
  • Specific gravity for water balance.
  • pH for protein-vegetable balance.

U-Scan Nutri Balance:

  • Specific gravity for water balance.
  • pH value for protein-vegetable balance.
  • Ketones for energy metabolism.
  • Vitamin C level.

In its various YouTube videos, Withings promises to present the data in a way that users can understand and then come up with specific recommendations. In the clip embedded below, for example, you can see how the app recommends contributions, how to optimally prepare for a run, or how to polish up your vitamin C balance. In addition, the recorded readings can be tracked over time.

Cheap fun is not Withings U-Scan motto, when the gadget is then to be launched in the second quarter. The sensor with a cartridge for three months costs just under 500 euros (around $530). Additional cartridges will be available for purchase either as a subscription or individually on the manufacturer's website. After the subscription is to cost around 30 euros ($32) per month, the cartridge price should be around 90 euros ($96).

Withings U-Scan in Toilette
According to Withings, U-Scan fits in the vast majority of "Western-style" toilets. / © Withings

Whether a tracker on the wrist or in the toilet bowl: a big question mark is and remains what personal data you want to push into the cloud. Although Withings is a European manufacturer and should therefore adhere to the GDPR quite meticulously, there is no option to store the data locally.

According to Withings, U-Scan is not for sale in the United States but is in development and plans to be available in the future following FDA clearance.

What do you think about Withings U-Scan? Can you imagine hanging a smart urine lab in your toilet bowl—possibly even if the prices are significantly lower in the future? And does the cloud constraint play a role for you? I look forward to your opinion in the comments!

Source: Withings

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Stefan Möllenhoff

Stefan Möllenhoff

Stefan gathered his first tech journalism experiences in 2004 – and works in this field full-time since 2008. His enthusiasm for everything digital started already in the 80s with a Sharp MZ700. The smartphone enlightenment came 2002 with a Symbian IRC client for his Nokia 7650. Currently, Stefan is sometimes behind the camera, sometimes writing but mainly taking care of organisational aspects at NextPit. Leisure time consists of cooking, fitness, bouldering, running and everything that has to do with AI and the concept of a Singularity.

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