Withings, who specializes in connected health, developed U-Scan, which he describes as an at-home vital sign analysis platform.
One of the company’s most technologically advanced devices to date, the U-Scan is a miniature health lab that sits hygienically inside any toilet bowl to unlock a wealth of health information in your daily urine.
The device, which took four years to develop, has already been honored by the Consumer Technology Association as a CES 2023 Innovation Award recipient in three categories: smart home, fitness and sports, and digital health. With more than 3,000 metabolites, urine is an extraordinary witness for the assessment and monitoring of an individual’s health.
It gives an instant snapshot of the body’s balance and is integral to monitoring and discovering a large variety of health information. While we urinate on average seven times a day, a urinalysis is usually only done once a year. Withings U-Scan aims to change that by enabling future vital sign assessments to be performed from the comfort and privacy of one’s own bathroom.
A game-changer in the home health field, the U-Scan was designed to be a versatile platform consisting of a technologically advanced pebble-shaped reader and interchangeable analysis cartridges designed to evaluate specific vital signs without the need for external sample capture or strips. Then, through seamless syncing with the Withings Health Mate app, it will provide a wealth of actionable insights based on your daily readings.
It will debut in Europe with two consumer health cartridges with the following medical versions to come. These include U-Scan Cycle Sync to track and sync a woman’s menstrual cycle and U-Scan Nutri Balance, a step-by-step guide to hydration and nutrition metabolism. Withings U-Scan is under development in the US and will not be available until it receives clearance from the Food and Drug Administration.
In addition, Withings Health Solutions, the company’s business to business division serving the healthcare provider market, is making the technology available to partners for research purposes.
Withings CEO Matteo Letumbe said, “U-Scan’s ability to perform daily urine analysis from home will allow Withings to take its mission to help consumers take full advantage of urine data to a whole new level.
“It is one of the most exciting and complex products we have ever announced. We begin this journey with U-Scan Cycle Sync and Nutri Balance and look forward to announcing more cartridges on an ongoing basis as well as clinical applications of the technology.”
As a complete system, U-Scan performs three tasks:
1) Automated sample capture – using a sophisticated reader inside the toilet bowl
With a diameter of just 90 mm, the rechargeable U-Scan reader is designed to distinguish between external fluid and urine and automatically orient samples for analysis. Urine flows efficiently to the collection inlet thanks to its pebble-shaped design. The pump is activated when the thermal sensor detects the presence of urine, which initiates a fluid excursion for the sample within the microfluidic circuit.
After it is collected, the urine sample is injected into a test chamber where the chemical reaction is read by an optical unit. At the end of each measurement, the circuit returns to idle and the remaining liquid is purged through the waste outlet. The system is then cleaned with each flush.
U-Scan can distinguish between different users thanks to the Broadcast ID feature. Low-power radar sensors embedded within the reader measure multiple variables to determine an individual’s urine stream signature, by detecting motion and stream distance. Stream ID information can be confirmed in the app.
2) Vital Signs Analytics – Inside a mini urine lab designed for specific use cases
U-Scan Rolling Drum Cartridge is a small chemical assessment chamber containing dozens of miniature test capsules that can provide reliable results.
When the reader delivers the sample to the point of injection, U-Scan begins chemical analysis within moments. The patented cartridge automatically transmits results over Wi-Fi and then rotates the cartridge to reveal the next test chamber to the point of injection. Each cartridge is designed to support up to three months of readings.
The system of modules has been intentionally designed to allow Withings to continuously develop and support the analysis of biomarkers associated with various medical and health conditions. Combined with measurements from Withings’ ecosystem, U-Scan will generate more insights for users and is an exciting tool to help prevent disease, improve quality of life and reduce healthcare costs.
3) Actionable Advice – Guided insights backed by science
The companion app Withings provides results, actionable insights, and guidance designed to help people build habits to promote wellness. In Europe, U-Scan Cycle Sync results will appear in the Withings app which becomes a central place for cycle tracking, coaching and diary writing. It will display cycle predictions and an ovulation window based on hormone detection along with essential hydration, nutritional biomarkers, specific gravity, and pH levels to help women manage every aspect of their cycle. Complete information on U-Scan Cycle Sync is available here. U-Scan Cycle Sync is under development in the US; Its features will be announced when the solution becomes available after FDA clearance in the future.
In Europe, the U-Scan Nutri Balance cartridge will allow analysis of specific gravity, pH, vitamin C and ketone levels. It helps people monitor their metabolic intake to improve their daily hydration and nutrient intake. In addition to showing results such as carbohydrate balance and pH levels, it recommends exercises, nutritional suggestions, and recipes to achieve set goals. Complete information on the U-Scan Balance is available here. U-Scan Nutri Balance is in development in the USA; Its features will be announced when the solution becomes available after marketing authorization from the FDA in the future.
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