You wait for years for a urinalysis company and then all hit their throughput at the same time. One of the notable trends at CES in Las Vegas this year was that the quantified self movement was deepening. No longer content with just measuring your heart rate, step count, and EKG on your wrist, a new generation of startups is moving towards full medical-grade analytics of its users.
Here are a few to watch out for:
Healthcare hardware company Withings released the U-Scan in Europe this week and said it was also working with the FDA to secure a US launch. The product uses a hands-free system that can take up to three months of measurements with a single cartridge.
Israeli startup Olive recently raised $10 million in funding and promises to use only optics to analyze urine. The company uses a special toilet seat, with no bands or additional accessories needed. It is initially targeting nursing homes and vulnerable populations, but hopes to find a user base in a number of healthcare sectors.
Vivoo has been making home urine test strips for a long time and showed off the next iteration of its business, with smart toilets. It is aimed at the residential caries, seniors and healthcare markets. It offers a convenient alternative for users who may find it difficult to perform urine testing with hand-held urine strips.
We can only imagine he felt a bit embarrassed by his “world premiere” marketing message on his stand. Especially since the Vivoo stand was right next to Withing’s, where it showed how it had beaten the “world premiere” to market.
The product is a prototype, with wider deployment in the not too distant future. The company raised a $6 million Series A funding round in June 2021. The round was led by Draper Associates.
Special area master
Don’t worry, it wasn’t just pee at CES this year. We also found SZM – Special Zone Master – which promises to do a “visual analysis” of your other favorite bodily waste – poo. The company promises to analyze stool shape and color, record the time and frequency of your bowel movements, and also detect the presence of blood.
“Just by taking a closer look at stool, we can find early signs of a health problem and take action before it’s too late,” the company said in its marketing materials. We were curious to find out more, but the founders of the company were nowhere to be found – presumably, they were taking a well-deserved bathroom break. It wasn’t entirely clear how far the Korean startup had come in its journey to bringing its technology to a toilet seat near you.