Withings announces “breakthrough” smart home urine lab for nutrition and cycle tracking

For its CES announcement this year, Withings It revealed a “breakthrough” in its home vital signs analysis platform. Dubbed U-Scan, the smart health product is described as a “miniature health lab” that hygienically snaps into any toilet “to unleash a wealth of health information into your daily urine.”

Withings’ U-Scan has already been named a CES 2023 Innovation Award winner in the smart home, fitness, sports and digital health categories.

Here’s how the company describes its new smart health platform:

With more than 3,000 metabolites present, 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 7 times a day, a urinalysis is usually done only once a year. Withings U-Scan aims to change this by enabling future vital sign assessments to be conducted from the comfort and privacy of one’s own bathroom.”

As described above, the U-Scan consists of a technology-packed pebble-shaped reader that works with changeable analysis cartridges that read specific biomarkers. This eliminates the need for traditional strips or urine catches in a cup.

Along with the hardware, Withings plans to offer U-Scan Nutri Balance which it describes as a “detailed metabolic guide to hydration and nutrition” and U-Scan Cycle Sync to “track and sync a woman’s menstrual cycle.”

Launch Withings U-Scan

Withings will launch the consumer version of the U-Scan first with a medical-grade model planned for the future.

The U-Scan is scheduled to launch in Europe in the second quarter of 2023 with the starter kit priced at €499.95. This includes one three-month cartridge with the option to buy more as you wish or subscribe to an auto-refill subscription.

The company is working with the FDA on clearance in the US with a release date pending approval.

Check out our Withings reviews for more information on products supported by Apple Health:

Read more about how Withings U-Scan works:

Easy as 1, 2, Paul – how it works

While easy to use, U-Scan overcomes a myriad of technical and chemical challenges. Developed with in vitro diagnostics experts, it took four years to prepare and has resulted in 13 families of patent applications. 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 movement and the distance between the streams. Stream ID information can be confirmed in the app.

  1. Biomarker analyses 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. It automatically transmits the results over Wi-Fi and then rotates the cartridge to expose 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.

  1. 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. 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 app displays 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. 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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