Smart Toilet: A Disruptive Technology to Improve Health and Wellness (2019-2020)
Achieving the goals of health and wellness requires novel approaches to daily monitoring of analytical biomarkers from physiological fluids, which currently cannot be achieved using noninvasive approaches. Our daily excreta – feces and urine – are rich in latent data. In addition to biochemical markers, stool physical characteristics can contribute to the diagnosis and management of many acute and chronic GI conditions.
This project team created the “Smart Sampling Toilet” – a novel device that has the potential to transform healthcare as a noninvasive source of individualized biological data. This device employs hands-off extraction to collect samples of human excreta that can later be used for diagnosis of wellness and disease.
In 2019-2020, the team focused on the engineering development, quality control, refinement, business and regulatory strategy of the Smart Sampling Toilet platform. Team members developed key technical advancements that resulted in a working prototype toilet system and the demonstration of specimen extraction with no sample cross-over contamination overcoming a key technical risk of the approach.
The team also conducted multiple and diverse customer discovery interviews with stakeholders that highlighted the unmet need for automatic tracking of bowel movement particularly for elderly populations. These findings will guide the next stages of the iterative technology approach.
Fall 2019 – Summer 2020
Smart Toilet. Geoffrey Ginsburg, Sonia Grego, Katelyn Sellgren, Holly Dressman, Jeffrey Glass, Brian Stoner, Kaivalya Powale, Tess Rogers, Vidhatri Subramanyam Bengaluru, Jacob Key, Jackson McNabb, Samarth Menta, Megan Richards, Claire Yin, Douglas Calahan, Eric Levitan. 2019.
Pulling Health Info from Poop (Fortin Foundation Bass Connections Virtual Showcase 2020)
Developing the “Smart Toilet”: A Screening Tool for Health Monitoring (poster by Jacob Key, Jackson McNabb, Samarth Menta, Claire Yin)
This Team in the News
Image: Katie Sellgren and colleagues, courtesy of Center for WaSH-AID
- Geoffrey Ginsburg, School of Medicine-Medicine: Cardiology
- Sonia Grego, Pratt School of Engineering-Electrical & Computer Engineering
- Katelyn Sellgren, Pratt School of Engineering-Electrical & Computer Engineering
/graduate Team Members
Kaivalya Powale, Master of Engineering Mgmt-MEG
Tess Rogers, Juris Doctor
Vidhatri Subramanyam Bengaluru, Master of Engineering Mgmt-MEG
/undergraduate Team Members
Jacob Key, Biomedical Engineering (BSE)
Jackson McNabb, Electrical & Computer Egr(BSE)
Samarth Menta, Public Policy Studies (AB)
Megan Richards, Electrical & Computer Egr(BSE)
Claire Yin, Biology (BS)
/yfaculty/staff Team Members
Holly Dressman, School of Medicine-Molecular Genetics and Microbiology
Jeffrey Glass, Pratt School of Engineering-Electrical & Computer Engineering
Brian Stoner, Pratt School of Engineering-Electrical & Computer Engineering
/zcommunity Team Members
Douglas Calahan, Argo Systems
Eric Levitan, Argo Systems