Pulling Health Info from Poop

Project Team

Smar t toilet team photo.
Smart Toilet team at the Center for WaSH-AID (left to right: Vidhatri Subramanyam, Samarth Menta, Jacob Key, Claire Yin, Megan Richards, Katie Sellgren, Jackson McNabb, Kaivalya Powale)

Some of the most important information about our health comes from an unexpected and decidedly icky source. Our daily excreta (yes, the feces and urine we flush away every day) can actually tell us a lot about our health and help us monitor our bodies for disease. However, our aversion to excreta (the “ick” factor) has made this type of specimen collection for health monitoring and testing quite difficult. This year, a Bass Connections team called Smart Toilet is working to change that.

Led by Geoff Ginsburg of the Duke Center for Applied Genomics and Precision Medicine, and Sonia Grego and Katie Sellgren of Duke’s Center for Water, Sanitation, Hygiene and Infectious Disease (WaSH-AID), the team has been hard at work developing prototypes of a “Smart Toilet,” which would enable the hands-free collection of waste that can be used for early disease detection and to test and monitor for infectious diseases.

Text excerpted from Smart Toilet Saves Vital Health Data from Getting Flushed by Joyce Huang ’22

Developing the “Smart Toilet”: A Screening Tool for Health Monitoring 

Poster by Jacob Key, Jackson McNabb, Samarth Menta and Claire Yin

Smart Toilet poster.