Withings Uscan ToiletSource: CrackBerry

CES 2023

You wouldn't believe the power of your urine. Just a drop of it can be analyzed to provide data on your nutrition, metabolism, menstrual cycle, and more. The problem has always been that this is all stuff that is largely done in a medical lab, and I don't know about you but I don't have the space for one of those in my home.

Enter Withings. The company that's built a name for itself on simple and effective health monitoring through smart scales and classy fitness trackers is introducing what might be their most complex product yet — and they really want you to put one in your toilet.

The Withings U-Scan is a palm-sized white plastic puck that's mean to mount inside your toilet bowl and actively be urinated on. That's because inside it contains a cartridge with dozens of tiny test strips — you pee, an electronic gate lets a tiny bit of urine onto a single test strip, it undergoes chemical analysis, and you get results beamed to your phone.

Withings Uscan HandSource: CrackBerry

There are two different cartridges being released at first for the U-Scan: one for monitoring anybody's nutrition and another for monitoring a woman's menstrual cycle. The "Nutri Balance" cartridge checks your pH (acidity) to ensure your diet is balanced, ketones to check your metabolism, Vitamin C levels, and the specific gravity to measure your hydration. The "Cycle Sync" cartridge's test strips also check pH and hydration, along with luteinizing hormone to determine which part of the menstrual cycle you're in and predict the ovulation window. Both of these feed into the Withings app and provide health guidance to match your test results. Withings told me their goal is to help you achieve the goals you've set and to live a healthy life, not to dictate terms on your diet or exercise regimen.

Both forms of the cartridge contain around 100 strips which Withings expects will be good for the average person to last roughly three months — after all you have to make a conscious choice to pee on the device and not into the water. But what if you have more than one person in your house? Withings thought of that too — just as their body-analyzing scales can recognize a unique person's body composition and track multiple users, the U-Scan can differentiate each person's unique urine chemistry and differentiate between different users.

Withings Uscan CartridgeSource: CrackBerry

While at-home daily urinalysis could a game changer for many, Withings is also hoping to bring the U-Scan to the broader medical community. There are the cartridges they're building for retail sale, but there's a lot more you can learn from analyzing a urine sample and the U-Scan is set up to be able to handle all sorts of biomarker checks, and Withings can always develop another option for a specific need. This could prove to be a huge boon to clinicians that need to monitor a patient's recovery from illness at home, or a research study could give its participants a U-Scan preloaded with their custom tests to mount in their toilet and not have to think about.

While Withings' previous products have made impressive strides in recognizing more and more about our bodies, the U-Scan stands to open up a new door into our personal health that can only otherwise be achieved through expensive, time-consuming, and invasive means.

If you can't wait to get a Withings U-Scan and piss all over it, you'll have to wait at least a few months. The first availability is expected in the second quarter of 2023, but only in Europe for €499.95 — US availability is pending FDA approval on an unknown timetable. And while the U-Scan will come with a full 100-test cartridge to start, once that's up you'll be on the hook for a subscription service to regularly deliver more to your door. Because of course it's a subscription.