While most health trackers battle over the wrist or finger, Withings is making a beeline for the bathroom.
What’s happening: The French connected health company introduced a toilet bowl-affixed device called U-Scan designed to analyze biometrics from urine concentration.
Compatible with two replaceable cartridges, its reproductive health-focused Cycle Sync version measures hormone, pH, and hydration levels, while its Nutri Balance plug-in adds insights for ketones and vitamin C.
Available to consumers, its B2B division Withings Health Solutions is also offering U-Scan to research partners while the company pursues FDA approval.
Why it matters: Urine is a valuable proxy to blood, containing markers for 3,000+ metabolites that provide insight for diet, exercise, and ovulation — but also disease detection, including chronic inflammation, obesity, cancer, and more.
Until recently, urinalysis was only performed in a clinical setting — though, the modern process has continued to use “undesirable” methods such as cups or strips.
Unbundling the lab. Withings’ strategy has been clear, designing next-gen tech for consumer wellness and, more importantly, clinical-grade medical devices.
Already in its ecosystem are the ScanWatch (FDA-approved for EKG and SpO2), a connected blood pressure cuff, and a range of smart bathroom scales that sync to its own health coaching platform.
But, while its “hands-free” results are a step forward, Withings isn’t the only startup with its business in the toilet.
- Smart toilets: Monitoring for imbalance and disease, Israel’s OutSense clips on like U-Scan, while Cassana, Olive, and Toi Labs (TrueLoo) pioneer smart toilet seats.
- Urine testing: Healthy.io, Vessel, Vivoo, and Bisu all use strips and smartphones to deliver results, from kidney function to general wellness.
- Stool samples: Tiny Health, Ombre Lab, Viome, ZOE, and DayTwo all focus on gut microbiome through discreet, send-away collection kits.
Looking ahead: DTC diagnostics and next-gen wearables may soon make lab testing as simple as syncing your data with your healthcare provider. And Withings already has a foot in the door, jumping through regulatory hoops, decentralizing clinical trials, and designing tech that makes preventative wellness easier.