New device can keep you healthy by testing your urine

Withings/Cover Images

A new device promises it can help ensure you stay in good health via an unusual method - monitoring your urine.

Health tech firm Withings announced the release of U-Scan, billed as a breakthrough in-home biomarker analysis platform and miniaturised health lab, at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

With more than 3000 metabolites, urine is an extraordinary way to assess and monitor one's health. It gives an immediate snapshot of the body's balance and is integral in monitoring and detecting a large variety of health information. While we urinate on average 7 times a day, urine analyses are usually performed only once a year.

"The ability of U-Scan to perform daily urine analysis from the home will allow Withings to take its mission to help consumers fully utilize urine data to an entirely new level," said Mathieu Letombe, Withings CEO. "It's one of the most exciting and complex products we have ever announced."

Just 90 mm in diameter, the rechargeable U-Scan reader is engineered to distinguish between external liquid and urine and automatically funnel samples for analysis. Urine flows efficiently to a collection inlet thanks to its pebble-shaped design. A pump is activated when a thermal sensor detects the presence of urine, which starts a sample's fluidic journey within a microfluidic circuit.

After its collection, the urine sample is injected into a test pod where the chemical reaction is read by an optical module. U-Scan can distinguish between various users thanks to its Stream ID feature.

In Europe, the U-Scan Nutri Balance cartridge will enable analysis of specific gravity, pH, vitamin C and ketone levels. It helps people monitor their metabolic intake to optimise their daily hydration and nutrients. As well as displaying results such as carb balance and pH levels, it recommends workouts, dietary suggestions, and recipes to achieve identified goals.

Users will be able to buy a U-Scan starter kit for €499.95 to get one U-Scan reader and one cartridge providing 3 months of testing.