Clever toilet checks on your health
June 28, 2005 CNN
The Intelligence Toilet system checks your blood pressure before dispensing advice on diet and exercise.
Health checks from your doctor could be replaced by visits to the bathroom, thanks to a smart toilet developed by a Japanese company.
The 'Intelligence Toilet' system, created by Japan's largest toilet company, Toto, can measure sugar levels in urine, blood pressure, body fat and weight.
The toilet, which starts at $3,500, was developed by Toto in conjunction with homebuilder Daiwa House Industry.
Users begin their toilet-room medical at the built-in urine analyzer, which collects five cubic centimeters (0.15 fluid ounces) of urine before analyzing sugar levels. The device cleans itself automatically after the one-minute long test.
Users then move to the blood pressure monitor, within arm's reach of the toilet, then weigh themselves on a set of scales in front of the basin and measure their body mass index (BMI) after washing their hands.
Once results are taken, they are transferred to a home network, and analyzed on a computer spreadsheet.
Advice about diet and exercise is then dispensed, without any human intervention.
Daiwa's chairman came up with the idea after having medical care nine years ago and the company has already sold 100 of the machines.
'When our chairman was hospitalized, he saw many people coming in to have tests and returning home with lots of medicine. It made him want to build a house where you can have health checks,' Daiwa House spokesman Miki Chino told AFP.
Toto has dominated the toilet-making business in Japan since the late 1970s when Western-style toilets started to become more popular than traditional squat toilets.
Toto spokeswoman Kumi Goto told AFP that the success of the company's toilet business came from Japanese people's constant craving for cleanliness.
'People here also have a trait of fine-tuning everything,' she says.
Researchers at Vienna's Technical University last month announced plans to produce a 'toilet with brains' -- a high-tech commode designed to help multiple sclerosis patients and other disabled or elderly people
Ian Pearson, head of the Information Technology futurology unit at British telecommunications giant BT, told CNN that the humble bathroom looked set to undergo lots of technological changes in the next two decades.
He said 'digital bathroom mirrors' would enable people to program how they wanted to look.
Whether appearing online, playing a multi-player online role-playing game, or in someone's heads-up display, people would be able to customize how they wanted to look, Pearson said.
Electronically activated make-up would change throughout the day, depending on your mood and the circumstances.
'You'd use a digital bathroom mirror and you'd just cursor through a whole stack of different options.'