Scientists at Duke University say the device, dubbed “Smart Toilet,” could help treat millions of people who live with potentially deadly bowel diseases. It can be fitted within the pipes of an existing toilet and snaps a picture of a person’s poop when they flush. An algorithm then determines whether the movement is loose, normal or constipated, and whether it contains any blood.
The data could help doctors keep track of their patients’ bowel movements and provide better treatment to those suffering from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Anywhere from 25 million to 45 million Americans suffer from IBS, according to the International Foundation for Gastrointestinal Disorders. An estimated 3 million people in the U.S. have IBD, either in the form of Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.