Saturday, February 4, 2012

Creepy Japanese Toilet Could Save Your Life

Found this on Facebook the other day courtesy of my friend Charlie.

Japanese Toilet Analyzes Your Stool

He didn't think highly of it, saying it was creepy.  Especially the part where you can set up a feed from a particular toilet.

However, I think there are some legitimate uses here.  The Japanese government thinks likewise, considering it's associated with Bowel Health Week.

One of the things the toilet will scan users' waste for is blood.  Blood in the stool, especially if it's on the inside and not on the surface (where it could have likely come from hemmoroids or anal fissures), is a major sign of colon cancer.  Doctors recommend a fecal occult blood test after age 50 that's fairly icky--one has to take samples from one's own feces and mail it to a lab or conduct the test at home.  This kind of technology could eliminate that entirely.

The device will also scan for fat in stool, which is also a sign of various diseases (or simply eating indigestable fats, which is obviously less of a concern).

Someone with a family history of colon cancer who can afford this kind of thing might do well to buy it.  Yes, getting bowel reports on your phone is a bit peculiar, but if fecal occult blood tests are expensive, this might pay for itself, plus it's a lot more convenient.

Also, one can have all the data for a particular toilet sent to one's phone.  If someone wants to do a study about bowel conditions or undiagnosed diseases in a particular part of the country, this tool might actually come in handy.  I'm sure the feeds from hundreds of such toilets could provide a wealth of information about a particular area's bowel health.

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