Researchers from Duke University created an artificial intelligence (AI) tool that can be added to a standard toilet to analyze a patient's stool health.
The new tool, called Smart Toilet Technology, would be helpful to both patients and gastroenterologists. Using the data gathered by the system, gastroenterologists could create a personalized and appropriate treatment plan. Data collected over time provides an understanding of the patient’s stool form and the presence of blood. This could assist in managing chronic gastrointestinal issues like IBD and IBS. It could also be useful for patients in long-term care facilities.
Typically doctors rely on patient self-reported information, which is notoriously unreliable. The Smart Toilet Technology takes the pressure off the patient.
To create the AI image analysis tool, the team analyzed 3,328 stool images that were either provided by participants or found online. The images were reviewed and annotated according to the Bristol Stool Scale, a common clinical tool for classifying stool. During testing, the algorithm accurately classified stool form 85.1% of the time and gross blood detection 76.3% of the time.
The Smart Toilet Technology can be retrofitted within pipes of existing toilets without the need for special appliances or equipment. Once set up, all the user has to do is flush the toilet and the technology takes an image of the stool within the pipes.
The technology is not yet available to the public and the team is working on developing additional features.
The team presented this development at Digestive Disease Week.