In the News

Sonia Grego in Smart Toilet Lab

June 28, 2023 | News & Observer

Duke smart toilet flushes away poop but leaves valuable health information behind

Sonia Grego works in a world of poop. Scatological-themed artwork hangs outside her office alongside peer-reviewed papers on human waste. “We have poop emojis everywhere,” she said, pointing to a smiling tie-dye stuffed clump perched by her window.Then there’s the actual [...]

May 3, 2023 | Popular Science

A Scientific Exploration of Big Juicy Butts

BUMS. HEINIES. FANNIES. DERRIERES. Few muscles in the human body carry as much cultural clout as the gluteus maximus. “Butts are a bellwether,” writes journalist Heather Radke in her 2022 book Butts: A Backstory. Radke goes on to explain that our feelings about our [...]

March 8, 2023

Abstract Accepted for 2023 Digestive Disease Week Conference

Our abstract "Smart Sampling Toilet - A Potential New Automated System for Collecting Fecal Calprotectin Samples" has been accepted for presentation during the 2023 Digestive Disease Week Conference this May in Chicago.

January 19, 2023

Innovation from Academia to Market: Crohn's & Colitis Congress

Sonia Grego, director of the Duke University Smart Toilet Lab, presented on advances in development of the Smart Toilet at the Crohn's & Colitis Congress in Denver, Colorado on January 19. Sponsored by Crohn's & Colitis Foundation and the American [...]

May 24, 2022

Smart Sampling Toilet Wins Distinction at 2022 Digestive Disease Week Conference

Gastroenterologist and collaborator Jose R. Ruiz and Sonia Grego won the Award of Distinction for their work "Hands-Free Stool Sampling for Remote Monitoring of Intestinal Disease" during the 2022 Digestive Disease Week conference in San Diego from May 21-24. The full paper [...]

May 5, 2022 | Triangle Business Journal

NIH Awards Grant to Advance Smart Toilet

The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases awarded a Phase I Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grant to Coprata Inc. and collaborators at Duke University to advance the development of a Smart Toilet with artificial intelligence that will [...]

Jackson with Fingerprint Scanner

December 7, 2021

Adding Biometrics to the Smart Toilet

In addition to being an electrical and computer engineering and computer science double major, Jackson McNabb is also a sleuth. His research in the Smart Toilet lab this fall focuses on why some user's “difficult” fingertips fail with compact fingerprint sensors, like those [...]

Toilet Roll with Camera Lens

September 23, 2021 | The Guardian

The smart toilet era is here! Are you ready to share your analprint with big tech?

Loo design has barely changed in 150 years - until now. Will people trade their privacy for the chance to find out exactly what is in their waste?

Toilet Paper with Data

September 7, 2021 | Wall Street Journal

Smartwatches Track Our Health. Smart Toilets aren't too far behind.

The next frontier of at-home health tracking is flush with data: the toilet. Researchers and companies are developing high-tech toilets that go beyond adding smart speakers or a heated seat. These smart facilities are designed to look out for signs of gastrointestinal disease, monitor blood pressure or tell you that you need to eat more fish, all from the comfort of your personal throne.

Toilet Bowl

August 30, 2021 | Medical Technology

The smart toilet: a pipe's-eye view of gastrointestinal health

An AI tool being developed at Duke University is being developed to analyse human faeces to improve the monitoring of gastrointestinal health, raising the prospect of a ‘smart toilet’ that has these diagnostic capabilities built in. Natalie Healey speaks to one of the [...]

Toilet with wifi

August 24, 2021

Stool Image Analysis for Precision Health Monitoring by Smart Toilets

We're excited to share that our latest Smart Toilet research on stool image analysis using machine learning has been published in the Proceedings of Machine Learning Research following the 2021 Machine Learning for Healthcare conference. The interdisciplinary team working [...]

Gastroenterology and Endoscopy News Logo

July 15, 2021 | Gastroenterology & Endoscopy News

Disease Surveillance With Every Flush: Introducing the Smart Toilet

Every bowel movement is rich in information about our digestive health. So, why do we literally flush all that data down the drain? At the 2021 virtual Digestive Disease Week, Duke University gastroenterologist Deborah Fisher, MD, and engineering professor Sonia Grego, PhD [...]

Illustration of toilet and microscope

July 13, 2021 | The Wall Street Journal

A Robot That Finds Your Lost Stuff and More AI-Enabled Gadgets to Come

Analyzing poop is an important way to prevent and diagnose gastrointestinal diseases, but the taboo around collecting it can make screening challenging, according to a 2014 study published in the British Journal of General Practice. Smart toilets could help change that.

Toilet with Technology

May 25, 2021 | SciTechDaily

AI-Powered Smart Toilet May Soon Analyze Poop for Health Problems

An artificial intelligence tool under development at Duke University can be added to the standard toilet to help analyze patients’ stool and give gastroenterologists the information they need to provide appropriate treatment, according to research that was selected for [...]

Toilet in Bathroom

May 25, 2021 | Duke Today

'Smart Toilet' Uses Artifical Intelligence to Monitor Bowel Health

An artificial intelligence tool being developed by Duke scientists can be added to the standard toilet to help analyze patients’ stool and give gastroenterologists the information they need to provide appropriate treatment for chronic issues such as inflammatory bowel [...]

Jin Zhou Photo

April 6, 2021 | Duke University Bass Connections

Two Graduate Students Honored for Their Outstanding Mentorship

Jin Zhou (Ph.D. Student) and Bridget Eklud (J.D. Student) are the winners of the 2021 Bass Connections Award for Outstanding Mentorship. Zhou's research focuses on the intersection of machine learning and health data science, and he has been working with several undergradue [...]

March 3, 2021 | Pratt School of Engineering

Comparing the Swab to the Sewer

Using established methods for screening human sewage for the presence of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, Duke University is piloting a study to compare what can be learned from sewage with what can be learned from a rigorous nasal swab testing program. The [...]

Student designed an automated door for her Bass Connection team's project.

January 21, 2021 | Pratt School of Engineering

From Chopsticks and Cardboard to Functioning Prototype

Resourceful undergraduates dove into a Bass Connections project aiming to improve GI heath, designing an automated test strip dispenser for their team.

Lab Photo

October 13, 2020

Bass Connections Students Return to Advance Smart Toilet Research, Remotely

The gut is like a reclusive celebrity: everyone is talking about her (the microbiome!), but we rarely catch a glimpse. Enter the Smart Toilet: a technology designed to capture data regarding individual health through precision analysis of wastewater coming out of toilet, [...]

Individual on Toilet

July 30, 2020

Crowdsourcing our Way through Summer

#Poop4Science has launched! Or, if we’re being official, “Crowdsourcing of Stool Images for Algorithm Development” -  a research study led by Sonia Grego, PhD, Director of the Duke Smart Toilet Lab and Deborah Fisher, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine in Gastroenterology [...]

Person standing in front of toilet with toilet paper in hand

May 18, 2020 | BBC CrowdScience

Does My Toilet Make Sense?

Despite being a universal need, talking about our toilet use and the infrastructure that aids us remains somewhat taboo. Whilst sectors like telecommunications and computing have undergone rapid transformations over the past century, the flush toilet and wastewater system [...]

Bass Connections Students

February 3, 2020

Smart Toilet Saves Vital Health Data from Getting Flushed

Some of the most important information about our health comes from an unexpected and decidedly icky source. Our daily excreta (yes, the feces and urine we flush away every day) can actually tell us a lot about our health and help us monitor our bodies for disease. However, [...]

September 20, 2019

What do Bojangles, Thixotropicity, and Miso Paste have in Common?

Fueled by Bojangles and coffee, the early-rising Bass Connections team started the day by discussing the Bristol Stool Chart, thixotropicity (a time dependent shear-thinning property - think ketchup), and the benefits of working with miso paste as a surrogate for human [...]

September 10, 2019

Bass Students Explore Innovation and the Market

“If you build it, they will come” is a great line for a movie but a terrible business approach. Impactful innovation needs to deliver what the market really needs. Eric Levitan and Doug Calahan are C-suite executives, Duke Alumni, long-time advisors and collaborators on the [...]

Bass Connections Students at the Center for WaSH-AID

September 6, 2019

Welcoming Bass Connections Students

Bass Connections students Jacob, Jackson, Tess, Claire, Megan, and Kaivalya were here bright and early on Friday, August 30, for their first team meeting as part of their 2019-2020 Bass Connections project - "The Smart Toilet: A disruptive technology to improve health and wellness." The team will spend the year researching the Duke "Smart Toilet" - a device enabling the hands-free collection and packaging of human excreta to test and monitor wellness and disease. Welcome!