The diagnostic toilet seat that reads a person's vital signs is a pretty nice piece of equipment. But it could be just the first step toward the ultimate goal of a "smart" technology that can diagnose gastrointestinal disorders.
According to Reuters, Christopher Probert, M.D., of the University of Bristol in Britain, presented research last month suggesting that flatus affords an effective means of detecting viral and bacterial GI infections.
In tests of stool samples from patients with stomach viruses, Probert and his Bristol research team reportedly were "highly accurate" in identifying Clostridium difficile, the Norwalk virus and the diarrhea-inducing rotavirus.
Meanwhile, research continues on production of a low-cost, shoe-box-sized testing instrument that might only require patients to emit a simple "flatus sample" instead of providing a stool specimen, according to the news account.