Smart Toilet Bass Connections Team

scientist working in the WaSH-AID lab

CAGPM director Geoff Ginsburg has partnered with Bass Connections to form the Smart Toilet: A disruptive technology to improve health and wellness Bass Connections Team.

The Duke “Smart Toilet,” will enable the hands-free collection and packaging of human excreta to test and monitor wellness and disease. The Smart Toilet is a novel platform with the potential to transform healthcare as it will generate individualized biological data that can be used for early disease detection, surveillance for infectious disease and continuous personalized health and wellness monitoring through apps and digital health wearable devices.

Building off the work of last year's team, the 2020-2021 project team will develop integrated inline sensors for real-time categorization of bowel movements and further leverage the Smart Sampling Toilet platform. The sensor-enabled Smart Sampling Toilet will enable the establishment of wellness baselines for individuals with deviations, triggering health interventions and specimen extraction for separate biochemical assays at specific time intervals with no user intervention nor privacy concerns associated with a camera in a bathroom.

To achieve these goals, team members will participate in three main activities, organized in distinct but interrelated thrusts:

  1. Engineering integration of sensors and data collection with fecal specimens
  2. Development of machine learning and algorithms for classification of bowel movements
  3. Development of a business strategy for the technology

Student Opportunities

This team is looking to include 2 graduate students and 6-9 undergraduate students. Interested students will most likely have backgrounds in biology, data analytics, machine learning, engineering, entrepreneurship, business and/or public health. 

In Fall 2020, this team will meet virtually on Fridays from 5:15-6:05 p.m. The team anticipates two undergraduate students will work for a period of up to eight weeks, at 20 hours per week, in Summer 2021.

The deadline to apply is July 31 at 11:59 p.m. ET.


Full project details

Related Links

Smart Toilet Website
Smart Toilet Saves Vital Health Data from Getting Flushed
Fecal Matter: Learning about health through waste


Geoff Ginsburg, M.D., Ph.D.
Director of the Center for Applied Genomics & Precision Medicine and the MEDx Initiative
Professor of Medicine
(919) 668-6210

Sonia Grego, Ph.D.
Senior Research Scientist and Global Field Testing Lead
(919) 660-5353

Katelyn Sellgren, Ph.D.
Research Scientist
(919) 660-1353