Lou Walcer, director of the Center for Life Science Ventures, left, and Dan Matsui, CEO of CareTech Human, during the key ceremony to welcome CareTech Human to the center and the Cornell community.

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Turning toilets into health monitors, startup joins life science business incubator

CareTech Human, a startup developing a device to monitor urological symptoms at home, is joining Cornell’s Center for Life Science Ventures business incubator.

Many patients are accustomed to the benefits and convenience of at-home monitoring of blood pressure, blood glucose levels and other critical health metrics. CareTech Human aims to make it just as easy for patients to gather quantitative data about their urological health.

“Urological conditions are thought to affect as many or more people than diabetes. But when it comes to monitoring urological disease, nothing is available to patients or health care providers similar to at-home blood pressure monitors or glucometers,” says Dan Matsui, founder and CEO of CareTech Human.

The company is developing a small device that users can install above the waterline in their toilet bowl. The proprietary system, which combines the toilet-installed device with cloud-based machine-learning algorithms, continuously gathers diagnostically relevant measures of volume, frequency, flow and urgency. In the future, the company intends to expand the system’s diagnostic functionality with electronic nose technology to detect biomarkers in urine.

“We're developing something similar to a smoke detector or a check engine light. It's all about automation, convenience and continuous measurement – a passive tracking of health parameters that is hygienic and contactless,” Matsui says.

Urological symptoms – such as a sudden and intense need to urinate, difficulty beginning to urinate and waking multiple times at night to urinate – affect millions of adults in the U.S. and many more worldwide. These symptoms often arise from benign conditions such as overactive bladder (OAB) and benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH, or enlarged prostate). Even benign conditions may require treatment, however, and similar symptoms may indicate more serious urological diseases.

CareTech Human’s platform uses a secure internet connection to send objective, quantitative data to a patient’s authorized health care provider.

Doctors today generally rely on self-reporting to evaluate a patient’s urological health and assess their response to treatment. A patient may be asked to complete a short survey or to maintain a voiding diary over a period of weeks or months. Self-reporting methods are subjective and imprecise, and they rely on the patient to consistently record data. In-office quantitative uroflowmetry diagnostics require clinical infrastructure and are limited by a single assessment in an unfamiliar clinical setting that may not capture a patient’s typical symptoms.

Matsui hopes that the company’s system will eventually help doctors identify severe urological disorders and provide timely treatments that can improve patient outcomes and avoid medical emergencies and costly emergency room visits.

CareTech Human emerged from the eō Business Incubators in Ukraine, an entrepreneurship program founded by Charles K. Whitehead ’83, the Myron C. Taylor Alumni Professor of Business Law. Since CareTech Human graduated from the eō program in 2021, the company has continued to advance its technology through research and prototyping.

The Center for Life Science Ventures will provide CareTech Human with a New York state operations base, access to Cornell’s expertise in health technology and other resources, and mentorship and guidance on entering the U.S. market.

“Big ideas combined with great execution are rare, and well worth seeking out from around the world. That’s why we’re very happy to welcome CareTech Human to Cornell,” said Lou Walcer ’74, director of the Center for Life Science Ventures.

J. Edward Anthony is a writer for the Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation.

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