Development of a Smart Device to Solve the Excretion Concerns of the Elderly

Research Press Release | March 15, 2016

<br />Characteristics of the smart device,

Characteristics of the smart device, "Toilet Diary" (Kawaya Nikkicho)

Key Points

  • Development of a smart device that records, with the simple operation of a touch panel, information such as urinary frequency and stool condition, and automatically transmits this data to the patient’s primary care doctor.
  • This makes it possible for the doctor to be able to quickly verify an excretion problem that is hard for the patient to discuss, and to provide prompt and appropriate treatment.
  • This device will contribute to the full realization of local treatment and to improving the QOL (quality of life) of an extremely aged society.


As Japan is quickly becoming an aged society, more than 30% of the elderly are troubled by excretion concerns, such as frequent urination and chronic constipation. This is now having a serious impact on QOL. Excretion is an important function that involves the dignity of the individual, and the handling by the medical and caregiver professions is not advanced at all. One background reason is that excretion concerns are difficult for the patients themselves to discuss with their families and primary care doctors. In addition, self-entry recording of excretion has had problems such as the patient’s failure to keep records, so it has not been possible to guarantee that it reliably leads to appropriate treatment.

In order to solve these problems, the smart device that we have developed, called a “toilet diary”, can be simply set up in the home bathroom, and can share excretion conditions with a medical facility by using the cell phone infrastructure and a cloud service. Its functions are: (1) a removable touch panel design that can be set up in a bathroom without having an unpleasant appearance, (2) use of a body sensor to detect when a person enters or leaves the bathroom, (3) recording of the sounds of excretion while respecting privacy, (4) touch panel operation to select the user and the stool condition, and (5) real-time uploading of the obtained data, to automatically send the data to the primary care doctor (See the Figure above).

In this way, the patient does not have to tell the doctor about excretion concerns, and the primary care doctor can in turn consult with a specialist, so that prompt and appropriate treatment is possible. The patient’s family can also easily check the excretion condition, so it is also expected to be an aid in caregiving.

This research has been done in cooperation with the Hokkaido University Graduate School of Medicine, Department of Renal and Genitourinary Surgery (Professor Nobuo Shinohara), and the Hokkaido University Graduate School of Information Science and Technology, Division of Media and Network Technologies (Professor Tsuyoshi Yamamoto).


Maho AMANO, University Reserach Administrator (URA)

Hokkaido University URA station

TEL:011-706-9596 / FAX:011-706-9582


Japanese Link

高齢者の排泄の悩みを解決するスマートデバイスを開発 (02.16.2016)