•Picks up blood pressure, oxygen levels and heart rate
By Sola Ogundipe
Going to the toilet is a natural biological function, but it could also save your life if you are at risk of a heart failure. However this medical feat is only possible if you utilise a novel toilet seat made by Heart Health Intelligence, that could detect signs of heart failure before symptoms appear.
The battery-powered, WiFi-enabled toilet seat, invented by scientists in New York, fits on top of a normal toilet seat and incorporates sensors to pick up the user’s heart rate, blood pressure and oxygen levels through their legs.
The seat is waterproof and requires no setting up or programming. All the patient needs to do is sit on it.
Inventors at the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York have designed and produced the seat, which they hope will cut hospital admission rates. They claim the gadget offers an easy way to monitor patients at risk of heart failure when they’re at home, potentially saving lives by spotting symptoms early on.
About 1 in 4 heart failure patients are readmitted to hospital within 30 days of discharge, while 45 per cent are taken back within six weeks.
By monitoring the patients at home – and not requiring them to do anything other than what comes naturally – medics may be able to keep a closer eye on them.
This also reduces the likelihood of mistakes which would otherwise happen if people were doing their own monitoring using other devices.
Data from the seat can be transmitted automatically to doctors if necessary, so they can decide whether someone needs treatment.
The system has the potential to address many challenges with in-home monitoring, the inventors wrote in a report in the journal JMIR mHealth.
The device may enable new approaches and capabilities in the diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular disease, including but not limited to those with heart failure.
If successful, the report said, this strategy has the potential to reduce the burden of heart failure and cardiovascular disease on the healthcare industry as well as improve the quality of life for patients.
The seat would make it easier to be proactive about monitoring patients care, by monitoring them before symptoms appear, instead of being reactive, and only being able to help when someone is already ill.
And the legs could be a good location for this monitoring to take place because the aorta – the body’s largest artery – runs into the thighs.
Heart failure is a serious condition in which the heart cannot pump blood properly around the body, often because it is too weak or stiff.
The toilet seat could look for signs of this by noticing when the oxygen volume in blood is low, when blood pressure is high, and when smaller amounts of blood are being pumped with each action.Read Full Story