News & Opinion | March 22, 2019 1:30 pm

Futuristic Toilet Seat Made To Monitor Heart Failure Patients

The device measures patient's’ vital signs.

toilet heart failure
A new toilet seat could help monitor heart failure patients. (Getty)
Getty Images

A team at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) has developed a toilet seat that could help congestive heart failure patients, New Atlas reports.

The toilet seat will measure the patient’s heart rate, body weight, stroke volume (how much blood the hearts pumps out with every beat), and blood oxygenation levels. In order to take the measurements the seat was installed with an electrocardiogram, ballistocardiogram, and a photoplethysmogram.

The RIT team created special algorithms to analyze the toilet seat data to determine if the condition of the patient is deteriorating even if the person isn’t experiencing systems yet. Further development of the seat hopes to add a function that could alert the patient’s doctor.

Often patients with heart conditions need a quick visit to the doctor’s office or a medication change is all they need, but end up going the more expensive route by visiting the emergency room because they’re not quite sure the severity of their episode.

“Typically, within 30 days of hospital discharge, 25 percent of patients with congestive heart failure are readmitted,” Nicholas Conn, postdoctoral fellow, said. “After 90 days of hospital discharge, 45 percent of patients are readmitted.”

The team hopes the technology will help heart patients save time and money.